hidden treasure — casa malaparte, capri

I recently found out about this very special house that sits on the southeastern coast of the Isle of Capri. Casa Malaparte was commissioned by journalist Curzio Malaparte and started construction in 1937 (!!). The architect was modernist (and briefly rationalist) Adalberto Libera.

The house sits 32 m above the coastline, overlooking the coast of Salerno. It’s difficult to reach the house since the last 20 minutes of the trip by land are on foot, and otherwise reaching it by sea requires climbing 99 steps to get to the property. Not to mention you can only sail there on calm days because of the treacherous location of the pier. What a trip!

I’m so fascinated and frankly a little creeped-out by the shape of this house. The obvious strangeness comes from the giant stairway to an open dangerous terrace. On top of that, the descending curving wall that serves no apparent purpose makes it all look even more surreal. It looks like a futuristic ship painted in mediterranean colors…and all built before 1940!

I think this is one of those buildings where you can barely capture its essence on film. i.e. this is on my to-do list for my next trip Capri, obviously!

The house was actually abandoned in 1957, when Malaparte died. It suffered vandalism and exposure to the elements for over 20 years before Malaparte’s great-nephew decided to rescue the property. Restoration started in the late 80’s and today the house is used mostly for studies and cultural events. How cool is that?

I’m also super curious about the interiors since there aren’t many photos. Some of the shots below are from Godard’s film Le Mépris, which I was happy to realize was already on my Netflix queue. Must watch asap! Yes, that’s Brigitte Bardot. :)

I’ve also added a short clip of the various scenes in the movie that feature the house. Gooorgeous colors on this film. The kind of colors that you don’t see on screen anymore.


Via Miss Moss

2 Responses to “hidden treasure — casa malaparte, capri”
  1. Looks like a nice place to go see some day…I’ll try and check out the movie, thanks for the info.

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