5 Dec 2012

The Story

A House Like Him

  • Casa Malaparte is commonly said to be a portrait of Curzio Malaparte set in stone. This house reflects his experiences throughout his life. For instance, the church he was familiarized with during one of his many exiles is clearly apparent in the design of the house. With this being said, Curzio Malaparte was indeed influenced by other buildings. It can also be said that Casa Malaparte became a portrait of himself through his own influences and preferences. For example, Libera's initial designs were too close in comparison to the jail that he was detained in and so Malaparte rejected the design. Casa Malaparte is a composite of Curzio Malaparte's nostalgia and memories.


  • As a result of the many components specifically chosen by Malaparte, he created a new sensation out of ordinary fragments. In Surrealism, this is referred to as 'objective chance'. Objective chance is manifested in Malaparte's home as many of the features of his house, such as the walls, the stairs, the doors, the sail, and the colour red, are common. However, when placed together Malaparte has managed to create a new experience. Even with the shape of the home, as it uses familiar geometric shapes, and although portrayed in exaggerated colours and skewed perspective, it is fundamentally a  trapezoidal block made of local stone. The shape of this building is also similar to paintings by De Chirico, a member of the Italian metaphysical school, with relevance to its pure, red, and block shape. In addition to the paintings done by De Chirico, there was also collaboration with Alberto Sabinio. Both figures were french surrealists. Many of Sabinio's paintings were hung in Casa Malaparte and he has also designed the floor tiles in the house. During the construction of the Casa Malaparte, it was known as one of the best examples of Surrealist architecture. In fact, during the conceptualization of this building, Malaparte was an editor for a Surrealist magazine.

Environmental Context

  • The environment where Casa Malaparte is placed is also a main contributer to how and why this structure has become so momentous and irreplaceable. It is not the only home placed precariously on the cliffs of Capri but it remains a very different structure compared to the other ordinary houses situated on the cliff.


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As undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, we were asked to develop a weblog documention of Casa Malaparte -  the house of Curzio Malaparte constructed on a penisula on the island of Capri, Italy. By looking into the life of Curzio Malaparte and Capri's historical background, we will be presenting his design as we get closer to understanding the narrative of this reputable building.