“The whale in the woods”
The architecture of Vittorio Giorgini in Baratti
Baratti’s pine grove is a place of wonder. The architect Vittorio Giorgini once built here a house (Casa Saldarini) that has the shape of a whale. Of concrete, the building’s sinuous shapes form an erotic object that best expresses the designer’s extreme freedom of practice. The gray-brown concrete recalls the earth and the surrounding nature, which safeguard and uphold it. Tullia had come here before as a child; her amnesia fades as she approaches the house and begins caressing its shapes. She remembers how they dined there, the time when she was bathing in the gulf and picking up the stones on the beach, the same stones that the masons would then use for the house’s floors and roof. She remembers Vittorio’s obsession with Baratti’s seaside. Memories emerge as Tullia comes across the adjacent Casa Esagono with its sculptural shower. Her spirit is melancholic, but melancholy quickly gives way to amazement and the pleasure of rediscovery. According to Giorgini, architecture is a living organism, the house he designs for Salvatore Saldarini evokes a whale that has arisen onto shore, a metaphor of the difficult stance that the architect takes, in built form, against everything and against all: a contemporary captain Achab. But this time, the final scene is not the one of Melville’s Moby Dick. Nature does not prevail. Rather than a final resolute conflict, the Baratti works achieve a rare mediation between man and nature.
Populonia \ Baratti