The house where the young Arieto (Harry) Bertoia spent his chidhood is located in San Lorenzo d’Arzene, via Blata 12, province of Pordenone, northern Italy, a small village of about 400 inhabitants.
In its current form it was built at the end of the 18th century, most probably on 17th century foundations.
Like most old dwellings in the village the walls are made of cobblestone, and the building is part of a houses row which extend all along the road. The North-facing front offered to the road has three rows of windows, marking the three levels (day living, sleeping, granary). Access inside is through a large double door, which in the old days was used to carry huge cartloads of hay inside the yard. The front, constantly exposed to the sun, faces a large yard, at the end of which lies a barn with a stable, which certainly was of inspiration for Harry Bertoia when designing his own barn in Barto, PA. In 2008, following the Harry Bertoia exhibition, the shutters of the house and some structural items have been painted “Bertoia Red” to mark a connection between the simple childhood in San Lorenzo and the successful career as a mid-century modern designer in the States. This makes the building stand out from all others in the row.
The house, which is privately owned, has been miraculously preserved from any “improvement”, and thus remains a unique time capsule witness to the ambient where Arieto (Harry) Bertoia spent his early life, amidst the nature, his forms, his sounds, which were so decisive for his spiritual and artistic development.
For this, and for the possibility always granted to us to organize all our events in this extraordinary place, we are extremely grateful to the owners.