Monday, December 6, 2010

Design theory: Palladio, Late Renaissance: Universal grammar

• Palladian architecture began in the early 1500s and is a European style of architecture derived from the designs of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580).
• Andrea Palladio was a late renaissance architect who was the last great architect to derive contemporary buildings from ancient architecture.
• Palladio created carefully proportioned, symmetric buildings that became models for private homes and government buildings in Europe and America.
• Famous for his grand, orderly look.
• In 1570 he published his masterwork Four Books on Architecture where Palladio suggests that the lengths of a room should be the harmonic or geometric mean of the height and width of that room.
• Palladio used principles that related to art and forms that related to nature to generate his architecture.
• He is known as a Renaissance master and the most influential and most copied architect in the Western world.

Palladio’s principles:
Grid definition
Exterior wall realignment
Room layout
Interior wall realignment principal entrances‐porticos and exterior
Wall inflections exterior ornamentation‐ columns
Windows and doors

One of his most famous is Villa Capra, also known as the Rotunda, was modeled after the Roman Pantheon. Villa Capra is a completely symmetrical building with a square plan and four facades. The name Rotunda refers to the villa's circle with an intersection of a square with a cross.

External view of Villa Capra

Floor plan of Villa Capra

The stages

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