Monday, June 9, 2008

Villa Rotunda

Villa Rotunda, formally called Villa Almerico-Capra is a Renaissance villa just outside Vicenza in northern Italy and was designed by Andrea Palladio starting in 1566-1571 for the canon Paolo Almerico as his retirement home. Its intensely symetrical facade AND plan is focused on the center of a large hill outside of Vicenza - a sort of suburban mansion instead of the usual palacial country farmhouses Palladio is known for. Smartly, the house is oriented 45 degrees to the south -so all 4 facades receive direct daylight! The house, because of it's siting, is meant to take in the views from the hilltop and in Palladio's own words, he wrote in his book Quatro Libri del'Architectura:
"The place is nicely situated and one of the loveliest and most charming that one could hope to find; for it lies on the slopes of a hill, which is very easy to reach. The loveliest hills are arranged around it, which afford a view into an immense theatre. . .; because one takes pleasure in the beautiful view on all four sides, loggias were built on all four facades."
2 pictures inside the domed center

One of my favorite 'treasures' is a cookie jar (yes, you read that right) in creamware of the villa rotunda. You'll never know my excitement when I found this at...of all places....TJMAXX - here it is in its glory- one of my prized posessions!

the home has a lot of beautiful statuary

Palladio went on to become one of the most influential architects of all time, and Villa Rotunda in particular went on to be the basis of many building copies over time; most famously a host of english country homes such as Chiswick House, Mereworth castle and Henbury Hall and many others. Chiswick House
Mereworth Castle
Read more about Villa Rotunda, its history and significance online at Wikipedia, the official Palladian architecture SITE, Ville Inews and great buildings online.


An Aesthete's Lament said...

I love Mereworth Castle -- and almost did a Villa Rotunda post two weeks ago! Mereworth is an astonishing house, once owned by Michael Tree (a son of Nancy Lancaster) and his wife, the former Lady Anne Cavendish (a daughter of the 10th Duke of Devonshire).

An Aesthete's Lament said...

And "Casino Royale" (1967) was also partially filmed at Mereworth.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

You always have the most fascinating information, AAL! I love Casino Royale, I didn't even think of mentioning it!

Topsy Turvy said...

Such perfect buildings ...


ArchitectDesign™ said...

I think it really is, Lana!