Thursday, March 17, 2011

Vizcaya: the entrance loggia

Enough teasing, lets get to the good stuff; the interiors of Vizcaya!
Right off the entry drive are 3 arches, lined with blue curtains, that make up the entry. If you'll remember, Chafin selected these blue curtains with yellow trim as they fit in with the Venetian fantasy he was concocting and they also provided practical shelter from the wind and rain.
The house was essentially split into two interior portions with outdoor hallways and vestibules connecting them. In the 1980s, the central courtyard and loggias were enclosed for preservation, altering the way the house is experienced but preserving it for future generations of budding house tourists!
I'm not sure if the iron gates are original or not -does anyone know? John Singer Sargent, who I'll speak about at greater length in another post, was particularly enamored with these double columns and bemoaned the use of these curtains which seperated the interior 2 columns from the exterior.
A closeup of the local coral stone -just gorgeous. I love the way green moss grows in the crevices, so pretty against the pink coloring.
Right inside the front door, hiding the view of the courtyard, is a large screen and fountain -not only providing privacy but leaving as a surprise the expansive openness of the house. Don't give it all away at once, right, just like mom said!
The entrance loggia (as this western loggia is known) has a plaster groin vaulted ceiling and patterned marble floor. I love the 3d effect of the floor pattern.
To the left of the entry is the more formal 'foyer' with adjoining cloak rooms and reception room while to the right are the more utilitarian spaces such as a flower arranging room and service quarters.
These 2 doorways with beautifully carved overdoors and antique salvaged doors were the real 'front doors' of the house, leading one into the interiors. Join me tomorrow as I begin the tour with the entry hall!


The Devoted. Classicist said...

It would be hard to single out just one element as being the most fabulous, but that loggia floor is amazing! I am glad there are some people in the photos so your readers get an idea of the grand scale.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Classicist, you're right! Completely unintentional but it shows that the space is TALL.

Woody said...

Though haunted by blue and gold (high school colors), the effect here is remarkable. Those lit statues set in the marble are really gorgeous, too. I love that there's always something new to gape at--Vizcaya is the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks for sharing!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Just plain gorgeous. Endlessly amazed at the talents involved in this place.

As one who experienced Vizcaya before the courtyard was covered (I'll try to remember to send you a photograph I took years ago of the courtyard from one of the tower bedrooms), the glass canopy is just the worst thing ever. It was certainly possible to do things that were less invasive, and probably less expensive to maintain climate control--in fact current thinking about such things has come around to a less rigid approach to climate control. Many cynical souls think the only reason for the enclosure is the lucrative events money that can be brought in. Harumph. I hate to be the complaining voice, but that canopy does it to me everytime I'm reminded of it. It was nothing more than a very bad idea that caught the fancy of those in charge of the decisions.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

DED -do send a scan of the photo if you can find it!
Yes, i've heard from most people they only keep the canopy because the space can be used year round for events. As we all know though, thats the lifeblood of many house museums and, to my mind, is a small price to pay. I think if they got a (princely) donation it could be replaced with something much more fitting and less obstrusive but I'm sure financial worries are constantly on their mind with the continued upkeep as well as restoration of areas on the property. So, i wished I had experienced it without the canopy but understand its existence.
Your comment isn't complaining at all -I'm glad it was voiced as you are in the majority there.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Woody -they were my school colors as well! Go vikings! haha

Mark D. Ruffner said...

I visited Vizcaya about 10 years ago (I hope you show the Neoclassic bathroom!), and your tour makes me want to go back again. 10 years ago I didn't have a digital camera, and it would be worth another trip just to document all the details.

Fauxology said...

I grew up in Miami near Vizcaya and we would go there on field trips and family outings. It feels like I grew up there (that could be wishful thinking...!). I visit about once every few years now. I love Vizcaya and look forward to more!

Anonymous said...

The gates ARE original (they're actually made of bronze and not iron); the glass, however, is not. That was added on when the building was converted to a climated controlled environment. The entire house, loggias, courtyard, etc. was all open at one time in order to catch the sea breezes and help cool the house. Hope this helps. :)