Palladian architecture is a style that emerged from the works of Andrea Palladio who was a Renaissance-era architect. Palladio was influenced by the architecture of ancient Rome, emphasizing Renaissance Architecture, and the principles of classical antiquity. Like Le Corbusier’s Corbusian and Antoni Gaudi’s Gaudiesque style, Andrea Palladio influenced generations with unique ideas and displaying its own identity with a new style which is called ‘Palladian’. 

Palladian Architecture represents the essence of proportion, symmetry, and cultural studies encompass the style and era’s identity.

Andrea Palladio and his inspirations for Palladian Architecture

The evaluation of an architectural style demands time, effort, and influence. According to this, Andrea Palladio was inspired by Roman and Greek architecture, primarily by Vitruvius. For this reason, one architectural style provides not only itself; it also shows the inspired styles. 

Palladio made a profound influence on other styles as well and his published book ‘The Four Books of Architecture’ became a beneficial source for architects. Palladian Architecture consists of symmetry, proportion, and unique interpretation of the classical orders. Also, other styles are affected by Palladian architecture; Inigo Jones brought his ideas to Jacobean England by adding new features, and contemporary French practice Anglo-Palladianism arose. For this reason, Palladio’s style eventually creates a mutual cultural relationship with architectural styles.

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Andrea Palladio _©vam.ac.uk

Palladian Architecture and Architectural Features

Palladian architecture is characterized by classical forms, symmetry, proportion, and austere exterior of the buildings. However, the interior of the building has decorative ornamentations and creates an opulent environment. Moreover, like architectural features, Palladian Window, Temple front, soft furnishing, accessories such as chandeliers are used in Palladian style. 

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A corner of the Basilica Palladiana, Vicenza, with Palladian windows_©wikiwand.com

Andrea Palladio outlined the architectural elements with unique style borrowing from ancient Roman architecture and principles by Vitruvius and Leon Battista Alberti. The buildings are inspired nowadays also by using digital techniques. For instance, Paul O’Leary McCann set a program of coding to generate Palladian-inspired facades. The program adjusts itself with the screen and creates facades ranging in scale from a one-story building to a multi-level building. The digital architectural representation demonstrates the impact of historical architectural styles through the years and creating a bridge between the past and the future.

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Palladian Architecture Facade Generator by Paul O’Leary McCann _©archdaily.com

Cultural Studies of Palladian Style

Villa Capra La Rotonda is a Neoclassical villa outside Vicenza designed by Andrea Palladio. The villa has a square plan with a 45-degree rotation, and its four corners are facing the four cardinal points to mitigate sun exposure and wind. Also, the term La Rotonda came from the central circular hall with its dome. The central circular hall is accessible to all sides of the building and creates symmetry. 

According to Palladio’s own architectural rules, rooms are proportioned with mathematical precision as well. For this reason, the villa provides a beneficial example to understand the rules of Palladio.

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Villa Capra by Andrea Palladio _©archdaily.com
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Villa Capra by Andrea Palladio _©thecultureconcept.com

Although the exterior of the building has its limits with proportions and plain symmetry, the interior of the building juxtaposes outside with decorations and ornamentations. The designs of Palladio’s villas are called ‘palazzo’ which means Palace because of the ornamentations and Fresco style. In addition to interior frescoed landscapes, they are framed by white columns with real windows looking towards the landscape. 

Palladio creates significant solutions to the interior of the building; living rooms could be changed with seasons and, the bedroom could move to the coolest side of the house.

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Villa Capra by Andrea Palladio Interior_©decorativeartstrust.org
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Villa Capra la Rotonda _©archeyes.com

Buildings Inspired from Palladian Architecture

Although Palladian Architecture is an ancient term, the emphasis on the current era is widely ascendant. Architect garden designer William Kent designed an English landscape garden with a Palladian bridge, inspired by the Palladian style, especially the interpretation of Inigo Jones. The design includes rectilinear patterns, sculpture, and unnatural shaping of trees. The Palladian bridge has pediments, and symmetry with proportional columns. 

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Stowe Park Palladian bridge_©commons.wikimedia.org

Palladian Architecture is inspiring also for the American public architecture with the transformation of a state architecture of monumental proportions. In the United States, the Palladian style is commonly used. For instance, the White House in Washington reflects the influence of Palladio by honoring the 500th anniversary of Palladio’s birth as his influence on American architecture and cultural heritage in 2010. 

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The White House Washington _©vizts.com

In conclusion, historical architectural styles are significant to understand the history of architecture with the relationship with other styles, and it has a huge impact on nowadays architectural practice to maintain architectural and cultural heritage.

References

  1. Waldron, E., 2021. Design History: Palladian Architecture – evewaldron. [online] Evewaldron.com. Available at: <https://evewaldron.com/blogs/news/design-history-palladian-architecture> [Accessed 7 June 2021].
  2. Architecture.com. 2021. Palladianism: an architectural style guide. [online] Available at: <https://www.architecture.com/knowledge-and-resources/knowledge-landing-page/palladianism> [Accessed 7 June 2021].
  3. Shen, Y., 2021. 8 Architects Whose Names Became Architectural Styles. [online] ArchDaily. Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/887670/8-architects-whose-names-became-architectural-styles?ad_medium=gallery> [Accessed 10 June 2021].
  4. ArchDaily. 2021. Explore Endless Palladian-Inspired Facades Using This Random Generator. [online] Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/872229/explore-endless-palladian-inspired-facades-using-this-random-generator> [Accessed 10 June 2021].
Author

Betül Özlem Yılmaz is a 4th year interior architecture student and passionate researcher for different topics which is related to architecture and design. She is interested in reading, writing and conceptualizing the projects for creating unique perspective. Her aim is to combine different disciplines in her writings.

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