VILLA ROTONDA 1
VILLA ROTONDA 2
Welcome to this great review of probably one of the greatest word architectural designs. Initially I had embarked on a research, as required for a particular building where I was supposed to collect material information about the building and do this article. My building of choice is villa La Rotonda, also known as Villa Almarico Capra and it is located at Vicenza in Italy. The name Capra came after Capra brothers who finished the building alongside other Palladian workers after it was given to them. (Notice that Palladian is an architectural design).This is a renaissance villa, which was designed by architect Andrea Palladio. This Villa, which the architectural design is Palladian, was officially started off in the year 1566, as you may notice some 500 years ago. Initially it was the residence of priest Paolo Almerico (he was the owner and he is the one who contacted its building, which he planned to be his retirement home from his priestly duties in Vatican). It was to later be occupied by popes Pio IV and V. it is also worth noting that this Villa was the most famous of all Palladian architectural structures (Parissien 1994).
This structure is actually located on a hilltop some distance from Vicenza city. Unlike other Palladian Villas, it is located outside the city in what in the modern times would be termed as city outskirts since it was not made for workers in the city but for personal residence. The building is symmetrical four-sided structure with each side having a “portico”. The entire building is in a circular like structure, which is more of imaginary that real. As the name La Ratonda denotes, the building has some circular hall at its center. To enter the central hall, one has to pass through any of the “portico” (portico here means faces and so the house has four faces) since each has some corridor like structured entrance. This building was designed with great mathematical precision and it reflects humanistic values of renaissance. For instance, to ensure that all the rooms of the building have access to sufficient sunlight, the house is at an angle of 45 degrees on each side of the four cardinal points of the earth. It can also be said of as a square house due to many of its structures inside which are square house (Harris, Centre canadien d’architecture, Carnegie Museum of Art & Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain), (1994).
By design, the interior of the house was meant to be more beautiful and for this matter, it has different painting styles at each of the four important sides. For instance, piano Nobile, which is one of the rooms also called the holy room (since it has religious nature) there are sophisticated paintings. The west room contains the paintings of the life of the owner, Paolo Almerico, including portrayal of the qualities he cherished during his lifetime. However, the highest point in both stature and perception is its circular structure at the center, which is surrounded by a balcony and has a dome shape at the top. The dome shape towers high and it opens to the sun, from each side face of the house one can take in the wonderful landscape of the house (Harris, Centre canadien d’architecture, Carnegie Museum of Art & Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain), (1994).
The designers of this villa intended it to be in harmony with it outside environs and this explains why from any of the portico, sprawling and wonderful landscapes can be seen. It is interesting to note that while the building appears symmetrical in all aspects, it is actually not because it has, on all sides, some strategic deviations, which are meant to tally with the entire topography and landscape of the house. The landscape is a combination of trees, woods and grass with the city of Vicenza appearing from the horizon. Currently, the building has been designated as one of the world heritage centers. People are allowed to it on Wednesdays and Saturdays apart from exceptional seasons when the Villa cannot be accessed (Paoletti & Radke, 1997).
This building embodies the work of a committed architecture who was not only interested in the building but also the impact of it to the rest of the world. The choice of the site, the building design all, which perfectly complement each other show the commitment of the architecture who intended the building to be more than just a residence (Paoletti & Radke, 1997). It was a feel-good place where one could relax; probably this is one of the greatest architectural designs in the globe considering that 500 years on it is still a hit in the construction circles. The building also has some religious connotation- considering that the initial commissioner of the villa was a retired priest who wanted it to be his retirement home. Indeed one of the rooms has religious designs (the paintings and ceiling finishing designs), instructively, the room is called holy or religious room. It is also important to note that this building did not need axial buildings around it to pattern it up with the environment. The design itself commands and resonates with the environment in a very great manner (Paoletti & Radke, 1997).
Parissien, S. (1994). Palladian style, London: Phaidon Press
Harris, J., Centre canadien d’architecture, Carnegie Museum of Art., & Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain). (1994). The Palladian revival: Lord Burlington, his villa and garden at Chiswick. New Haven: Published in association with Yale University Press
Paoletti, J. T., & Radke, G. M. (1997). Art in Renaissance Italy, New York: H.N. Abrams