Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Classics… Palladio

Designers are all led by different things. Some by color…


Kristen and Lindsey Buckingham’s Living Room.

Some are led by inspiration…

Some are led by their customer’s wishes… (sometimes not so good)…

and some are led by ARCHITECTURE and SPACE….

I’m a big fan of Palladian architecture, which is derived from the famous Italian architect Andrea Palladio. Palladian normally refers to the style inspired by Palladio, which takes the form of strong symmetry and elements based on classical temple architecture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

Andrea Palladio (1508-1580)

Luckily for us, Palladio was a writer and recorded all of his architectural ideas in his carefully crafted writings.

Here in the United States, we have Monticello, which Thomas Jefferson modeled after buildings by Palladio. And some of America's most important buildings, such as the White House and the U.S. Capitol, were influenced by Palladio's architectural ideas and writings.

Some of the elements of Palladio’s designs included;

  • Symmetrical Floor Plans. Palladio was a big believer in harmony and proportion. He liked an equal balance of rooms to each side of an entrance hall. Many Georgian and Neoclassical homes incorporate this element.

  • Columns. Different column types - Corinthian, Ionic, and Doric—were used to support roofs, frame archways, and divide interior spaces. Palladio's European villas inspired the columned porches you see on Greek Revival and Neoclassical houses.

  • Pediments. A pediment is a low-pitched triangular gable on the front of some buildings in the Greek Revival style of architecture. Often, you will see the pediment above interior doors in classic architecture, but it is also used over windows and porticos.

This dining room entrance features a broken pediment.

  • Porticos. A portico is a porch that leads to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, with a roof structure over a walkway, supported by columns or enclosed by walls. The White House in Washington, D.C., has a North portico, shown below, and a South portico, which is rounded. Porticos can be found on homes of many different architectural designs.


North Portico of the White House.

  • Rounded Arches. Palladio used arched doorways, windows, and wall niches to incorporate classical design into his work. Today, this feature is especially used in Spanish and Mediterranean style homes.

  • Palladian Windows. Although Palladio did not invent the arched shape window, this element was named after him because of his extensive use of it and his writings on the subject.

There are many good books on Palladian Architecture if you want to read more…

Palladio by Guido Beltramini and Howard Burns

Learning From Palladio by Branko Mitrovic (Author)


Tobi Fairley said...

Wow!I am a big fan of Palladian architecture too! This is an absolutely Beautiful post!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 4th photo with the spring green fabrics!! Thanks also for including me in your favorite blog sites! The feeling is mutual!

DesignTies said...

What a lovely post - and for the lession on Palladio/palladian. I wonder if the word "palatial" is also derived from this architect and his grand style? Perhaps not... but it works!
Victoria @ DesignTies

Haven and Home said...

I LOVE that bedroom with the beams and frames above the bed. I love this architecture too, I really think I am going to get the book. Thanks for sharing this style with us.

alice said...

The symmetry and balance makes for such calming spaces... I especially love the Kitchen with the arched window... stunning!

LindsB said...

I love this style, thanks for introducing me to this book, it is beautiful! I love the 5th picture from the bottom, the ceilings, fireplace, windows, furniture...everything about this room is stunning!

Serendipity said...

I love the high wooden arches in one of the pictures. And the lovely Fire Place in another.
I will definetly check out the book too!


Cote de Texas said...

What a beautiful and informative post - I love to learn something while blogging!!!! thanks!

dfwm said...
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dfwm said...
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columnist said...

I'm a great fan of Palladio, and obviously the Corinthian column. It's such a coincidence that I just redecorated a bedroom with architectural prints above the headboard, and have more to install later on this week, when I have a full deck of patience; (it's a very time consuming activity)!

dfwm said...

Rebecca - thanks. I'm columnist too, (I have two blogs), and for some reason my comments on yours were being left under my dfwm blog, (which I mustn't have signed out of). Anyway, I managed to delete two of my three messages under the dfwm name, but not one of them. Sorry about the confusion. Love the blog, as I noted under "columnist"!

Things That Inspire said...

I absolutely loved this post. I am a big fan of symmetry, and really love a home that has a sense of symmetry inside. There are so many aspects of Palladian style that I love, but also aspects that I hate (columns - can't stand them). If I were to ever build a home, though, I guarantee that I would be pulling up this post and having a chat with my architect about what Palladian principles to incorporate!