First and Foremost: Palladio

First and Foremost: Palladio


I do not really think you can have a blog about architecture without mentioning Palladio. In fact, I would go around insisting that this be the case but I (unfortunately) have too many other items on my plate right now. Nonetheless. It’s important.

Sure, if you ask the average Joe on the street about architecture the names Michelangelo and possibly even Bernini will cross their lips before that of Palladio. It’s a shame because Palladio was probably one of the greatest influences on the architectural style of America.

He worked in and around Venice during the Renaissance, but it was his travels to Rome that changed architectural history. He studied the Roman architecture and ruins intensely, sketching out every minute detail and brought those influences and ideas back to incorporate into his designs.

This strong Roman style was revived and embraced by Thomas Jefferson when he wanted a new architectural language for the new country he was helping to plan, the United States of America. In fact, the arched window pictured to the left is called a Palladian window, not an arched window, or an eyebrow window, or even a Venetian arch. Sure, Palladio didn’t invent it, but he is responsible for bringing it to everyone’s attention. He pushed the architectural envelope with it a little further in his designs and laid the groundwork for future designers to tweak it as well. Without Palladio and his influence, none that came after him would have succeeded.

So, nope. No blog about architecture would be complete without paying tribute to Palladio. Pick out a book, any book, text or coffee table, on Palladio and get to learning.