Thursday, March 29, 2007

Villa Emo: Veneto, Italy

The Villa Emo was constructed in 1559 for Leonardo Emo in the later part of Palladio's career. The villa functioned as an active agricultural establishment and Palladio's design responds to the practical need for agricultural accommodations in the two arcaded wings that extend off of the main building. While Palladio consistently uses the iconographic "Greek Temple front" in all of his projects, the Villa Emo demonstrates Palladio's ability and willingness to reconsider traditional orders as he recesses the typically protruding Greek Temple front into the building mass. The strong visual elements of the pediment and columns on the front facade combined with the extension of the wings create a hierarchy within the design that clearly places emphasis on the domestic center of the villa. The Villa maintains an overall simplicity with clean lines of axis and symmetry, and clear mathematical proportions (in both plan and elevation) which are expressed in the simplest Doric order--notice even the windows are without casings and cornices. The simplistic and unadorned nature of the design is quite appropriate given the rustic context and agricultural purposes of the Villa.
Sarah Wade

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