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La Rotonda Essay

1171 words - 5 pages

La Rotonda

One of the great architects in time was Andrea Palladio, who was made famous for his magnificent Villas built in Italy in the fifteen hundreds. To do so he drew from the Greek and Roman’s architecture, studying many of their finest works, to create his masterful villas. This process would develop into a style of architecture, which became known as Palladianism. This style has inspired buildings which have dominated the landscape for the last four hundred years. These buildings include: English castles, American public buildings, Swiss railroad stations, Spanish libraries, Tuscan villas and Canadian hotels. Many of these buildings are considered to be the great buildings of the world.

Andrea Palladio was born in 1508A.D. in Italy. At a very young age he became a stone mason, however his journey into architecture began when he met Gian Giorgio Trissino who immediately saw ability in him and decided to mentor Palladio. Trissino combined a study of classical architecture with architecture of the time, all the while allowing Palladio room to develop a style of his own. In time Palladio was constructing villas through out the country side of Italy, in all he constructed 30 villas, 18 of which are still standing today. Perhaps Palladio’s most famous work was the Villa Rotondra or La Rotondra which was started around 1565 and took approximately 4 years to build and was greatly inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. It is interesting to note that la Rotondra is different from Palladio’s other villas in a number of ways, and it is evident that these differences help distinguish it from the rest. The main differences between Palladio’s Rotondra and his other work are, The Rotonda is set on a hilltop, it is located near a town, and it has no utility building to speak of. Palladio believed this setup to for the Rotonda as possibly his finest setup due to the emphasis of its surroundings. That is what set it apart from Palladio's other villas; however, what distinguishes la Rotonda from all other building is its delicate balance of form and function.

Architecture is often mistaken as purely an art form, when in actually it is where art and engineering or art and practicality meet. For example, painting is an art, when preformed well it yields a beautiful picture that evokes a deep human reaction and brings pleasure to its viewer, however this painting provides no function, it cannot shield us from the rain or protect us from the wind or snow, it is purely form. An insulated aluminum shed provides shelter and protection from Mother Nature; however, it is a purely functional building, it was drawn by an engineer, not conceived by an artist to have form. The culmination of form and function is Architecture, the Greeks and Romans fathered this idea and Palladio’s study of roman architecture taught him his valuable truth.

As a good Architect Palladio first looks at function, the structure is a building it mush have four sturdy walls...

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