50 Buildings/Architects You Should Know

Credit: Wikipedia Andrea Palladio
Credit: 50 Architects You Should Know - Kuhl

Andrea Palladio

Palladio’s career reads like a rags-to-riches story: a miller’s son from Padua, married, in accordance with his social status, to the daughter of a carpenter.  He became one of the most sought-after architects of the wealthy.  More than 60 villas, churches, and city mansions were built to his designs.  And he not only immortalized himself in stone, but also left behind a series of widely influential writings.

This week at Hammond Design Group, we are focusing on Andrea Palladio.   Andrea di Pietro was a skilled stonemason during his mid-20s in 1521. During this time, he took on an apprenticeship with a writer and aristocrat Giangiorgio Trissino.   Giangiorgio recognized his talent and bestowed the name Palladio on his protégé. Palladio would then follow classical principles of buildings over the next four decades in throughout Europe.

During the 16th century, Palladio was commissioned by a client, Paolo Almerico. The project that Palladio completed for his client was a circular hall surmounted by a cupola that forms the center of the building, later known as Villa Rotonda.   The Villa Rotonda is one of his most famous buildings and is most copied. The name of this most iconic villa comes from the circular domed hall located exactly at the center of the villa.

This respected architect is creator of what we now call “Palladianism”.  Palladio’s buildings and architectural writings were to remain highly influential over the centuries.  In the 17th century the celebrated architect Inigo Jones imported the teachings of his Italian role model into England, and in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Germany many architects were also inspired by Palladio’s design.  

The wave of Palladianism even swept over North American shores; in the late 18th century, a number of private houses and public buildings in the United States were built on the model of his country villas.  The American president Thomas Jefferson, notably, planned his countryseat, Monticello in Virginia, closely following the style of Palladio’s Rotunda.