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Example research essay topic: Fa Ade Thomas Jefferson - 1,998 words

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Villa Emo In 1539 Leonardo Emo di Advice inherited a portion of the family property in Fanzolo in Northern Italy from his uncle, a Venetian patrician. The land was acquired as part of an extensive effort by the Venetian nobility to develop the terra firma for agricultural use. Leonardo was seven years old at the time so it was not until around 1559 that he engaged Andrea Palladio to design a new residential complex for the estate. Villa Emo was built on a plain and was surrounded by cultivated fields. As instructed Palladio designed an agriculturally functional estate.

Palladio emphasized about the usefulness of the layout in his villas. Here Palladio points out that the grain stores and work areas of the villa are accommodated both to the left and right of the mansion house in the center, and could be reached under cover (sheltered from the sun and rain), which was particularly important. The mansion, which is raised above ground level, attains a commanding majesty in its simple forms. The shadowy arch arrangements support a rhythm, which leads from the outermost boundaries of the farming wings towards the mansion, and receives its greatest intensification there.

So the farming wings and the mansion form homogeneous unity. The columbaria (receding dove-cotes), which flank the farm wings form a vertical counter stress to the mansion and give the grounds a self-contained appearance. It was also necessary for the Villa Emo s size to correspond to the returns obtained by good management. The building unusually long side wings is a visible symbol of their prosperity.

The outer appearance of the Villa Emo is marked by a simple treatment of the entire body of the building, whose structure is determined by a geometrical rhythm. The function of the mansion can already be recognized in that it is raised above ground level, as are all of Palladio s other villas. A wide flight of steps leads up to the loggia; the temple front, a column portico crowned by a gable. The temple front alludes to both the villa and the ideal of holy agriculture and to the dignity of the owner. The loggia is recessed into the fa ade of the mansion as opposed to standing out on it s own. The columns are of the extremely plain Tuscan order.

The windows as well are plain and lack cornices. The rear of the Villa Emo also is of great simplicity. Palladio relied solely upon proportion and the placing of windows for effect. Palladio s methods of harmonizing buildings organically with their physical surroundings borrow from rural traditions and local farm customs. The massive south-facing entry ramp in front, for example, serves as a threshing floor, where grain may be spread in the sun to dry. Beyond vernacular methods of achieving harmony by integrating building with the natural landscape, harmony appears mathematically in the villas dimensions.

These golden means suggest that Palladio employed mathematical proportions through a consistent application of geometric techniques. It implies the elevation, plan, central block to the individual windows and doors were all mathematically composed. Chiswick House Lord Burlington s villa at Chiswick (near London England) was built between 1725 and 1729. Lord Burlington (1694 - 1753) was the owner and architect of the house. His grand father had bought the land in 1682 with an existing Jacobean house on the property.

A fire largely destroyed the house in 1720, giving Lord Burlington a reason to build a new one. He built the Chiswick House adjacent to the Jacobean (which he wanted to preserve for ordinary daily life) structure joining the two houses. Lord Burlington, also known as Richard Boyle, 3 rd Earl of Burlington and 4 th Earl of Cork played a central role in the promotion of Palladian architecture in early eighteenth century England. Indeed, his reverence of the architecture of antiquity has resonance today, for Burlington s self-appointed role as arbiter of the nation s taste helped establish the enduring belief in the superiority of the classical design. Architecture however was only one of Burlington s many interests.

He was well versed in landscape garden design, painting, sculpting, and music. His cultural activities make him a sort of renaissance man of the arts. Little is still known about Burlington personally despite his various contributions. Lord Burlington did design his villa as one simply to be lived in. It was to be the showcase of his collection of paintings and furniture, and it was also to serve as his library. He continued to live in the west wing of the Jacobean house, which was all that was remaining of it after the fire.

He designed a building linking the Jacobean house to the Chiswick House. It is believed by many that Lord Burlington would wander over into the Chiswick House when entertaining guests to show off his wonderful collection. Lord Burlington built his home in the style of the sixteenth-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio. The Chiswick House was the first Palladian-style building since those of Inigo Jones and John Webb in the seventeenth century giving the house a significant architectural importance. Lord Burlington was a major patron in Augustan London, and an arbiter of artistic taste. The clear and unadorned classical lines of Chiswick House reflect the reaction against the more ornate Baroque that dominated the post-fire construction in London.

It served as a model for like-mined members of the English aristocracy. In plan the Chiswick House is essentially a square box and is symmetrical. Its emphasis is towards the interior. It is essentially a two-story building. There is however two tiny rooms over the closets flanking the main entrance, under the back of the portico roof. There is only one portico, clearly differentiating the main, entrance, front form the others and it stands on almost level ground.

The portico has six Corinthian columns over a rusticated ground floor. The portico is flanked with two large complex systems of stairs which lead up to it, all make clear its function of providing and formalizing access to the interior from without, rather than drawing the visitor s gaze from the landscape within. In the portico the balustrade rail is cut up into discontinuous sections, it is very broad with rich mouldings; stand out against the fluted shafts with an extraordinary neatness. The portico itself is staccato. It is important that the front fa ade be evident as there is entrance from all four sides of the house.

Two suits of apartments surround a central octagonal dome. The Dome sits on top of the central octagonal hall, which is the saloon. Directly under the dome on each of the four facades are three Venetian windows. Surrounding the hallway are four staircases, three of them spiral, which lead down to the basement and the small rooms upstairs. Towards the back is Burlington s library, which connects to his Jacobean house. The walls of Chiswick are inert planes, of readily perceptible shape and limits, interrupted by the windows with or without architraves, at carefully determined locations.

There are eight chimneys ranged along the sidewalls. These chimneys also give further evidence of the distinction of the front and back of the building. There are two parallel, flanking, ground story walls coming of the side of the balcony in the front and back of the building. These walls form small courts on the sides of the villa. The windows in the front are topped with an ornamental triangular pediment again showing the dynamics of the front fa ade.

The window pediments also line up on angle with the triangular pediment portico. Monticello Thomas Jefferson inherited sizable property in Albemarle County, Virginia, from his father, Peter Jefferson. In May 1768, the twenty-five year old Thomas Jefferson began to level the already gentle top of a 987 -foot-high mountain, where he intended to build his home. He called it Monticello, which means little mountain in Old Italian. Jefferson started construction in 1769. The construction was an ongoing process as Jefferson continued to add on and redesign more rooms over the years.

In 1770 Jefferson moved into the completed south pavilion. In 1772 the dining room (north wing) was the first completed part of the house and made habitable. In 1984 the house was mostly completed. In 1796 demolition of the upper story and construction based on a new design begun. In 1801 - 3 the north and south terraces and dependencies built. In 1806 the north pavilion goes under construction.

In 1808 the north pavilion is finished and the south pavilion is remodeled. Jefferson was a self-taught architect. He took liking to the works of Italian architect Andrea Palladio. The frontier was a mountaintop, but in design it was a Renaissance villa, a far cry from the other American homes of its day. Jefferson called Monticello his essays in architecture. It seems this meant because Monticello wasn t finished for forty years, Jefferson kept revising and adding new parts.

Jefferson designed each room with individually and with specific intent. Each room was inspired by one of Palladio s villas. In different rooms he used different orders. For example, in the cabinet the Tuscan order was used but in the dining room the Doric order was used. Jefferson s original plan called for a two-story villa, to be placed in the center of U-shaped terraces spanning 250 feet of a leveled mountaintop.

By 1784 just prior to the first Monticello s completion Jefferson was sent to Paris as an American Minister. By the time he resigned from Washington s cabinet in 1793 he had already resumed plans to rebuild the house in its present form. He had been fascinated by the new architecture of Louis XVI s Paris and used many French ideas (namely Ideas from Palladio) in his second scheme. In this version Monticello was double in scale, and the dome, which Jefferson called his Sky Room, was added.

Although the house appears surprisingly small, the hidden second story has six bedrooms, and three more are tucked into the third story in a space otherwise dominated by the dome. Since one of Monticello s unusual features is the recessed service area beneath the house, and the terraces on either side (where the kitchen, food, and wine storage space, laundry dairy, smoke room and stables were housed) Jefferson was able to play rather freely with the design of the living spaces above. Jefferson never regarded his house as having one specific front fa ade. He referred to them as the east front and west front. Today the east front is used. Each front has a single wide staircase leading up to the loggia, which has 4 columns and is topped by a gable and pediment.

The West front has two columns behind the outside two front columns. The overall plan is a long central rectangle flanked by two squares. Jefferson, a big fan of the octagonal shape uses the shape to form the rooms. Analysis Palladio was the forefather to Burlington and Jefferson, however they were each unique in their time and place. Palladio s work was based on his own thoughts; he designed the Villa Emo but could have only designed it for the Emo family. His work takes on its surroundings, his buildings adapt to those surroundings.

Burlington used Palladio s idea of the Rotunda as a base plate. Like Palladio he incorporated his design in the surroundings, attaching the Jacobean to the Chiswick House almost as if they were made to together but yet keeping them separate elements. Jefferson was influenced more by Palladio than anyone else and his work showed it too. Jefferson however was different; he designed something against anything that was like it in the country. Palladio s influence is clear but has also altered his home to the surrounding area. Burlington and Jefferson built these houses for themselves, whereas Palladio did not.

However Palladio s influence was so enormous that Jefferson and Burlington incorporated his ideas into their own homes.


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Research essay sample on Fa Ade Thomas Jefferson

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