What's Palladian?

Palladian Illustration

"Palladian" is less a strict style than an approach, but certain architectural features stand out as hallmarks of the Italian master. When visiting buildings that Palladio designed or influenced, look for: 

Strict symmetry of the facade and of the interior plan, with an orderly progression of spaces

Prominent central pavilion ­(often pyramid- or hip-roofed) with a pedimented portico one or two tiers high, or a round-arched loggia like the one shown above

Flanking wings Some wings are on a straight axis as shown here. Others take the form of curving arms, as in the watercolor of ­Drayton Hall. Both types usually terminate in pavilions

Use of classical forms in porticos, columns, and other features

Predominance of walls over windows, doors, and other openings

Emphasis on the piano nobile, a main living level raised above the ground floor and accentuated on the facade


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