Villa Features



Villa Cornaro, Piombino Dese, Italy

Villa Cornaro, Piombino Dese, Italy Enlarge image

Villa Cornaro, Piombino Dese, Italy
Andrea Palladio, 1553
RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Designs for Marble Hill, Twickenham, London

Designs for Marble Hill, Twickenham, London Enlarge image

Designs for Marble Hill, Twickenham, London
Lord Herbert & Roger Morris, 1724-29
RIBA Library Drawings Collection 

The plan of a Palladian villa follows closely Palladio’s ideas on harmony, symmetry and proportion. Plans are almost always symmetrical and include rooms with specific proportions such as 1:1, 2:3 or 4:5.

Palladio would typically produce quite a compact plan, often based around a central hall flanked by staircases, such as here at the Villa Cornaro in Piombino Dese.

Lord Herbert used the plan for the Villa Cornaro as a key source for his arrangement of Marble Hill, which includes a cubic saloon on the first floor or piano nobile. The Villa Emo at Fanzolo is another building by Palladio which was often used by eighteenth-century British architects as a model.

For larger structures such as country houses, eighteenth-century British architects looked to some of Palladio’s more extensive villa projects which included farm outbuildings that were often connected to the main house by colonnades. Models used included the unbuilt Villa Mocenigo on the Brenta, and the Villa Trissino at Meledo.

For more on plans see Palladian interiors.