The City of Venice, Italy
Venetian architecture comes from Venice, a city in northeastern Italy composed of 118 small islands separated by canals and connected by a series of bridges . Venice was named for the ancient Venetian people who inhabited this region in the 10th century BC. The city itself was founded between the 5th and 6th century by rich inmates from the mainland who fled the barbarian invasions.
History of Venetian Design
Venice was the cradle of unique architectural styles due to the need to build houses over the many canals. The buildings were placed on closely spaced wooden stacks made from the trunks of alders. Venetian architecture was influenced by the Gothic style with Byzantine and Ottoman influences. Among the most famous Venetian architects, Baldassarre Longhena designed many Baroque churches in the seventeenth century and Carlo Scarpa, a twentieth century architect who created many landscapes, gardens and buildings not only in Italy but around the world.
Venetian architecture is lighter and more graceful than the heavier constructions of other European cities. Every inch of land was considered valuable, so the architects never added more weight or size than needed to support the building. The most famous design element of Venetian design is the Gothic lancet bow, where the top of the bow is large and pointed, like a spear. Another design used in the 14th and 15th centuries is a central hall, called a portego, which is a long passage usually open with a loggia with Gothic arches.
Colors that Support Style
Venetian colors were mainly rich colors such as dark reds, smothered yellows and bright blues. Many colors were muted in tone and during the Renaissance, they were generally softened to reproduce normal colors. Of course, you can not talk about Venetian style without mentioning Venetian plaster. The plaster was mixed with marble dust and applied in thin multiple layers, then polished on a smooth surface. This gives the illusion of depth and texture. Venetian plaster can also be left unpolished leaving a matte finish that is rough and resembling stone.
Venetian Design Elements
Venetian style has also been used to create beautiful interiors. In fact, some of the best examples of rich and extravagant rococo designs have been found in Venice. Draperies and curtains were made from materials such as damask, velvet and silk. Other elements found in the Venetian houses were gilded mirrors, colorful Murano glass chandeliers and precious stones, polished terrazzo floors, arches with broken pediments on windows and doors, porcelain figurines and oriental rugs.
Examples of Venetian Architecture
In order to explore the world of Venetian architecture, we will examine some historical examples.
Doge's Palace – This structure was built in 810 in the Venetian Gothic style, was rebuilt and partially rebuilt a number of times. It is now a museum and is a landmark of Venice.
Ca 'Ora (Golden House) – Also known as Palazzo Santa Sofia, it got its original name from gilded and polychrome decorations on the exterior walls. The architects were a team of father and son – Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon, who have worked at the Doge's Palace.
From My Heart
My dream is to travel and learn about culture, history and design. I hope someday to visit the romantic city of Venice, Italy ; to see the things that I write, know the culture and warmth of his people. I would like to travel through the tiny canals in a gondola while looking at its beauty, architecture and arts.
Copyright 2012 Katy Hahn Designs
This article may be reprinted with the following conditions: Must be reprinted in its entirety without any changes, the author information in the article must be included and all embedded links must be active.