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Hadrian’s Villa

Architect: Collective

Location: Tivoli, Italy.

Date: Around 120

Building Type: Villa

Architecture Styles: Classical

Architectural Time Period: 0-700s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Rural

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

The Hadrian’s Villa  is a large Roman archaeological complex at Tivoli, Italy.The villa was constructed at Tibur (modern-day Tivoli) as a retreat from Rome for Roman Emperor Hadrian during the second and third decades of the 2nd century AD. Hadrian was said to dislike the palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome, leading to the construction of the retreat. During the later years of his reign, he actually governed the empire from the villa. A large court therefore lived there permanently. The postal service kept it in contact with Rome 18 miles (29 km) away.

After Hadrian, the villa was used by his various successors. During the decline of the Roman Empire the villa fell into disuse and was partially ruined. In the 16th century Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este had much of the marble and statues in Hadrian’s villa removed to decorate his own Villa d’Este located nearby.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Structure & Architecture, Joints

 

Structure & Architecture

Hadrian’s villa was a complex of over 30 buildings, covering an area of at least 1 square kilometre (c. 250 acres) of which much is still unexcavated. The villa was the greatest Roman example of an Alexandrian garden, recreating a sacred landscape. The complex included palaces, several thermae, theater, temples, libraries, state rooms and quarters for courtiers, praetorians and slaves.

The entrance to the main complex

The Poecile

The Villa shows echoes of many different architectural orders, mostly Greek and Egyptian. Hadrian, a very well travelled emperor, borrowed these designs, such as the caryatids by the Canopus, along with the statues beside them depicting the Egyptian dwarf and fertility god, Bes. A Greek so called “Maritime Theatre” exhibits classical ionic style, whereas the domes of the main buildings as well as the corinthian arches of the Canopus and Serapeum show clear Roman architecture.

The Maritime Theatre, It consists of a round portico with a barrel vault supported by pillars. Inside the portico was a ring-shaped pool with a central island. During the ancient times the island was connected to the portico by two drawbridges. On the island sits a small Roman house complete with an atrium, a library, a triclinium and small baths. The area was probably used by the emperor as a retreat from the busy life at the court.

One of the most striking and best preserved parts of the Villa are a pool and an artificial grotto which were named Canopus and Serapeum, respectively. Canopus was an Egyptian city where a temple (Serapeum) was dedicated to the god Serapis. However, the architecture is Greek influenced (typical in Roman architecture of the High and Late Empire) as seen in the Corinthian columns and the copies of famous Greek statues that surround the pool.

The Canopus

 

Joints

I discovered three joints in the villa as the extension during different time period.

The first joint is the Martitime Theatre as discussed before, it connects the courtyard of the library and the hall of the philosophers. The courtyard of the library and the hall of the philosophers have two different axial orientation, being a circular geometry itself, Martitime Theatre acting as a joint to adjust the two different circulation and orientations in a smart way. It is a good example of using the nature of geometry as architecture solution.

The second joint deals with the same problem as the first one, but with a different typology, the joint itself is a set of turning space.

The third joint behaviors different with the previous two, it is a directly joint without any buffering area

 

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