Villa d’Este-2012.07.25

Posted: July 25, 2012 in 1500s, 7.25, Architecture & Place-Making, Bearing Masonry, Renaissance, Rural, Tivoli, Villa
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Villa d’Este

Architect: Collective

Location: Tivoli, Italy.

Date: 1550-1572

Building Type: Villa

Architecture Styles: Renaissance

Architectural Time Period: 1500s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Rural

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

The Villa d’Este is a villa in Tivoli, near Rome, Italy. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is a fine example of Renaissance architecture and the Italian Renaissance garden. The whole complex contains a villa and garden. The villa itself is surrounded on three sides by a sixteenth-century courtyard sited on the former Benedictine cloister. The fountain on a side wall, framed within a Doric, contains a sculpture of a sleeping nymph in a grotto guarded by d’Este heraldic eagles, with a bas-relief framed in apple boughs that links the villa to the Garden of the Hesperides.

The central main entrance leads to the Appartamento Vecchio (“Old Apartment”) made for Ippolito d’Este, with its vaulted ceilings frescoed in secular allegories by Livio Agresti and his students, centered on the grand Sala, with its spectacular view down the main axis of the gardens, which fall away in a series of terraces. To the left and right are suites of rooms, that on the left containing Cardinal Ippolito’s’s library and his bedchamber with the chapel beyond, and the private stairs to the lower apartment, the Appartamento Nobile, which gives directly onto Pirro Ligorio’s Gran Loggia straddling the gravelled terrace with a triumphal arch motif.

The corridor of the villa with the fascinating openings

Garden

The garden plan is laid out on a central axis with subsidiary cross-axes, refreshed by some five hundred jets in fountains, pools and water troughs. The water is supplied by the Aniene, which is partly diverted through the town, a distance of a kilometer, and by the Rivellese spring, which supplies a cistern under the villa’s courtyard. The garden is now part of the Grandi Giardini Italiani.

The Villa’s uppermost terrace ends in a balustraded balcony at the left end, with a sweeping view over the plain below. Symmetrical double flights of stairs flanking the central axis lead to the next garden terrace, with the Grotto of Diana, richly decorated with frescoes and pebble mosaic to one side and the central Fontana del Bicchierone (“Fountain of the Great Cup”) loosely attributed to Bernini, where water issues from a seemingly natural rock into a scrolling shell-like cup.
Ramping system leading the circulation up and down to next level
Here are some fountains in the garden:
The fountain of Neptune
The Fontana dell’Ovato (“Oval Fountain”) cascades from its egg-shaped basin into a pool set against a rustic nymphaeum.
The Hundred Fountains

To descend to the next level, there are stairs at either end — the elaborate fountain complex called the Rometta (“the little Rome”) is at the far left — to view the full length of the Hundred Fountains on the next level, where the water jets fill the long rustic trough, and Pirro Ligorio’s Fontana dell’Ovato ends the cross-vista. A visitor may walk behind the water through the rusticated arcade of the concave nymphaeum, which is peopled by marble nymphas by Giambattista della Porta. Above the nymphaeum, the sculpture of Pegasus recalls to the visitor the fountain of Hippocrene on Parnassus, haunt of the Muses. This terrace is united to the next by the central Fountain of the Dragons, dominating the central perspective of the gardens, erected for a visit in 1572 of Pope Gregory XIII whose coat-of-arms features a dragon. Central stairs lead down a wooded slope to three rectangular fishponds set on the cross-axis at the lowest point of the gardens, terminated at the right by the water organ and Fountain of Neptune.

The plant functions not only the green Eco-fridenly features in the garden, but also the definer of circulation, they are trimmed neatly.

Section diagram

Sketch for a staircase

 

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