Year of Palladio


Fortunately, the Palladian spirit in American architecture has achieved its own renaissance in recent decades, particularly among the numerous architects affiliated with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America. Palladioís spirit was kept alive during the modernist-dominated last half of the 20th century through the untiring efforts of Henry Hope Reed, with his founding of Classical America, later to be merged with the Institute of Classical Architecture to become the ICA&CA. It would unfair to the many talented new classicists to single out specific contemporary names or works as representatives of those practicing effectively in the Palladian mode. The ICA&CA illustrated their mastery best in its beautiful record of achievement: A Decade of Art and Architecture 1992-2002.

It may be questionable to end this discussion with an illustration of one of the most mundane of all modern structures, a parking deck. Yet the parking deck is an essential, if not a premier building type of current times (Figure 104). Out of respect for all the other contemporary practitioners of the classical style, the architect and location of this building will be kept anonymous. Itís presented here only as a demonstration that such a workaday structure as this can be instilled with the Palladian spirit. In so doing, it can become a literate work of traditional architecture and be a respectable ornament of the city or countryside. Certainly not every building should be so treated, but itís refreshing to have instances when itís done well. Even here, we have Palladio to thank for giving us a standard to emulate.

Palladio, born 500 years ago, has enriched our surroundings and continues to do so. His life is indeed cause for celebration.

Figure 104
(Figure 104)
Figure 105
(Figure 105)

The Palladian Arch | ICA&CA | Selected References

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