Year of Palladio

The Seven-Part House

Along with James Gibbs, the British architect, Robert Morris produced a pattern book of designs in the Palladian mode. This work, titled Rural Architecture (1750), also found an audience in America _. In Plate 3, Morris presents a design for a seven-sectioned farmhouse _(Figure 38). With its two-story center section with lower wings and hyphens attached to dependencies, the scheme echoes Palladioís illustration in Book Two of The Four Books (Chapter XVI) _. This shows an elevation of Palladioís interpretation of an ancient Roman villa, also a seven-part composition. The Morris design provided the basis for the layout of at least two colonial Virginia houses, Tazewell Hall, and Brandon. Tazewell Hall, a wood-frame house, was severely altered in the 19th century and later moved from its original site in Williamsburg _(Figure 40). Brandon, on the James River, survives intact as a faithful colonial-period translation of the Morris design and ultimately of Palladioís perception of a Roman villa. Interestingly, no house in Britain based on Morrisís seven-part scheme has been identified.

Figure 37
Figure 37
Figure 38
Figure 38
Figure 39
Figure 39
Figure 40
Figure 40

The Five-Part House | The Seven-Part House | The Three-Part House

Download PDF | Back to Index | Back to Essays