Year of Palladio

The Three-Part House

The center potion of Palladioís illustration of a Roman villa consists of a three-part structure with a two-story center section and one-story wings _. If we separate this section from its connecting lower wings, we see a design that parallels another design in Morrisís work: Plate 37, an elevation for a tripartite dwelling _(Figure 42). This design provided the inspiration for the William Finnie House (formerly known as the Semple House) in Williamsburg, an architecturally dignified wooden dwelling characterized, like the Morris design, by its two-story pedimented center section and one-story wings _. The William Finnie House, completed ca. 1780, served as a prototype for scores of three-part dwellings scattered throughout the Southern Piedmont, and into the Midwest. These three-part houses have come to be described as ìPiedmont Palladian.î Versions of the form range from articulate examples such as Oak Lawn in Charlottesville, to stripped-down, countrified expressions _(Figure 44). Except for Jefferson, and indeed some of the workmen who learned the classical language while working on his projects, itís likely that few owners or builders of these houses had much awareness of Palladio. Nonetheless, Palladio is ultimately responsible for the genesis of this American house form.

Figure 41
Figure 41
Figure 42
Figure 42
Figure 43
Figure 43
Figure 44
Figure 44

The Seven-Part House | The Three-Part House | The Virginia State Capitol

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