Year of Palladio

The University of Virginia

Jeffersonís belief that government should provide sophisticated models of architecture to inspire the public was carried forward into his design for the University of Virginia, the crowning achievement of his architectural endeavors. Jefferson held that architectural literacy was an essential ingredient of higher education and therefore students needed to be exposed to correct examples of the classical orders. This was difficult in early 19th-century Virginia. Except for Jeffersonís Virginia capitol, buildings displaying the correct use of classical orders were practically non-existent. Jefferson was intent on supplying an ample display of the use of classical orders with his designs for the universityís numerous components. The layout of Jeffersonís ìAcademical Villageî is one of worldís most ingenious collegiate complexes, a design which owes a heavy debt to Palladio. The focal point of the scheme, the Rotunda, is a reduced version of the Pantheon in Rome, the great domed structure which Jefferson knew from Palladioís illustrations in The Four Books. Stretching out before the Rotunda are ten ìpavilionsî, housing classrooms and faculty quarters. Each of the pavilions displays a different version of a classical order, five of which are derived from Book One of The Four Books. The include Palladioís ideal Corinthian on Pavilion III, his Ionic, on Pavilion V, and Palladioís Doric on Pavilion VII. It was Jeffersonís belief that university students should become acquainted with classical architecture through actual examples rather than through published illustrations. Many other details of the university complex, such as the colonnades fronting the student rooms, were also based on Palladian designs.

Figure 47
Figure 47
Figure 48
Figure 48
Figure 49
Figure 49
Figure 50
Figure 50
Figure 51
Figure 51
Figure 52
Figure 52
Figure 53
Figure 53

The Virginia State Capitol | The University of Virginia | Jeffersonian Palladian

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