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The Design Space of Schematic Palladian Plans for Two Villa Topologies

By T. Seebohm and D. Chan


Given the plan topology for the layout of the rooms of a Palladian villa, we ask what is the design space of possible Palladian plans. What does this space look like in terms of dimensions and proportions? Two plan topologies are examined to throw some light on this question. One is that of the Villa Angarano while the other is that of the Villa Badoer. A Maple program was written for each topology to solve the equations for room proportions, to cycle through the possible proportional spacing of the underlying Tartan grid, and to plot out the possible plans in the design space. The programs eliminate from the design space those alternatives that violate basic Palladian constraints, such as no room having an aspect ration greater than 2:1, and such additional constraints that we and other authors have found. A selection of the plotted output of plans in the design space for each topology is presented as well as threedimensional plots showing the number of plan alternatives in different regions of the critical parameter space, namely, the length and aspect ratio of the plan. We believe that this is the first instance of enumerated Palladian plans which goes beyond topology to examine issues of dimension and proportion. One conclusion is that one cannot scale a Palladian plan topology to fit any set of overall dimensions

Topics: Design Space, Palladio, Plans, Rule-Based Generation, Villa
Year: 2001
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