Tuesday, May 6, 2014

5: Comparative Contrast: The Experience of Palatial Architecture Viewed from Afar

Certain facades are meant to communicate different things. Country homes and palaces, a very common thing to study from the B/R era, are meant to be beheld from afar, and to be approached. As such, one of the most powerful tools to accentuate the size and grandeur of the palace is contrast between light and shadow, creating complication within the main monotonous form and a dialogue with the natural elements and with the ground.

This is sometimes accomplished by overhanging porches, roof extensions, or columns, which interrupt the dominant horizontal features in key places, and from afar are well suited to way finding (as well as being comfortable).

It is also sometimes accomplished by material accentuation and rustication, where formal accentuation would not do (such as Germany and England). Larger and less well cut stones were often arrayed in palaces in such a way that they created the desired lines from afar but not up close.

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