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Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, Italy and Villa Rotunda

The art and science of designing buildings and structures is termed as Architecture, which is a Greek work with a meaning of a master builder. The macro-level of municipal designing, town development, and countryside architecture, to the micro-level of producing a range of furniture can be included in the broader description of the architecture. Both feasibility and builder’s cost are usually addressed in an architectural design, and the function and aesthetics of a user is considered an importance factor in its planning.

Volume, light, shadow, texture, and space are often manipulated during the planned architecture, and Sometimes, pleasing aesthetics are achieved by abstracting different and diverse elements artistically. Many architectural works has been represented as a cultural and political symbol in today’s world. The Pantheon on top of the Acropolis in Greece, the Colosseum in Italy, Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli, and Taj Mahal at Agra in India are some of the many architectural designs and structures that represent the architectural history of their age.

The architectural history begins with the needs aroused, such as security, shelter, worship, etc, and means, which were available at that time, for example, skilled persons, building materials, machineries, etc. An architectural expertise was evolved through the oral civilizations and practices of human beings, in order to progress and improve their knowledge to compete in this world. In many ancient civilizations, the architecture was deemed as a reflection of connectivity with the divine power and supernatural command.

However, the power of the state or the ruler was represented by the complex and beautiful architectural designs and structures at that time. As the civilizations changed, traditions and customs evolved, people developed themselves and transformed themselves into urban form, hence, the architectural field progressed, and a need to divide it was felt. In order to understand the architectural importance and influence in the society, we will try to understand and discuss the Italian Architecture from its different perspectives and buildings that were built by the different emperors of that time.

When we talk about the Italian Architecture, one can say that it owns a distinctive mixture of divinity, uniqueness, and power that were gained by the kings and rulers of that era. One of the many examples of this renowned architecture era is the Villa Rotonda at Vicenza, Villa Emo, Osborne House, etc. , which are the true examples of the fine Italian Architecture. In order to understand the Italian Architecture, we will comprehend the structural and historical significance of the two Italian buildings, that is, Hadrian’s Villa, and Villa Rotonda in the Italy.

We will try to compare and contrast these two historical buildings, relating to the architects that built these buildings. Its design, the period, and the historical context will also be considered during this study. We will also try to analyze the ideas and concepts that are underlying these buildings. Illustration of any historical precedent that might have influenced their design will also be explained during the study.

We will try to discuss the building elements and materials that were during their construction, and different modes of technology that were required by the architects in that century will also be considered in a detailed section of this study. In the early second century, there was an emperor Hadrian, who built a large Roman villa, which was called as Villa Hadriana of that time. Accordingly, now it is know as Hadrian’s Villa. This villa is one of the finest architectural and structural designs that have been built by the emperors in beautiful cities of Italy.

An area of at least 100 hectares or 250 acres has been covered by a sumptuous complex of over 30 buildings. Excluding this area, unexcavated area of 300 more hectares is also considered the part of this villa. In this regard, a place for the World Heritage Site has been given by the UNESCO. At the time of the Emperor Hadrian’s life, this villa is considered as his preferable residency, whenever he was found to be in the Rome. There are several reasons of choosing an imperial palace outside Rome, rather than going for several other palaces that have been built by him and other emperors.

Some miserable relations with the senate and the local Roman aristocracy were the primary cause of this influence for an imperial palace outside the city. Accordingly, the imperial residence was the Villa Hadriana. The ancient Tibur, which is now known as Tivoli has this villa built, and which is 28 kilometers away from the Rome. Two minor tributaries are surrounding this villa, which has been built on a hillside. It was built in such a way that a person can reach the villa by land or by boat very easily, via Tiburtina and via Aniene respectively.

The travertine quarries, ample supplies of tufa, and unlimited lime was another significant reason of choosing this location of the villa, as these materials were used in the production of cement. The site was also very abundant in the water resources. Therefore, baths were also built inside the villa, which needed vast amounts of water. A traditionally structured villa can be seen in the central part of this palace. A garden with an elongated fountain was included in this villa.

Two buildings were also built by the emperor, which were known as Latin library and Greek library. The main residential part of the palace included a large courtyard and a unique building having Doric columns in them. Portico and richly adorned rooms were built inside another grand court, which was known as Golden Court, as it was having very rich finds in it. A series of underground roads, storage facilities, passages, and slave quarters have also been built much below the surface of this villa.

In order to run such a huge complex, most of the infrastructure was tucked away neatly, which as another uniqueness of this villa. However, even from the above findings and observations of the architects, it is still very hard to create the appearance of the villa, that it used to be at the time of the Emperor Hadrian, as all the upper parts of the various buildings have been loss during years and wars occurred in the region. Another uniqueness of the Villa Hadriana is its collection of rich monuments, which were brought from various parts of the Roman empire of that time.

The display of this rich collection was a symbol of culture and learnedness among wealthy Roman Emperors of that time, especially the emperors, who ruled in the first and second century BCE. Some influences can be found from the two buildings of Marcus Tullius Cicero; Academia and Lyceum, which were famous for their philosophical education in the ancient Greece. Similarly, an area called Syracusa was found to be in the residence of Augustus, which also played an influential part in the various buildings that were built in the Hadrian’s Villa.

There are some associations of this Hadrian’s villa with some ideas, which were taken by the previous emperors of that time. However, it is not possible to identify every association due to the dispersion of the artistic elements of the original villa that were built by the emperor. A famous monument in the ancient Athens was ‘Stoa Poikile’ that was painted colonnade, and therefore, the ‘Poikile’ of the Hadrian’s villa has been associated with this Greek monument.

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