Summer Studio in Classical Architecture 2017 | Week Four

Follow the ICAA’s Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program, from June 19th through July 15th, as students from across the country spend four weeks in New York City and the surrounding region exploring the ideas, methods, and issues related to classical architectural design.

July 15, by Tatiana Amundsen: On Saturday, we arrived at the ICAA library to find rows of chairs facing our final projects, which we had pinned to the wall the previous evening. We were also greeted by the familiar faces of many of our instructors and mentors, who had come to see and review our work.

A panel of professionals evaluates the Summer Studio major projects

A panel of professionals evaluates the Summer Studio major projects

We presented our final project, a theoretical pavilion in Prospect Park, in groups of three. We explained our approach to the design and discussed everything from eliminating lines to the purpose of a gate. After presenting, the students were awarded certificates, invited in as official ICAA student members, and given a copy of “The Classicist”.

ICAA President Peter Lyden presents students with their awards

ICAA President Peter Lyden presents students with their awards

Following the award presentation, we went upstairs for lunch at the Coffee House, where we were able to say our last goodbyes to the other students, professors, and mentors.

The Summer Studio students in front of their major projects

The Summer Studio students in front of their major projects

July 14, by Ximena Vidales: It has been four weeks since we began the Summer Studio, and it’s hard to believe that the final day is upon us.

We spent our last day working in the studio, finalizing all the details for our major projects. After laying out our designs, we had to go back and create line weights to ensure that our drawings could be read from a distance.

Students finalize their major projects in the studio

Students finalize their major projects in the studio

At the end of the evening we pinned our designs to the wall for the final review. It was truly inspiring to see all the new skills we have learned being incorporated into our projects.

A student makes adjustments to their final design

A student makes adjustments to their final design

A student’s final design for a theoretical pavilion in Prospect Park

A student’s final design for a theoretical pavilion in Prospect Park

A student works on his final design for the Summer Studio

A student works on his final design for the Summer Studio

July 13, by William Portales: On Thursday we had our final lecture of the program, an inspiring presentation by Andrew B. Cogar, President of the architecture and planning firm Historical Concepts. His firm designs everything from small houses to town master plans, and it was fascinating to hear how the elements of classical design can be scaled up and applied to the context of town planning schemes.

Students work on their final designs for the Summer Studio

Students work on their final designs for the Summer Studio

The afternoon was spent diving headlong into our final designs and preparing drawings for review on Saturday. We are designing a theoretical pavilion in Prospect Park and it has been a great opportunity to put all the skills we have learned over the past four weeks into practice.

 A student’s work in progress

A student’s work in progress

Interior designer Bunny Williams gives students a tour of her practice

Interior designer Bunny Williams gives students a tour of her practice

July 12. By Reed Thompson: On Wednesday morning we visited the offices of Bunny Williams Inc., our final firm visit of the Summer Studio. Here, interior designer Bunny Williams walked us through the key aspects of her practice and spoke of the how interiors are an integral part of holistic architectural design. She taught us the importance of good spatial sensibilities and why the space one is working in needs to be considered before any discussion of colors or materials can take place. Sketching, she added, is also a great teaching tool for designers, as drawing helps us to absorb information and embed in our minds what our eyes see.

Students work on their final projects in class

Students work on their final projects in class

The afternoon was spent setting up our presentation drawings for the final design project. We have now composed our designs – elevations, plans, and sections – for the final boards that we will be presenting. It is amazing to see the variety of design schemes that everybody has been working on as we put into practice what we have learned over the past few weeks.

A student’s final drawing composition in progress

A student’s final drawing composition in progress

July 11, by Patrick Vercio: Tuesday morning began with our final class of the Summer Studio, led by Kalinda Gathinji, who taught us about tectonics and how this affects building design.

Students compare their measured drawings of the Battery Park City Pavilion

Students compare their measured drawings of the Battery Park City Pavilion

Following this lesson, we traveled to Battery Park where we did a measured drawing of the Battery Park City Pavilion, designed by Demetri Porphyrios. The pavilion’s design leaves the structural elements exposed and portrays the transition from primitive architecture towards a classical order.

The Battery Park City Pavilion, designed by Demetri Porphyrios (Source: Wikipedia)

The Battery Park City Pavilion, designed by Demetri Porphyrios (Source: Wikipedia)

After lunch we continued working on our final projects in the studio. Everybody spent time finalizing details and making last minute adjustments on trace paper, before we begin drafting on velum. We are all excited to see each other’s final compositions at the conclusion of the studio.

Architectural historian Calder Loth gives a lecture in the ICAA's cast hall

Architectural historian Calder Loth gives a lecture in the ICAA’s Cast Hall

July 10, by Molly Kase: Monday morning was spent in the ICAA’s Cast Hall, an inspiring space that contains the ICAA’s historic plaster cast collection. Here, architectural historian Calder Loth gave a lecture on the wide range of literature that has chronicled the advancement of classical architecture throughout history. We then had the opportunity to go to the ICAA’s library and find examples of many of these works.

After lunch, we met at The Morgan Library and Museum, where we were split into two groups. One group went to look at some of the books from Calder Loth’s Lecture in the library archives, while the other did a measured drawing of the library’s rotunda.

Students at The Morgan Library and Museum

Students at The Morgan Library and Museum

Following dinner, we returned to the ICAA for a lecture by Gregory Hoss on the firm David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc., where he is Principal and President, as well as their design process. The rest of the night was spent working on our final projects, getting them ready to begin our finished drawings.

 

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Summer Studio in Classical Architecture 2017 | Week Three

Follow the ICAA’s Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program, from June 19th through July 15th, as students from across the country spend four weeks in New York City and the surrounding region exploring the ideas, methods, and issues related to classical architectural design.

July 8, by Michael Alexander: Today we took a field trip to two houses in the Hudson River Valley: the home of architect Peter Pennoyer and interior designer Katie Ridder, as well as the home of architect Gil Schafer III.

Students explore the grounds of Peter Pennoyer's and Katie Ridder’s house

Students explore the grounds of Peter Pennoyer’s and Katie Ridder’s house

Architect Peter Pennoyer walks students through the house

Architect Peter Pennoyer walks students through the house

Although both houses were recently built, they fit seamlessly into the countryside and felt as though they had been there for years. It was amazing to see the different styles that we have been learning about in our classes put to use in construction, and to see how they made the spaces feel. It was inspiring to look at every detail within the houses and realize the amount of thought and care that goes into the simplest aspects of a building.

Architect Gil Schafer III's house in the Hudson Valley

Architect Gil Schafer III’s house in the Hudson Valley

 Students sketch on the grounds of architect Gil Schafer III's house

Students sketch on the grounds of architect Gil Schafer III’s house

July 7, by Marylu Bartolon Puac: On Friday morning, we picked up where we had left off the day before, working on the art of wash rendering. The watercolor paper we had stretched on Thursday was ready for us to start applying the techniques we had learned. David Genther, our instructor, reviewed every step of the process before we applied it to the drawing and by the end of the class we all had finished our wash rendered drawings.

Instructor David Genther’s introductory wash rendering session

Instructor David Genther’s introductory wash rendering session

Students work on their wash rendering techniques in class

Students work on their wash rendering techniques in class

In the evening, we went to visit the firm of Ferguson & Shamamian Architects. There we were welcomed by Mark Ferguson, who explained to us the many aspects of how their residential practice was run. Then Stephen T. Chrisman, a senior associate, showed us the different studio spaces at the firm and walked us through the one of their current projects.

Students visit Ferguson & Shamamian Architects

Students visit Ferguson & Shamamian Architects

July 6, by Mary Leihy: On Thursday morning we continued to work on our final designs in the studio with instructors Michael Mesko, Keaton Bloom, and Mark Santrach. In the afternoon, David Genther introduced us to the art of wash rendering, where we learned the proper technique for coloring our paper with ink and water. We were also taught us how to stretch watercolor paper and how to think about light and shade when rendering a drawing.

Students practice their wash rendering technique in class

Students practice their wash rendering technique in class

The evening led us to a reception with our mentors where we exchanged business cards and good conversation over food. There was also a raffle, where one of our classmates, Isabella Benedetti, was lucky enough to win Ben Pentreath’s book English Houses: Inspirational Interiors from City Apartments to Country Manor Houses.

Students and mentors at the evening reception in the ICAA’s Cast Hall

Students and mentors at the evening reception in the ICAA’s Cast Hall

July 5, by Margaret Jones: After having Tuesday off for the Fourth of July, we dove right back into our busy and exciting routine, beginning with a field study at Columbia University. For this study, we did a measured drawing of the ionic columns featured in the front façade of the Low Memorial Library. This study allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of scale and proportion and to analyze the elements of design that were implemented by our great predecessors, McKim, Mead & White, inside and outside of the beautiful library.

The front facade of the Low Memorial Library

The front facade of the Low Memorial Library

We finished our morning at Columbia by visiting the archives at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library where we had the opportunity to view some original drawings and renderings by several notable architects. These were great precedents to see before we headed back to the studio to work on our final projects for the rest of the afternoon.

Students look at original work in the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Students look at original work in the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

We ended the day with a lecture by The University of Notre Dame’s Professor Duncan Stroik. His talk used architectural masterpieces from the Renaissance to disprove the basic principles of architectural design. This was truly fascinating and showed us that it is possible to be creative and innovative while still maintaining the integrity of classical architecture.

Students work on their drawings during class

Students work on their drawings during class

July 3, by Madeline Petty: Monday morning began in the studio, where we finalized our coverage of the Corinthian Order, before proceeding with a lesson on external and internal doorways and corners. After looking at a slideshow with many great Classical examples of doorways and arches, we drew the parts of both according to Vignola.

Students work on their drawings during class

Students utilize a variety of drawing tools to work on their final projects

In the afternoon, we continued to work on our final design that is due at the end of the program, a theoretical pavilion in Prospect Park. The class has goals to establish the plan and elevation at a 1/8″ scale. The evening included open studio, which was a great opportunity to make progress and gain perspectives through our peers, books, and TAs.

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Summer Studio in Classical Architecture 2017 | Week Two

Follow the ICAA’s Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program, from June 19th through July 15th, as students from across the country spend four weeks in New York City and the surrounding region exploring the ideas, methods, and issues related to classical architectural design.

July 1, by Isabella DeBenedetti: Saturday’s class was led by Stephen Chrisman and Michael Mesko, who discussed how plans, sections, and elevations make up an architectural drawing. During our discussion, we looked at wonderful precedents from architects like Quinlan Terry, and George Saumarez Smith, and we noted that when we study precedents and complete measured drawing exercises, certain nuances within architecture are often revealed to us.

Summer Studio students sketch on location at the Manhattan Municipal Building

Summer Studio students sketch on location at the Manhattan Municipal Building

This discussion was followed by an exciting field study trip to Manhattan’s Municipal Building, by McKim, Mead & White, where we analyzed and compared the building’s triumphal arch and arcade to notable examples from antiquity. The practice of drawing in the field and analyzing drawings gave us a greater sense of how architects can use and manipulate certain elements in new and complex ways to masterfully solve problems of design.

View of the Manhattan Municipal Building

View of the Manhattan Municipal Building

June 30, by Holly Templeton: Friday’s classes were entirely dedicated to hand drafting. We explored the fundamental graphic conventions of orthographic drawings, which we used to continue work on our final project, a theoretical pavilion in Prospect Park.

Work by Summer Studio student Holly Templeton

Work by Summer Studio student Holly Templeton

We became familiar with the appropriate tools of hand drafting, including rotary lead pointers, set squares, and french curves, and were able to continue our practice using vellum. We paid special attention to the construction lines of the building, building contours, string courses, ground planes, and cut lines. The focus of the day was to understand how to create varying line weights in our drawings and how to identify their function in existing plans.

We also had some time to explore the literature of draftsmanship, and looked at several unique draftsmen, such as Joseph Hornecker.

June 29, by Daniel Glasgow: Thursday was another exciting and informative day for the ICAA Summer Studio. The day began with another lesson on the elements of classical design, with the focus being the Corinthian Order, followed by rigorous drawing exercises.

Students tour the offices of Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Students tour the offices of Robert A.M. Stern Architects

In the afternoon we had the privilege of visiting the offices of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, where we were hospitably greeted with a presentation about the firm and their work. The large firm is highly accomplished with international and local projects of all scales, so it was a treat to be able to see some of their up and coming projects.

The Summer Studio group stands in front of the statue of Diana at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Summer Studio group stands in front of the statue of Diana at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

After a delightful lunch in Central Park, we walked over to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we were able to see and see and sketch excellent works by McKim, Mead and White.

Students study how to depict light and shadows on objects

Students study how to depict light and shadows on objects

June 28, by Christian Johnson: We began the day with learning about the basics of how light and shadow appear on and around objects. We started with a basic sphere before progressing to more complicated forms like a cast, and egg and dart motifs.

Later, we continued developing our final projects, a theoretical pavilion in Prospect Park, before heading out to visit the offices of Peter Pennoyer Architects. We were taken on a tour of their beautiful office and studio spaces, and shown some of their in-progress and finished projects. Among the projects was a virtual reality headset that enabled us to fully visualize a space, as though we were standing in it.

Students tour the offices of Peter Pennoyer Architects

Students tour the offices of Peter Pennoyer Architects

To finish the day we attended the ICAA Plinth Summer party in Brooklyn, an event that attracts lots of young professionals and and ICAA members. It was a great way to make connections and see what young architects are doing in the city.

Students work on their drawings during class

Students work on their drawings during class

June 27, by Chas Winebrenner: Tuesday began with a continuation of our lessons on the elements of classical design, with today’s focus being the Ionic Order. In the afternoon, we enjoyed a second lesson from geometer Rachel Fletcher, who led the class in hand drafting the Golden Ratio, square root of 2 squares, and square root of 3 rectangles. She also shared her knowledge of how these proportionate systems are adapted in classical architecture, such as Rome’s Pantheon and Jefferson’s Rotunda at the University of Virginia.

Students work on hand drafting the Golden Ratio

Students work on hand drafting the Golden Ratio

We ended the day with a lecture by Jim Taylor, from Peter Pennoyer Architects, who shared with us some of the residential projects he has worked on, as well as how his firm operates on a daily basis. He also discussed the process of taking projects from design to construction, and how his firm oversees this development, while also adapting to new technologies.

Students work on their drawings during their morning class

Students work on their drawings during their morning class

June 26, by Anthony Vercio: After our first weekend in New York City, we returned to class recharged and refreshed. Our morning lesson was on proportions, taught by geometer Rachel Fletcher, who showed us how different ratios can create amazing geometric shapes and patterns, and help us frame space more beautifully. Alongside the many diagrams she had us draw, she also taught us about the symbolism that these shapes and numbers convey.

Geometer Rachel Fletcher gives students a lesson on the principles of proportion

Geometer Rachel Fletcher gives students a lesson on the principles of proportion

In the afternoon, we switched our focus to composition. Michael Mesko, Stephen Chrisman, and three teacher’s assistants proctored our esquisse, the first sketch of what will become our final presentation and the culmination of this studio.

It was a little daunting at first, but after two hours, we had all pinned our sketches to the board. As we presented our ideas to the class, most of us were astonished by the impressive array of designs that we would not have been able to do even a week ago. Seeing this much progress in just one week, we look forward to the next three weeks of the studio.

Students visiting the offices of Roman and Williams

Students visiting the offices of Roman and Williams

The final stop for the day was a tour of the offices of Roman and Williams, where we got a glimpse of the practical applications of what we are learning.

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Summer Studio in Classical Architecture 2017 | Week One

Follow the ICAA’s Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program, from June 19th through July 15th, as students from across the country spend four weeks in New York City and the surrounding region exploring the ideas, methods, and issues related to classical architectural design.

June 19, by Analis Ramos: The rainy weather could not stop us from having a marvelous first day at the ICAA’s Summer Studio. We kicked off the morning with a warm welcome from the faculty followed by student introductions, where we learned more about our respective backgrounds and styles.

After lunch we dove right into the program, kicking off our studio with a lesson on the columnar orders, followed by our first exercise of measuring ratios and the parts of columns.

Students work on their drawings during the afternoon class

Students work on their drawings during the afternoon class

We finished the evening with a thrilling lecture by Russell Windham, a founding partner of Curtis & Windham Architects and ICAA Board Chairman, on the book: A Vision of Place: The Work of Curtis & Windham Architects. We could not have asked for a better start to what will undoubtedly be an incredible summer!

ICAA Board Chairman Russell Windham lecturing on A Vision of Place: The Work of Curtis & Windham Architects

ICAA Board Chairman Russell Windham lecturing on A Vision of Place: The Work of Curtis & Windham Architects

June 20, by Analis Ramos: Tuesday we hit the ground running with a lesson on the elements of the Tuscan order, the entablature, pediment, and temple front. We then had hands-on experience practicing how to proportionally draw these elements.

Students learn how to make measured drawings of balusters

Students learn how to make measured drawings of balusters

Later in the day, we took a trip to the ICAA’s Cast Hall where we split into small groups to practice our analytical and measured drawing skills, using balustrades as our focus.

Students measure balusters in the ICAA’s Cast Hall

Students measure balusters in the ICAA’s Cast Hall

We capped the day off with an informative lecture from Richard Economakis, the Director of Architecture and Urbanism for the University of Notre Dame’s Graduate program. He spoke to us about different architects’ approaches to the proportions of the orders and introduced us to the esquisse, a design problem that we would have to solve in class the next day.

Students in the ICAA’s Cast Hall look over each other’s work at the end of the lesson

Students in the ICAA’s Cast Hall look over each other’s work at the end of the lesson

June 21, by Andrew Anderson: On Wednesday, we were given the opportunity to apply our drawings of the Tuscan order to our first design project of the Summer Studio.

Professor Richard Economakis shows students how to develop their own designs

Professor Richard Economakis shows students how to develop their own designs

Guided by visiting professor Richard Economakis, each of us had the morning to develop a basic scheme for an aedicule addition to a theoretical monument in Prospect Park. We then spent the afternoon developing our design in plan, section, and elevation, following the traditional Beaux Arts design process consisting of a rough esquisse followed by a more complete analytique.

Students work on developing their designs for a theoretical monument in Prospect Park, NY

Students work on developing their designs for a theoretical monument in Prospect Park, NY

In the evening, James McCrery, director of The Catholic University of America’s Classical Concentration, presented Roman Catholic Church architecture projects designed by McCrery Architects. Students then had a chance to meet with their mentor architects, as part of the ICAA’s new mentorship initiative.

Mentor Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro with Fionna Banchs Rios

Mentor Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro with student Fionna Banchs Rios

June 22, by Andrew Anderson: On Thursday, we spent the morning learning about the second of the five major classical orders, by drawing the parts of the Doric order according to the proportions determined by Vignola.

Students measure balustrades in Bryant Park, NY

Students measure balustrades in Bryant Park, NY

In the afternoon, we built on our practice of measured drawings from Tuesday afternoon by taking a trip to Bryant Park, where we drew balustrades in the field, as well as a detail from the east facade of the New York Public Library.

Students sketch building details at the New York Public Library

Students sketch building details at the New York Public Library

The evening concluded with a presentation by Mike Watkins on urban design in preparation for Saturday’s trip to Forest Hills Gardens in Queens.

Led by architect Kellen Krause, students compare their sketches outside the New York Public Library

Led by Kellen Krause, students compare their sketches outside the New York Public Library

June 23, by Andrew Jackson: On Friday we took a site visit to Prospect Park and did measured drawings with architects Michael Mesko and Stephen Chrisman. The beautiful site had an array of classical elements for us to study.

Students study a pavilion featuring ionic columns

Students study a pavilion featuring ionic columns

Entrance to the Prospect Park Boathouse where students completed their final drawings of the day

Entrance to the Prospect Park Boathouse

Our first task of the day was a measured drawing of a dodecagonal pavilion near the war monument. We then transitioned through the park taking note of the differences in the primary, secondary, and tertiary entrances. Chrisman also showed the class how to estimate size by pacing at a small memorial.

Next we visited the project site for our studio, which is located at 15th Street and Prospect Park West, where we learned the two existing columns are proportionately consistent with the golden section.

We continued to make our way through the park and noticed an interesting structure composed of ionic columns in conjunction with a wood member. We had a brief lesson in tectonics and concluded the day with two more measured drawings: one at another pavilion, and a second at the Prospect Park Boathouse.

Students explored various architectural elements throughout Prospect Park

Students explored various architectural elements throughout Prospect Park

June 24, by Fionna Banchs Rios: On Saturday we were accompanied by practitioners Mike Watkins, Michael Mesko, and Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro on a field trip to Forest Hills Gardens in Queens. The purpose of the trip was to study the urbanism of the site.

Students learn how to use measuring wheels in the field

Students learn how to use measuring wheels in the field

We learned how everything is arranged in a city to make it work and how every little detail has its purpose; factors crucial for creating communities that are easy to live in. For example, we learned about different types of trees that can be found in a city and why they are planted in particular places. We also learned about the importance of the size of streets, and their different functions according to the size. Throughout the first week, this has been my favorite field study.

Students walk through Forest Hill Gardens in Queens, NY

Students walk through Forest Hills Gardens in Queens, NY

Students sketch on location at Forest Hill Gardens in Queens, NY

Students sketch on location at Forest Hills Gardens in Queens, NY

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The Timeless Inspiration of Two Water Gardens: Studley Royal and Villa d’Este

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Fountain of Neptune, Villa d’Este

Summer has arrived, and millions around the world are retreating to cooler, calmer, and more bucolic destinations. Now, more than any other time of the year, we’re reminded that architecture and design have an inextricable connection to the surrounding natural environment; the most beautiful buildings are often complemented by carefully considered landscapes that, together, create a cohesive and coherent sense of place. With this in mind, I was especially inspired by garden and landscape designer Matthew Wilson’s recent piece The Visionaries behind UK’s Studley Royal and Italy’s Villa d’Este in the Financial Times Weekend House & Home section (my weekly bible!).

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Studley Royal park (Image Source: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal / National Trust)

Wilson’s article explores the remarkable parallel histories of Studley Royal park and Villa d’Este, two water gardens that were built over 150 apart amidst financial calamity. The patrons of each garden – John Aislabie and Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, respectively – were enormously powerful and considerably tragic figures of their time. Yet each made an indelible contribution to landscape design that continues to inspire today. Indeed, both Studley Royal park and Villa d’Este are now UNESCO World Heritage sites, an indication of their vast impact worldwide.

Video featuring Studley Royal park by the National Trust in the North of England

John Aislabie inherited Studley Royal park in Yorkshire at the age of 23. After being elected as a member of parliament in 1695, he was eventually named Chancellor of the Exchequer – a post he left in disgrace in 1721 after contributing to a financial crisis known as the South Sea Bubble. Aislabie was banished to his country estate where, according to Wilson, he “invested his energies into overseeing what is still one of the most unexpectedly arresting celebrations of water in the landscape.” A Moon Pond (which interprets the lunar phases), a Temple of Piety, and numerous “crisply defined geometric bodies of water” stretch from the site of the demolished Studley Hall all the way to the unforgettable ruins of Fountains Abbey.

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Aerial view of Studley Royal park’s geometric water features (Image Source: Pinterest)

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Water gardens at Studley Royal (Image Source: Gardenvisit.com)

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The ruins of Fountains Abbey, a former Cistercian monastery originally founded in the 12th Century (Image Source: Wikipedia / Mike Peel)

Over 200 years before Aislabie began building his magnificent water gardens, Ippolito II d’Este was born in Ferrara, Italy in 1509 as the second son of the Duke of Ferrara and Lucrezia Borgia. D’Este, who emerged as one of the wealthiest cardinals of the Renaissance, hired classical scholar and artist Pirro Ligorio to envisage a villa in Tivoli to rival “anything built by the Romans.” Work began on the villa in 1560, and although d’Este burned through his fortune by 1572 before it could be completed, it is impossible to not be impressed by his “lavish vision.” Today, Villa d’Este features 364 water jets, 398 waterspouts, 64 waterfalls, and 220 basins.

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The Hundred Fountains, Villa d’Este

One of the most remarkable characteristics about these two gardens – one British and the other Italian – is that they were both created before the advent of the pumping mechanism, and therefore depend entirely on gravity and the engineering of existing bodies of water to create the final designs. It is also remarkable that they are both so well preserved, despite the financial constraints and turbulent transfers of ownership that plagued both locations following the deaths of Aislabie and d’Este.

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Construction of Villa d’Este was never completed

Villa d’Este continues to serve as a vital source of inspiration for students, practitioners, and enthusiasts of classicism. Earlier this month participants on the ICAA’s annual Christopher H. Browne Rome Drawing Tour visited the garden, where they created sketches and watercolor drawings inspired by the site’s exceptional beauty. The tour, which is named in honor of the ICAA’s late Trustee, Mr. Christopher H. Browne, also visited nearby Villa Hadriana, which served as an inspiration for d’Este (as well as a source for statues and marble).

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Watercolor sketches of Villa d’Este by Christopher H. Browne
Rome Drawing Tour student Elena Belova

There is a clear and essential link between the landscape and its complex relationship to the buildings and spaces we inhabit; this indispensible connection between architecture, landscape design, and the many other disciplines that contribute to our built environment represents a key component of the ICAA’s mission. Successful design recognizes the interplay of each of these unique elements, allowing them to work together in synthesis.

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Sanguine drawing of Villa d’Este by Christopher H. Browne Rome Drawing Tour student Martin Burns

As a part of its ongoing commitment to celebrating the importance of garden and landscape design in classical architecture, the ICAA has a number of upcoming programs featuring celebrated speakers who will share their knowledge on this very topic.

On September 19, world-renowned garden designer Arne Maynard will speak about the “Formality and Informality of Garden Design” in a special lecture co-hosted by Architectural Digest. And on January 20, 2018, David Gobel, Professor of Architectural History at Savannah College of Art and Design, will lead a continuing education class at the ICAA entitled “The Villa and Garden Design, the Paradox of Paradise,” exploring the villa and garden tradition from antiquity to the present.

I hope to see you at these upcoming programs. In the meantime, this summer, I encourage everyone with a passion for classicism to bring yourselves and others to places like Villa d’Este, Studley Royal, and the architecture and landscapes in your own communities that energize and inspire.

 

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ICAA Launches Mentorship Program in Association with Summer Studio

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Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro (right) with a past Summer Studio in Classical Architecture participant

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) has launched a brand-new mentorship program in association with its Summer Studio in Classical Architecture. Spearheaded by the ICAA Young Members Task Force, the mentorship initiative will connect participants of the Summer Studio program with emerging professionals within the ICAA community, and aims to provide university students and recent graduates with a deeper understanding of the professional world of classical architecture and the related fields.

Participants of the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture – a four-week, immersive program introducing students to skills, knowledge and resources essential to the practice and appreciation of classical design – will have opportunities to engage with mentors through one-on-one meetings, networking events, and during visits to professional firms. More than 20 young professionals have volunteered their time as mentors from a total of nine different firms, including Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Ferguson and Shamamian Architects, Roman and Williams, and G.P. Schafer Architect among others.

ICAA President Peter Lyden said of the program, “This latest initiative allows the ICAA to further support and engage with the next generation of classical architects and designers. By connecting Summer Studio students with our passionate members, we’re showing them that a vibrant, successful, and inspiring career in classicism is viable and achievable.”

Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro, who serves as Chair of the ICAA Young Members Task Force – a volunteer group of young and emerging architects, designers, and enthusiasts from across the country – worked closely with the ICAA Education Department to design the program. Bollat Montenegro, who is also volunteering as a mentor, said, “This new mentorship program will help guide up-and-coming practitioners as they begin to transition from students to professionals. I look forward to working with the mentees this summer, and continuing to help the ICAA make deeper connections with young professionals.”

2017 Summer Studio participant, Tatiana Amundsen, said, “So far, the mentorship program has allowed me to consider classical architecture not only from an academic perspective, but also through the lens of a practicing professional.”

After the Summer Studio concludes in mid-July, the ICAA will encourage mentors to continue dialogue with their mentees – many of whom are in the early stages of considering a career in architecture and the related fields. The mentorship initiative also provides Summer Studio participants with an opportunity to discover how ICAA programming and its broader community of members can serve as a valuable resource into the future.

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