villa

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villa.

Although used to designate any country residence, especially in Italy and S France, the term villa particularly refers to a type of pleasure residence with extensive grounds favored by the Romans and richly developed in Italy in the Renaissance. The Roman villa of the empire is described in several contemporary literary accounts and particularly by Pliny. Favored locations were at Tivoli near Rome and along the shores of the Bay of Naples. The dwelling quarters, consisting of several low buildings, included recreation facilities and lodgings for the servants. The farmhouse type (villa rustica) had barns, orchards, and vineyards, and the type used as a pleasure retreat (villa urbana) had formal gardens adorned with fountains and sculptures. The luxurious villa of Emperor Hadrian near Tivoli, of which extensive ruins remain, is said to have covered more than 7 sq mi (18 sq km); many works of art were exhumed there during the Renaissance. In the late 15th cent. the classic villas, rediscovered along with the rest of the Roman past, furnished the Renaissance nobles with patterns for pleasure estates of their own, e.g., the Villa Madama, Rome, designed by Raphael and the many villas built by Palladio in N Italy. Many of these villas had hillside locations, which called forth the fullest ingenuity of the garden designers. Their pictorial compositions blended with the variable elements of nature the formal qualities of the house, the incidental garden architecture, and the fountains. Baroque villas displayed the most fanciful variety of garden frivolities—grotesque sculptures, grottoes lined with rock and shell decorations, fantastic water displays, and ingenious transitions between different levels. Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore is a striking example. Among the finest villas are the FarnesinaFarnesina
, villa in Rome, Italy, built (1508–11) by Peruzzi for the banker Agostino Chigi at the foot of the Janiculum on the right bank of the Tiber. One of the finest examples of Italian Renaissance architecture, it is famous for its frescoes by Raphael and his pupils.
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; the Villa d'EsteVilla d'Este
, name of two famous villas in Italy. One lies near Tivoli, c.20 mi (30 km) E of Rome. Built in 1550 by Pirro Ligorio for Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, it is decorated with paintings and statues and is surrounded by one of the most beautiful Renaissance gardens in
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 at Tivoli; the Villa Farnese at Caprarola by Vignola; the Borghese VillaBorghese Villa
or Villa Umberto I
, summer palace built by Scipione Cardinal Borghese outside the Porta del Popolo, Rome. Begun in 1605, the villa was transformed in the 18th cent. into a more elaborate edifice. In 1806 it yielded much of its priceless art to Paris.
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; and the Villa Doria PamphiliVilla Doria Pamphili
, Roman villa, built in the 17th cent. for Camillo Pamphili, nephew of Pope Innocent X, from plans designed by Alessandro Algardi. It was situated against the western walls of Rome near the San Pancrazio gate. The Romans called it Belrespiro.
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.
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Villa

In Roman and Renaissance periods, a country seat with its dwellings, outbuildings, and gardens, often quite elaborate; in modern times, a detached suburban or country house of some pretension.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Villa

 

a type of country house with a garden or park. The first villas appeared on the territory of present-day Italy in the third century B.C. During the second and first centuries B.C. they were found throughout the Mediterranean region.

The most common type of villa during this period was the villa rustica, an architectural group of residential and farm buildings that formed the center of a rural estate. It usually consisted of the landowner’s section, where the master and his family lived, and the farm section (housing for slaves, cattle sheds, barns, and so forth). The villa’s buildings were all grouped around an open (later, closed) courtyard. The villa urbana, which was located in the country, was intended primarily for pleasure and recreation (for example, the Villa of Mysteries near Pompeii, second and first centuries B.C.). During the second and first centuries B.C. the owner’s residence was separated from the farm buildings and frequently decorated by mosaics and wall paintings. In addition to the early type of villa, large villas were built (especially under the empire), surrounded by specially laid out, usually terraced parks with pavilions, sculpture, and fountains.

This kind of villa—the country residential estate of an aristocrat—was further developed in the 15th through the 17th century in Italy. During the Renaissance the villa group began to have an axial composition, with the main building—the casino—in the center. A great deal of importance was attached to architectural solutions for the support walls and the terraces, which were connected by staircases with numerous flights. Combined with landscaped areas, these elements visually united the house and the park with the surrounding landscape (the villa of Pope Julius III in Rome, 1550-55, architects G. Vignola, B. Ammanati, and G. Vasari; the Villa Rotonda near Vicenza, 1551-67, architect A. Palladio, completed during 1580-91 by the architect V. Scamozzi; and Cambiaso near Genoa, 1548, architect G. Alessi). The natural grace and simplicity of the Renaissance villa gave way to the ornate baroque villa’s intricate, fanciful composition, which was designed to produce a sprawling effect by means of the viewer’s consecutive perception of separate buildings in the group. During the baroque period, the large park with pavilions, statues, and cascades formed an artificial, multilevel landscape, the view of which was completed by the casino (the Aldobrandini villa in Frascati, 1598-1603, architects G. della Porta and C. Maderno; completed by C. Fontana).

In the 19th century comfortable, private residences with gardens or parks in the wealthier sections of a city or suburb or at a resort were called villas. In the 20th century the term “villa” is often applied to any comfortable, isolated country home for one family. Because many of these houses are built to individual orders without the usual restrictions on the architect, the construction of country homes in contemporary architecture abroad is often experimental. In construction and planning, new solutions are being sought to create maximum comfort and unity with surrounding nature (for example, the villa in Garches, Haut-de-Seine Department, France, 1927, designed by Le Corbusier).

REFERENCES

Vseobshchaia istoriia arkhitektury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1948; vol. 5, Moscow, 1967.
Masson, G. Ville e palazzi d’ltalia. Milan, 1959.
Le Corbusier. Vers Une Architecture. Paris [n.d.].
Ruprecht, B. “Villa: Zur Geschichte eines Ideals.” In the collection Probleme der Kunstwissenschaft, vol. 2. Berlin, 1966. Pages 210-50.

V. I. KUZISHCHIN and V. M. DAMUNOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

villa

1. In the Roman and Renaissance periods, a country seat with its dwelling, outbuildings, and gardens, often quite elaborate.
2. In modern times, a detached suburban or country house of some pretension.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

villa

(in ancient Rome) a country house, usually consisting of farm buildings and residential quarters around a courtyard

Villa

Francisco , called Pancho Villa, original name Doroteo Arango. ?1877--1923, Mexican revolutionary leader
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
His body stiffened under Villa Kennan's hand as he drew away from her and stalked stiff-legged to the black.
"And yet you've overlooked the crowning proof of it," Villa Kennan teased.
"Then he's the sole survivor of the Arangi," Villa Kennan concluded.
At this date, of the persons concerned in the tragedy of twelve years since at the Hampstead villa, three were dead; and one was self-exiled in a foreign land.
-- We left the valley of the Aconcagua, by which we had descended, and reached in the evening a cottage near the Villa del St.
TEMPTING you with an array of villa options for the most popular holiday destinations in Portugal, France, Greece, South Africa and the Canary Islands, Private Villas has just launched their 2006 brochure.
You can imagine suburbs modelled on the Gehry house for instance, and on Murcutt's bush villas. Perhaps this is because they are both based on vernacular models, just as architects as different as Palladio and the designers of the great Arts and Crafts houses, who also drew on traditional sources and whose work swept the world.
Villa Parade, which rented villas across the Mediterranean, was being investigated for alleged breaches of the watchdog's code of conduct, following allegations the firm was offering rentals on properties it could not honour.
VPRO is an independent broadcasting organization which grew up piecemeal in villas scattered across Hilversum.
An assortment of villas with private pools, hotels with oceanfront rooms on secluded beaches and bungalows with tropical gardens abound.
In some cases, the holidaymakers have paid out thousands of pounds for villas in the Spanish sun.
Birsfelden, on the outskirts of Basle, is one of those suburbs, common in Switzerland and Germany, where the turn-of-the-century structure of detached villas in spacious grounds has been altered by the incursion of new functions and new infrastructure -- and progressive densification of the suburb as the large gardens have been built over with small houses and flats.