On a journey to discover the wonders of the Palladian Villas in the North of Italy, a stop at the Palladio Museum in Vicenza is an absolute must-see! The Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio is one of the most influential figures in the History of Architecture. His “Palladian Villas” were living spaces for the Venetian upper class in the countryside, inspired by symmetry, perspective and Ancient Greek and Roman architecture in harmony with Nature and the surrounding rural community.
Hosted in the Palazzo Barbarano, one of Palladio's finest palaces, the museum was made to “unite the intimacy of the Soane Museum, the serenity of the Menil Collection, the efficiency of the Whitney and the sheer spectacle of Guggenheim” the Scandurra Studio, who created the museum, explained.
1. Make the museum a workshop space
2. Show the experts behind the content
Visiting the museum makes it easier to understand the work process of Palladio. One starts the visit with the famous Four Books on Architecture (Palladio’s most important body of work) and his masterpiece, the Villa Rotonda built between 1566 and 1571 in Vicenza, then travels from one city to another to understand how his mind was shaped and how his villas were built. This definitely puts visitors in the right mindset to be able to really investigate Palladio’s work. The experience is really smooth and one absorbs knowledge without even realising.
This human touch is felt throughout the museum. You won’t find the regular cartel next to the works on display but a quote from a researcher. Then, one will enter a room and see an avatar of an expert giving you insights in Palladio’s work and life.
3. Ask artists to be your digital interpreters
To ensure reaching a wider audience, the museum commissioned video artist Filippo Romano to create video stories on Palladio’s buildings in the Veneto today.
To show that Palladio inspired villas are now all around the world, the Studio Scandurra created a dynamic one-arm bandit that lets you discover drawings of villas, their country of origin, architect and date of creation.
4. No need to fool your audience, show what you don’t have
The Palladio Museum has no collection, only endless knowledge from researchers and a few drawings from the Master himself they borrowed from the Royal Institute of British Architects. That’s why it decided to create most of the work on display, asking artists to collaborate and showcasing models of the Villa via several types of media.
It also includes bigger-scale copies of old paintings, like below
5. Use your stairs!
Use the stairs to display the chronology and you will make sure visitors WILL read it!