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  Digital Design Fabrication Group
    Physical representation of digital design information
Stratasys FDM Printer

Reconstruction Palladio's Ideal Villas

Construction Grammar-Rules (PDF)

Construction Derivation (PDF)

Research Objective
To develop generative design systems suitable for rapid prototyping devices based on rules renaissance construction. The research question explores grammars as a physical construct by first analysis of Palladio’s construction system. Second elements of the grammar are synthesized by rules for materialization. Results yield computer based reconstructions of Palladio’s Ideal Villas. Physical outcomes are based on his rules for design and construction.

Research Method
Architectural historians continue to yearn for new methods to visualize the unknown, either through drawings, computer renderings or built models. This research is dependent on rule based concepts for the generation of components that will lead to a finished building. A highly detailed construction grammar was developed to guide the construct of each villa from the based to its roof. A derivation is presented that illustrates how the grammar can be used to reconstruct the Villa Cornaro.

Research Findings
A grammar was developed representing a lexicon of Palladio’s villa elements and the rules behind their use and geometry. From these descriptions we have round that anyone can reconstruct a Palladian villa in detail.

Current Directions
Current research work is focused on the reconstruction of 6 of nine physical models representing Palladio’s un-built villas using CAD and Three Dimensional Printing (3D Printing). This project, started with William J. Mitchell and Howard Burns in 1996, has grown from an initial idea to create a CD Rom on the villa designed by Andrea Palladio in 1580 to the manufacturing of plaster models from a three dimensional CAD. Now the work is focused on 3D printing using plaster verses plastic. Since the summer of 2003 three villa models have been 3d printed all at a scale of 1/8” = 1’-0”. The goal of the project will be to build an additional 6 of 23 total villas designed by Palladio these models will be built from rules in the first book and drawings found in the second book of The Four Books of Architecture.


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