ARCHITECTURAL STYLE RANCH HOMES

The idea of the grand double staircase derives originally from the converging ramps built by Codussi in the scuole of San Marco and San Giovanni Evangelista, and from the stately staircase at San Rocco. Longhena’s design is conceived in a totally different spirit, however. Instead of confining one’s attention in narrow, tunnel-like vistas, Longhena opened up the whole conception, adding a new spatial dimension. Here the ramps do not converge at the top, but instead part at the bottom and rise on opposite sides of the vaulted staircase hall. Both storeys of Palladio’s cloister, brilliantly illuminated by light from the central garden, are revealed through two superimposed arcades. These admit light to the staircase itself, and also provide a luminous goal for those mounting or descending the stairs. The form of the balusters, like strings of huge onions, gives an element of variety to the otherwise restrained style of the architectural detail. Through his brilliant sceno- graphic manipulation of light and shade, space and mass, Longhena gave the San Giorgio staircase that dynamic, dramatic quality that was the great innovation of his age. 38 Longhena’s two greatest opportunities in the field of palace building came so late in his career that neither was completed in his lifetime.
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