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Oxford Summer School - The Villa: Genesis and History of Country Houses, 7-14 August 2021, UK

Publish Date: Jan 24, 2021

Deadline: Feb 28, 2021

Event Dates: from Aug 07, 2021 12:00 to Aug 14, 2021 12:00


The Villa: Genesis and History of Country Houses


The Villa has been an object of fascination since its origination in Ancient Rome. This course will first define the term villa and how this has evolved throughout history to the present day. From its conception as a luxurious retreat designed to accommodate the pleasures of the leisured elite, and the self-sufficient farm in the countryside, through to its more contemporary re-invention as a substantial private residence with a garden for the suburban well-to-do. In particular, students on this course will analyse and explore seminal examples of Villas from ancient Rome to modern examples. It will include fifteenth-century Tuscan villas, sixteenth-century Palladian villas, seventeenth and eighteenth-century British and American examples respectively in the names of Colen Campbell and Thomas Jefferson, and twentieth-century modern Western country houses by Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Programme details

Session 1

The typology of the villa. Definition of villa, palazzo, country house: a history

Session 2

The Roman villa from Pompei to Adriano’s villa in Tivoli and Villa Este

Session 3

The Tuscan country houses: the Medici’s villas and the villa in Poggio a Caiano

Session 4

Renaissance examples:  Raphael’s Villa Madama and Giulio Romano Villa Lante

Session 5

Between Villas and palazzo: Andrea Palladio

Session 6

Andrea Palladio and the realisation of a replicable model

Session 7

Palladianism in the UK: Lord Burlington’ Chiswick House and Inigo Jones’ Queen’s House

Session 8

The British Villa and the garden: Colen Campbell Houghton Hall

Session 9

The British Villa and the garden: Capability Brown, Peter Frederic Robinson, John Nash

Session 10

The American examples: Thomas Jefferson Monticello and Charleston Drayton Hall

Session 11

Modern Examples: Le Corbusier Ville Savoye

Session 12

Modern Examples: Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater


Dr Daria Ricchi


Daria Ricchi is an architectural writer and historian. She holds her Ph.D. in history and theory from Princeton University. She is working on the role of history in the practice of architecture.   

Course aims

This course aims to give a comprehensive historical knowledge of the typology of the villa and its evolution across different countries.

Teaching methods

All summer school courses are taught through group seminars and individual tutorials. Students also conduct private study when not in class and there is a well stocked library at OUDCE to support individual research needs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be expected to understand:

  • To differentiate housing typologies
  • To read building plans and drawings
  • To recognize the correspondence between the form of a space and its internal use
  • To recognize the correspondence between building features and the territory they are built in

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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Eligible Countries


Host Countries

United Kingdom