The Palazzo Porto-Breganze sets the site for the Palladian Academy. An unfinished two-bay Palladian facade, the Palazzo sits at the south end of the Piazza del Castello. The surrounding area of Vicenza consists of narrow, winding streets and dense multi-storey buildings; a true Renaissance village.
Through a series of programming and additional schematic studies, a 75,000sf. academy for the arts was to be designed just behind the classical palazzo. Some of the programmatic spaces included event areas, administration, classrooms, a library, studios and residences for students, faculty and visitors.
The academy within this culture-laden area needed to establish its own identity while connecting to the immediate context at the same time. Because of the nature of the irregular site and necessary restrictions, many of the spaces relied on interior spatial connections in order to create a cohesive and meaningful scheme. Light, materiality and the quality of the interior spaces became the overriding design determinants to solidify the project. Within the organization of the program, the spaces were situated much like the surrounding Italian palazzos; public spaces on the ground level, semi- public spaces above, and private spaces on the top-most levels.