Loggia is the name given to an architectural feature, originally of Italian design. They are often a gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall. Notably, Brunelleschi featured a loggia at the front of the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents) in Florence, Italy.
The loggia can also be an alternative to the portico. In this form it is most simply described as a recessed portico, or an internal room, with pierced walls and open to the elements. Occasionally a loggia is placed at the second floor level, above a loggia on the main floor; this is known as a 'double loggia'. Loggias sometimes were given significance in a facade by being surmounted by a pediment.
The main difference between a loggia and a portico is the role within the functional layout of the building. The portico allows access to the inside from the exterior, and can be found on vernacular and small scale buildings. The loggia is accessed only from inside, making it a place for leisure. Thus, it is found mainly on noble residences and public buildings.
Today, a loggia can be a small, often ornate, summer house built on the roof of a residence to enjoy cooling winds and admire the view. They are typical of Italian architecture and were especially popular in the 17th century. They are prominent in Rome.
Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa contains three distinct sets of dorms connected by loggias. The main quad of the Stanford University campus prominently features loggias, as do the University Center and Purnell Center for the Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, which frame a quad known as the Cut.
A loggia was added to the Sydney Opera House in 2006.
- Curl, James Stevens (paperback). A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Second ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 880. ISBN 0-19-860678-8.
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