An upcoming exhibit at the Yale School of Architecture is turning the work of Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio on its head. Through an in-depth examination of 20 Palladio-designed villas, architect Peter Eisenman and Yale architecture critic Matthew Roman counter notions that the architect’s work was founded on ideal forms. Using color-coded diagrammatic models of each villa (highlighting traditional architectural components such as the portico, circulation, and central figured spaces) the pair argues that the villas’ forms fell away from the architect’s renowned part-to-whole stability to the point that their components became unrecognizable. 

Palladio Virtuel, which opens Aug. 20 and runs through Oct. 27, points out that even Palladio was willing to reread and renegotiate his designs. At the end of his life, the architect redrew his buildings to reflect new ideas about how he wanted the structures to look and function.

The exhibit comprises three sections: The Classical Villas: The Impending Crisis of Synthesis; The Barchessa Projects: Extensions into the Landscape; and The Virtual Villa: The Dissipation of the Villa Type.