The Gateway

The gateway is a work in progress. At the moment it is a simple entrance to the street from the terrace with a rainwater tank above, but soon it will be developed as an elaborate Baroque gateway.  Such gateways were typical of the gates to the street of villa gardens in Baroque Rome.

The interior and exterior facades will be different. This is characteristic of Roman city gates, which were treated differently depending on whether they faced the country or the city. The country facade was often quite aggressive and defensive in imagery, as if to give warning to the unfriendly.

The city facade was often more festive, and designed to be seen down a long street. For example, Gian Lorenzo Bernini developed the inside of the Porta del Popolo to honour the entry into the city of Queen Cristina of Sweden in 1655. Earlier in the 1560s Michelangelo produced a design for the Porta Pia designed to be seen for kilometres down the Via Pia. For this reason it  was a very tall two-storey design, which was only completed in the nineteenth century. An engraving published by Vignola in 1611 shows Michelangelo’s design for the lower section. This is the model for the interior facade at Montacute Pavilion. It had the right proportions for the arch core and is suitably delicate and intricate in order to provide an urbane backdrop for drinks on the terrace.

The street facade is yet to be designed, but will drawn on the extraordinary collection of villa gateway designs published by Sebastiano Serlio earlier in the sixteenth century. These were created in a creative frenzy (a furor divino). For more, click here.