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ARCHITECTURE Europe, part 4: Treviso & Asolo

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By Jamie Daugaard, Architect

On a recent trip to Europe, I visited the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy. In this article, here, I’d like to discuss the architecture of the town of Treviso, Italy, and surrounding areas which exemplifies the Roman Architecture and flows into the Classical Architecture. My next article will be on Venice, Italy.

As I left Germany the next stop was the Veneto Region of Treviso, Italy. Treviso, referred to the city of art and water, is a rather large town in north eastern Italy and in close proximity to Venice.

This walled “fortified” city from the days of the Romans was established in 89 BC and is a historical city and whichthat holds many architectural monuments and beautiful urban fabric.

Treviso was similar to Amsterdam with narrow rambling streets and alleyways, meandering water ways, and circular radiating walkways most likely to conform to the walled city outline and at times these arteries being punctuated by large open spaces (Piazza) or green spaces which that will delight the senses after emerging from narrow ways to these large expanses of space and daylight.

I stayed close to the city center and Piazza dei Signori, which means Lords Square built in the 12th century Palazzo (palace), bell tower reaching 100 feet in height, and still intact moat and walls with three main gates and within these walls is rarely any type of vehicle. All streets were perfect human scale from the width to the height and were all cobbled and filled with people, shops, coffee houses and cafes.

As with many of the streets and walkways there are buildings that close these arterials and in Treviso it was the large Bourgeois houses with repeating windows and arched openings, interesting chimneys, cobbled pathways, arcaded walkways, the articulated wood or stone balconies, and the many clay tile roofs with lichen and weathered colorization.

As you travel from region to region you see that with the Veneto Region brick, cut stucco and rubbled stone behind the stucco were prominent materials. Timber was a secondary material mainly visible on the interior for the roof support.

The Churches were just as delightful as in the Northern portion of Europe but I recognized that there were less openings and less articulated at times but with its diminished articulation they made up for in color, textures, elegant antiquity, and spires and domes, such as Duomo San Pietro. Many domes were of copper and adding another color to the already vibrant tones used throughout this city.

While in Treviso I ventured to the town of Asolo to the north west of Treviso-this small town also started as a walled town in the Dolomite Mountain Range. Asolo is known as “The City of a Hundred Horizons” in relation to its many mountain settings. This was a great place to visit and interact with a much smaller town but with many architectural attractions. Historical architecture through hundreds of years of construction, remodels, tear downs and rebuilds and landscaping was dominant throughout and not all structures were overly done, but the sense of historical charm was everywhere. At times the walkways did become very narrow and tall Bourgeois on each side-this would be amplified in Venice. The use of interior space in both of these Italian towns were interesting and cozy and the efficient use of limited space was very evident and that is where exterior terraces, patios and the use of the Piazzas were very dominant.

I am not a European “connoisseur” but of all the places I visited in this European trip I was most drawn to Asolo.

As I have started these articles on architecture I have been brainstorming on ideas to bring the reader to interact and have fun with my articles by showing a piece of historic architecture possibly from the area/regional/national or abroad you can respond by visiting and place your answer on what the buildings name and its location. In the next article I will post a new picture and give the answer of the past article.

Jamie Daugaard, principal of Centre Sky Architecture, received his B-Arch and M-Arch from Montana State University. Sustainability is deeply rooted in his work, which is mostly located in mountain regions with offices in Denver, Colo., and Big Sky, Mont. If you would like to comment on this article or would like to learn more about another topic, you can contact him at or (406) 995-7572. For more images of this European trip, visit

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