The remarkable career of the architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) is largely due to an extraordinary moment of prosperity in the Veneto mainland, both in the city and in the countryside: a boom due in large measure to a little-studied revolution in manufacturing.
This book brings to light for the first time the architecture of these early industries, especially the production of textiles (wool, silk), mining and metalworking, paper manufacture, ceramics, sawmilling and leather-tanning.
The huge surge in patent applications to the Venetian Senate in the period highlights the parallel technological improvements in both efficiency and quality. Former proto-industrial buildings across the Veneto, studied at first-hand, reveal the efficiency of hydraulic power and smooth-running mechanical processes.
Water-power, a clean, renewable energy source, and structures made of natural, traditional materials, have much to teach today’s civilisation.