Medieval and Renaissance Venetians often built exterior staircases on their homes to save precious living space. But the architects of the Scala Contarini del Bovolo -- or staircase of the snail shell -- took the art of floor-to-floor mobility to a new artistic level. Peter Contarini added the staircase and series of loggias to his palazzo near the end of the 1400’s.
The staircase and loggias, possibly designed by Giovanni Candi, have characteristics of both the earlier Gothic style as well as the Renaissance fever for Romanesque design. But as we stood there my architect husband and I were most impressed by the engineering required to make the staircase look symmetrical when the floors it links are not.
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St. John's Shelter Program for Women and Children St. Jude Children's Research Hospital