Hall, gallery, or porch open to the air on one or more sides. It evolved in the Mediterranean region as an open sitting room with protection from the sun. It is often a roofed, arcaded open gallery on an upper story overlooking a court, though it can also be a separate arcaded or colonnaded structure. In medieval and Renaissance Italy, it was often used in conjunction with a public square, as in Florence's Loggia dei Lanzi (begun 1376).
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Loggia is the name given to an architectural feature, originally of Italian design, which is often a gallery or corridor generally on the ground level, or sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall. In particular, Brunelleschi featured a loggia at the front of the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents) in Florence, Italy.
The loggia can also be an alternative to the portico. In this form it is most simply described as a recessed portico, or an internal room, with pierced walls, open to the elements. Occasionally a loggia would be placed at second floor level over the top of a loggia below, this was known as a 'double loggia'. Loggias sometimes were given significance in a facade by being surmounted by a pediment.
Today, a loggia can be a small, often ornate, summer house built on the roof of a residence to enjoy cooling winds and admire the view. They are typical of Italian architecture and were especially popular in the 17th century. They are prominent in the skyline of Rome.
Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa contains three distinct sets of dorms connected by loggias. The main quad of the Stanford University campus prominently features loggias, as do the University Center and Purnell Center for the Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, which frame a quad known as the Cut.
A loggia was added to the Sydney Opera House in 2006.
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