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Giovanni Bon: The Latest Architecture and News

Luxury Living Through the Ages, From the Castle to the Villa

Although societies have transformed through the ages, wealth never truly seems to go out of style. That said, the manner in which it is expressed continually adapts to each successive cultural epoch. As a consequence of evolving social mores and emerging technologies, the ideal of “luxury” and “splendour” sees priorities shift from opulence to subtlety, from tradition to innovation, and from visual ornamentation to physical comfort.

AD Classics are ArchDaily's continually updated collection of longer-form building studies of the world's most significant architectural projects. In these ten examples of "high-end" residences, which represent centuries of history across three separate continents, the ever-changing nature of status, power and fine living is revealed.

© Kazunori Fujimoto Courtesy of Wikimedia user Wolfgang Moroder under CC 3.0 © Flavio Bragaia © Peter Aaron / OTTO + 10

AD Classics: Palazzo Santa Sofia / The Ca d’Oro

Sitting on the northern bank of Venice's Grand Canal is a great house whose ornately carved marble facade only hints at its original splendor. The Palazzo Santa Sofia—or the Ca D’Oro (House of Gold), as it is also known—is one of the most notable examples of late Venetian Gothic architecture, which combined the existing threads of Gothic, Moorish, and Byzantine architecture into a unique aesthetic that symbolized the Venetian Republic’s cosmopolitan mercantile empire. Built to serve as the grand residence of wealthy Venetian businessman and politician Marin Contarini, the palazzo has seen a number of owners and renovations over its lifetime before ultimately coming to serve as a museum for medieval painting and sculpture.[1]

© Jean-Pierre Dalbera Image of the Ca d'Oro via shutterstock.com. Image via Shutterstock user InavanHateren Courtesy of Wikimedia user Madpack Courtesy of Wikimedia user Godromil + 10