QUADRO, Giovanni Baptista
(d. 1590, Poznan)

Exterior view

1552-60
Photo
Town Hall, Poznan

The west bank of the city of Poznan acquired a Renaissance character when rebuilt after a fire in 1536. In the first half of the 16th century many patrician houses were built around the market square, and Giovanni Battista Quadro reconstructed and extended the town hall in 1552-60.

The Town Hall was Quadro's masterpiece, He added three superimposed storeys of loggias to the short east front, transforming it into a spectacular Renaissance façade, topped by a high windowless attic that unifies the building. The loggia columns support entablatures above round-headed arches that spring from flanking pilasters; in the top loggia the rhythm of the arcading is doubled, and the attic is surmounted by merlons to give the effect of a symbolic mural crown. The upper part with octagonal corner towers and quadrangular central tower were added later.

A ceremonial hall at first-floor level has coffered vaulting that features elaborate figurative decoration. Quadro used free and unconventional interpretations of Lombard Renaissance forms in the building, including the earliest derivatives in central Europe from the pattern books of Sebastiano Serlio (e.g. semicircular stairs in front of the façade, loggia portals and coffers).