A loggia (UK //, US //, Italian: [ˈlɔddʒa]) is an architectural feature that refers to an exterior gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the façade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall.
From the early Middle Ages, nearly every Italian comune had an open arched loggia in its main square which served as a "symbol of communal justice and government and as a stage for civic ceremony".
The loggia can also be an alternative to the portico. In this form, it is mostly described as a recessed portico or an internal room with piercings along the outer wall making it open to the elements.
A "double loggia" occurs when a loggia is found on the second floor level above a loggia on the main floor.
Loggias were sometimes given significance on a façade by being surmounted by a pediment.
The main difference between a loggia and a portico is the role within the functional layout of the building. The portico allows access to the inside from the exterior and can be found on vernacular and small scale buildings. The loggia is accessed only from inside making it a place for leisure. Thus, it is found mainly on noble residences and public buildings.
A classic use of both is that represented in the Mosaics of Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo of the Royal Palace.
- In Italian architecture, loggias often take the form of a small often ornate summer house built on the roof of a residence to enjoy cooling winds and the view. They were especially popular in the 17th century and are prominent in Rome and Bologna, Italy.
- Italian Renaissance architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, designed a loggia on the front of the 15th-century hospital known as the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence, Italy.
- Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, contains three distinct sets of dorms connected by loggias. The main quad on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, California, 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.
- In the town center of Chester in the United Kingdom, a number of timber-framed buildings dating from the Tudor to Victorian periods have ground-floor loggias called the Chester Rows.
- A loggia was added to the Sydney Opera House in 2006.
- At the archeological site of Hagia Triada on the Greek island of Crete, several loggias constructed around 1400 BC have been located and whose column bases still remain.
- Curl, James Stevens (2006). A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (paperback) (Second ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 880. ISBN 0-19-860678-8.