When the American statesman Thomas Jefferson designed his Virginia home, he combined the great European traditions of Andrea Palladio with American domesticity. The plan for Monticello echoes that of Palladio's Villa Rotunda. Unlike Palladio's villa, however, Monticello has long horizontal wings, underground service rooms, and all sorts of "modern" gadgets. Thomas Jefferson added the dome in 1800, creating a space he called the sky-room.
The sky-room is just one example of the many changes Thomas Jefferson made as he worked on his Virginia home. Jefferson called Monticello an "essay in architecture" because he used the house to experiment with European ideas and to explore new approaches to building.