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question 13

Throughout school, I would think about what I had to add to a site. Using site analysis to inform additions to an existing world, instead of becoming a part of that world.

Now I begin to ask: what can I find in this site? What is it waiting to tell me? What is buried underneath years of use? What is this building trying to be? Instead of telling the building what its and what it ought to be, I will listen to what it already knows.

Architecture is not ours; it belongs to the past, the present and the future. It is made up of moments. The ones buried underneath us in another world, the ones we see with our own eyes, and the ones we can bring to light.

In a city so focused on renovation, I can see the entire world as pieces of history that must be respected, studied, understood and preserved, but not left alone.

question 12

What works behind the scenes to make a city perform as such?

We are amazed by the fountains in Rome. Water is continuously flowing from them, but where does all that water come from? The aqueducts support the mystery that is the water of Rome. Bringing water from far outside of the city Aqua Virgo still supplies the Trevi Fountain with its never-ending flow of water. It was know for supplying the best water to Rome and was restored by Pope Pius IV. It is one of three aqueducts that still bring water into the city. Throughout history water has been symbol of power and wealth. People come to Rome to see marvelous things could never have imagined. Today, that tradition is sustained with the lasting effect of the Trevi Fountain.

question 11

I am a detail and this is my tale…

I am one of many (my mother was very fertile). And while I may appear similar to my siblings, we are all different. We each have a different perspective on the world, we bring something new to the family. Our father, Carlo, always reminded us of the importance of the relationship between the inside and the outside. Encouraging us to reach out to the world as we held on to our origins. Without knowing it we became the joints between nature and architecture.

Some people say that there are too many of us, that something must have been lost along the way in our development. Some of us aren’t perfect (I won’t name names), but eventually my parents stopped framing views. Maybe they ran out of views to frame.

question 10

How is Venice, Venice and not anywhere else?

The canals are what makes Venice, Venice. The Venetians do not try to fight against the flood water. The make room for the Acqua Alta to come into their lives, their homes, and their historic buildings. Canal water is incorporated into the design of buildings. Its ever-changing nature brings a new dimension to the architecture of Venice, a new way of experiencing a building.

In Fondazione Querini-Stampalia, Scarpa creates in space for the canal to occupy within the building rather than walling it out. He took care to work out the details of this entry space and define its relationship with the progression that follows.

By establishing this relationship, other ways that the canals influence buildings are brought to your attention. As you walk along the walls of the space you notice the care with which the floors have been pulled away. Acknowledging the possible presence of the water.

Scarpa's Gate

Brion Tomb


question 09

How is Siena, Siena and not anywhere else?

Siena is Siena because of it has a particular location in Italy with a unique and complex topography. The city of Siena started with three hills that together formed a valley. Without this specific geographic relationship between the hills, Siena would not be what it is today. The city was formed in three distinct areas: Terzo di Città that houses the Duomo, Terzo di Camollia protected the city against Florence, Terzo di San Martino connected Siena to Rome. Because of the small scale of Siena the hills come together to form one clear center of the city.

The streets of Siena follow the topography to connect the hills. Because of the dramatic changes in topography the circulation is not solved with simple straight streets. A series of alleys, stairs, streets and escalators all work together to bring the city together.  At the center of this is the Piazza del Campo. It is these specific conditions that make Siena unique. The topography defines the city.

Siena, Italy (10-22-10)

question 08

What makes a good architectural translation?

Piazza Navona is a good architectural translation of the Stadium of Domitian. The stadium was as a place for Romans to gather and witness a spectacle.  It served an important function in Roman society. In the 15th century the stadium form was translated into a piazza surrounded by buildings. In plan, this is a very clear translation of form and content. However, a good translation expresses both the content and the meaning of the architectural archetype. As the tourists filter into the large open space of the piazza and Romans (as well as others) watch from the surrounding buildings it becomes clear that the essence of the stadium is still there. The stadium was replaced by a different but just as successful gathering place. Piazza Navona brings more to the original by creating a constant spectacle. If you lived in an apartment above Piazza Navona you would never need a television.

question 07

Castel Sant'Angelo

A lot of the history that we see today is static, held in a particular state as a snap shot at one particular moment. The dilemma of preserving history is that it separates it from our world. History is made active by allowing for the process to continue.

While Castel Sant’Angelo does not necessarily continue today it has a complex past. The site of Castel Sant’Angelo was originally Hadrian’s Mausoleum. In 271 the castle was incorporated into the Aurelian Wall, because of its massive and protective qualities. In the process the castle was further fortified. It was for this reason that it was seen as an ideal place to protect the pope. After the Vatican Corridor was built in 1277, Castel Sant’Angelo became active again with a new purpose and use that was inherent in the existing building. Finally, in 1870 the castle was used as barracks and military prison.

Throughout its history the castle was translated several times, but its image of strength and protection was never lost.

question 06

Pianta di Roma, 1962

What does “this” map tell you about the city of Rome?

We can read a map like we read our essays for ARCH 420. Who constructed and produced it, who is the map intended for? when was it made? What does it try to show?

This map is artistic property of the Letteraria del touring club Italiano, Milano, the copyright date is 1962. And it is the 1977 edition of that map. (Made by Italians for Italians). While it manages to communicate a lot of information it remains graphically simple. The proportions and color relations allow for ease of finding specific locations on the map.

By viewing a map from a time that is not very far in our past we can begin to see what was important at that time, what has changed and what has remained the same. This gives you are different comparison than the Nolli map, but it can be just as informative. For instance the metro line has developed significantly, but termini is still termini. In addition, the map uses a color coded system like many other maps to communicate the significance of  certain buildings. (Churches, government, civic, cultural…)

This map, which was design shortly after the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome includes the EUR because of the important role it played in housing those games (literally putting it on the map).