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Inverted Vedute

Project Description can be read here.

The Capitoline Hill has a strong past and is an important location in the history of ancient Rome. However, under Pope Paul III there was a push toward a new Rome and away from the past. This was in effort to maintain status in Europe and impress other rulers, including Charles V. In 1538, the Campidoglio was part of an effort to create a strong civic center of Rome. With such a rich milieu at the site, the decision was made to orient the Campidoglio away from the Roman Forum and toward the new city. Based on this decision a clear preference for the future and a relationship with the Catholic rule were expressed.

Perhaps, the Roman Forum was hidden because “ruins have a strong hold on our emotions. [T]hey challenge us to imagine their forgotten faith. We are moved by them more readily than with new structures, because ruins are stripped of their mask of utility and rational meaning” (Pallasmaa 155). By blocking the view of the Forum a competing identity of Rome was obscured. As Leatherbarrow said in “Landings and Crossings”, a building’s identity originates from its differences and similarities to the surrounding buildings. A building’s identity is defined by which external elements they choose to engage.

Unlike the idea that landings and crossings should bring distinct places together, the Campidoglio separates the Roman Forum from the center of the city. While the Campidoglio does allow access to a view of the forum it does not promote or acknowledge its presence. By separating two important points in Rome’s history, two distinct parts of the city were created.