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Question 08

What makes a good architectural translation?

Think beautiful gardens.  In the summer, a place for shade and picnics; in the fall, a place for changing leaves and the zoo; in the winter, a place full of barren trees and brisk air; and in the spring, a place of budding flowers and bicycle rides.  Now, stir and combine with beautiful villas, influential people, and hundreds of years of history.

An architectural translation can mean many things, and say everything without saying anything.  To me, architectural translations can say the same thing in a different (and/or modern) way or can say something completely different while taking a piece of history to build off of.  Villa Borghese is a 17th century building inspired by 16th century style which housed art collections in the 19th century.  Scipione Borghese helped sketch this out and originally used it as a villa suburbana (a party house) and later used it to house his extensive art collection.  The gardens are the second largest public park space in Rome, and the gardens that we see now were remade in the early 19th century.  This former vineyard is the most extensive gardens built in Rome since Antiquity.  Together, the Villa Borghese gardens and what is now Galleria Borghese translate the events of the 17th century and today are used in a very productive and similar way.  On one end, the events that occur in a villa suburbana are greatly different than those that happen in a villa that contains art collections.  But viewing art in the 19th century is also incredibly different than it is today.  As well, the events that occur in a vineyard are also very different than those that occur in carefully manicured garden.  The emotion that takes over immediately upon entering the site and seeing the massive landscape, interior and the art is overwhelming.  At that moment, you fall back in time and relive all its history, if only for the two hours spent walking around.  For these reasons, mostly emotional more than physical, this complex successfully translates architecture, nature and art.

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