Archive for the ‘Donato Bramante’ Category

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Santa Maria delle Pace / Bramante Cloister

Architect: Donato Bramante

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date: 1478 – 1483

Building Type: Church

Architecture Styles: Renaissance

Architectural Time Period: 1400s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings)

Just behind Piazza Navona with its street artists and baroque fountains, you can find the little church of Santa Maria della Pace with its distinctive semi-circular portico. This Renaissance church was built for Pope Sixtus IV in 1480-84 with its Baroque style facade added in 1656.

According to legend, the reason the church was squeezed into this small piazza was that it was here a soldier pierced the breast of a painted Madonna causing it to bleed. To placate her, Pope Sixtus IV (1471-84) ordered the building of a new church if she would bring the war with Turkey to an end. The deal was done and the result was this church which was actually built over the remains of an existing one.

A main feature of the church and monastery complex is the Bramante cloister, which was added creating a sanctuary of calm which is now home to concerts and an art gallery. Built in 1500-1504 for Cardinal Oliviero Carafa, it was the first work of Donato Bramante in the city. It has two levels: the first is articulated by shallow pilasters set against an arcade; the second also has pilasters set against an arcade which is vertically continuous with the lower storey, but with columns located in between each arch span.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Exterior, Interior, Cloister

Exterior

The facade of the church has two orders and is entered by a semi-circular pronaos with paired Doric columns. The church presses forward almost to fill its tiny piazza, the church facade also focused on architectural detailing, the play of concave and convex forms at varying scales in and around the predominant main facade masks the neighboring buildings, extends the apparent breadth of the facade and so increases the visual impact on the spectator physically confined by the small trapezoidal piazza. Something I also learned from the exterior also include the fact that the monumental effect of the plasticity of forms, spatial layering and chiaroscuro lighting effects belies the actual scale of this urban intervention.

Plan diagram of the church and small portion of its adjacent cloister

Interior

The interior can be reached from the original fifteenth-century door, has a short nave with cruciform vaulting and a tribune surmounted by a cupola. The interior of the dome was supported by a series of ribs radiating from the lantern. This is an early example of combining these two forms of dome decoration. Carlo Maderno designed the high altar (1614) to enframe the venerable icon of the Madonna and Child.

The interior view at the entrance, the color of the material plays a harmony set

Different type of openings brings light into the interior

Interior shot showing the openings and roof structure

Cloister

The entrance of the cloister

the cloister was designed for quiet contemplation, So the entrance way has a deep depth away from the street, it is one of those spots that is perfect when we are overwhelmed by the city of Rome.

The courtyard of the cloister. Bramante cloister has two stories, where the heavy piers with applied orders in sequence (Corinthian and Ionic). From what I know, the trabeation of the upper story, and the unadorned, sculpturesque power of the lower story, were derived from systems used in the Colosseum, and the Theater of Marcellus.

Plan diagram of the cloister, including the courtyard patterning, thus showing the proportion of the space, the cloister forms a square itself. As the floor patterning suggests, it has the self-concentrated spatial quality.

View from the second story, which was open to public as a restaurant and bookstore.

Trabeation system of the upper story

Tectonic sketch showing the trabeation system of the second level arcade.