Archive for the ‘Neoclassical’ Category

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American Academy in Rome

Architect: McKim, Mead, and White

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date: 1913

Building Type: School

Architecture Styles: Neoclassical

Architectural Time Period: 1900s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

The American Academy in Rome is a research and arts institution located on the Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) in Rome. The academy is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. The Academy serves as a “home” to visiting U.S. scholars, and artists having been awarded the Rome Prize. The Rome Prize is awarded for work in the following fields: classical studies, ancient studies, medieval studies, modern Italian studies, architecture, design, historic preservation, art conservation, landscape architecture, musical composition, visual art, and literature. The latter is the only field that is awarded by nomination through the American Academy of Arts and Letters.In addition to Rome Prize Fellows, visiting scholars and artists live and/or work at the Academy for varying periods.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Neoclassical

The main facade of the building, the facade resembled a harmony set of color

The courtyard of the building, it is symmetrical and strictly follow the axis and views, which forms the characteristics of neoclassical style

The view through the window, the visual connection are set to the axis

Displayed physical model of the studio

The garden space at the rear of the building

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Saint Peter’s Square

Architect: Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Location: Vatican City

Date: 1656-1667

Building Type: Piazza

Architecture Styles: Baroque Neoclassical

Architectural Time Period: 1600s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

Saint Peter’s Square  is located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome (the Piazza borders to the East the rione of Borgo).

The open space which lies before the basilica was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667, under the direction of Pope Alexander VII, as an appropriate forecourt, designed “so that the greatest number of people could see the Pope give his blessing, either from the middle of the façade of the church or from a window in the Vatican Palace” (Norwich 1975 p 175). Bernini had been working on the interior of St. Peter’s for decades; now he gave order to the space with his renowned colonnades, using the Tuscan form of Doric, the simplest order in the classical vocabulary, not to compete with the palace-like façade by Carlo Maderno, but he employed it on an unprecedented colossal scale to suit the space and evoke emotions awe.

The site’s possibilities were under many constraints from existing structures (illustration, right). The massed accretions of the Vatican Palace crowded the space to the right of the basilica’s façade; the structures needed to be masked without obscuring the papal apartments. The obelisk marked a center, and a granite fountain by Carlo Maderno stood to one side: Bernini made the fountain appear to be one of the foci of the ovato tondo embraced by his colonnades and eventually matched it on the other side, in 1675, just five years before his death. The trapezoidal shape of the piazza, which creates a heightened perspective for a visitor leaving the basilica and has been praised as a masterstroke of Baroque theater, is largely a product of site constraints.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Colonnades,Geometry&Floor Pattern

Colonnades

The colossal Tuscan colonnades, four columns deep,frame the trapezoidal entrance to the basilica and the massive elliptical area which precedes it. The ovato tondo’s long axis, parallel to the basilica’s façade, creates a pause in the sequence of forward movements that is characteristic of a Baroque monumental approach. The colonnades define the piazza. The elliptical center of the piazza, which contrasts with the trapezoidal entrance, encloses the visitor with “the maternal arms of Mother Church” in Bernini’s expression. On the south side, the colonnades define and formalize the space, with the Barberini Gardens still rising to a skyline of umbrella pines. On the north side, the colonnade masks an assortment of Vatican structures; the upper stories of the Vatican Palace rise above.

Geometry&Floor Pattern

The geometry of the square is ellipsis, which has a center occupied by an obelisk, it has symmetrical and self-centered spatial quality, what’s smart about the design is that the paving is varied by radiating lines in travertine, to relieve what might otherwise be a sea of cobblestones. Circular stones were set to mark the tip of the obelisk’s shadow at noon as the sun entered each of the signs of the zodiac, making the obelisk a gigantic sundial’s gnomon.

The plan diagram with the floor patterning

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Piazza Del Popolo

Architect: Giuseppe Valadier

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date: 1811-1822

Building Type: Piazza

Architecture Styles: Neoclassical

Architectural Time Period: 1800s

Construction Type: Cut Stone Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

Piazza del Popolo is a large urban square in Rome. The name in modern Italian literally means “People’s Square”, but historically it derives from the poplars  after which the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in the northeast corner of the piazza, takes its name.

The piazza lies inside the northern gate in the Aurelian Walls, once the Porta Flaminia of ancient Rome, and now called the Porta del Popolo. This was the starting point of the Via Flaminia, the road to Ariminum (modern day Rimini) and the most important route to the north. At the same time, before the age of railroads, it was the traveller’s first view of Rome upon arrival. For centuries, the Piazza del Popolo was a place for public executions, the last of which took place in 1826.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Urban Design Strategy

Urban Design Strategy

Speaking of Piazza del Popolo, the well-known gesture it made on the urban scale is that the piazza act as a merge space for three main artery of Rome: Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso and Via del Babuino, and it connect to a gateway on the central axis. The piazza functions not only a big public space for people, but also a significant circulation point on the urban design strategy.

Analytical Plan Diagram, analysis of geometry and behavior of the piazza

Sketch facing east of the piazza

The other effect of Valadier’s masterstroke was in linking the piazza with the heights of the Pincio, the Pincian Hill of ancient Rome, which overlooked the space from the east. He swept away informally terraced gardens that belonged to the Augustinian monastery connected with Santa Maria del Popolo. In its place he created a carriage drive that doubled back upon itself and pedestrian steps leading up beside a waterfall to the Pincio park, where a balustraded lookout, supported by a triple-arched nymphaeum is backed by a wide gravelled opening set on axis with the piazza below; formally-planted bosquets of trees flank the open space. The planted Pinco in turn provides a link to the Villa Borghese gardens.

This sketch was facing north, it shows the connection towards the gateway.

The three main artery and the twin church on the southern side of the piazza