Archive for the ‘Rome’ 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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San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

Architect: Francesco Borromini

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date: 1646

Building Type: Church

Architecture Styles: Baroque

Architectural Time Period: 1600s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

The Church of Saint Charles at the Four Fountains is a Roman Catholic church in Rome, Italy. Designed by the architect Francesco Borromini, it was his first independent commission. It is an iconic masterpiece of Baroque architecture, built as part of a complex of monastic buildings on the Quirinal Hill for the Spanish Trinitarians, an order dedicated to the freeing of Christian slaves. He received the commission in 1634, under the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Barberini, whose palace was across the road. However, this financial backing did not last and subsequently the building project suffered various financial difficulties. It is one of at least three churches in Rome dedicated to San Carlo, including San Carlo ai Catinari and San Carlo al Corso.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Interior

Interior

The church interior is both extraordinary and complex. There are three principal parts that was identified vertically as the lower order at ground level, the transition zone of the pendentives and the oval coffered dome with its oval lantern.

In the lower part of the church, the main altar is on the same longitudinal axis as the door and there are two altars on the cross axis. Between these, and arranged in groups of four, sixteen columns carry a broad and continuous entablature. The arrangement seems to refer to a cross plan but all the altars are visible as the two central columns in each arrangement of four are placed on the oblique with respect to the axial ordering of the space. This creates an undulating movement effect which is enhanced by the variation in treatment of the bays between the columns with niches, mouldings, and doors. Architectural historians have described how the bay structure of this lower order can have different rhythmic readings and the underlying geometric rationale for this complex ground plan, as well as discussing the symbolism of the church and the distinctive architectural drawings of Borromini.

The dome with its intricate geometrical pattern

The pendentives are part of the transition area where the undulating almost cross-like form of the lower order is reconciled with the oval opening to the dome. The arches which spring from the diagonally placed columns of the lower wall order to frame the altars and entrance, rise to meet the oval entablature and so define the space of the pendentives in which roundels are set.

The oval entablature to the dome has a ‘crown’ of foliage and frames a view of deep set interlocking coffering of octagons, crosses and hexagons which diminish in size the higher they rise. Light floods in from windows in the lower dome that are hidden by the oval opening and from windows in the side of the lantern. In a hierarchical structuring of light, the illuminated lantern with its symbol of the Holy Trinity is the most brightly lit, the coffering of the dome is thrown into sharp and deep relief and light gradually filters downwards to the darker lower body of the church.

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Baths of Caracalla

Architect: Collective

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date:212-216

Building Type: Baths

Architecture Styles: Classical

Architectural Time Period:0-700s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

The Baths of Caracalla were Roman public baths,  built in Rome between AD 212 and 216, during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla. They would have had to install over 2,000 tons of material every day for 6 years in order to complete it in this time period. Records show that the idea for the baths were drawn up by Septimius Severus, and merely completed or opened in the lifetime of Caracalla.This would allow for a longer construction time frame. They are tourist attractions today.

My own exploration:

Keywords: History, Tectonic & Structure Expression

History

It is of great benefit to know about the history of the site and the urban context. The Baths were erected in the the southern part of the city. This area was previously beautified by the Severan dynasty with the construction of the via Nova-leading to the morthern part of the new Baths-and the Septizodim, a grandiose nymphaeum built by Septimius Severus on the slopes of the Palatine hill as a monumental backdrop to the beginning of via Appia.

The thermal complex was planned over three large sloping terraces, to camber the different levels between the small Aventine hill and the Carnene Valley.

9000 workers were employed daily for approximately five years in order to create a huge platform of about 337 x 328 meters.

Tectonic & Structure Expression

Since it is a historic ruins, I am interested in the building technology back then, I am looking for some tectonic evidence in order to read the intellectual idea for ancient architects

The different layers of space are coordinate with the structure, the arches are the main structural expression

Different depth of space

Through the ruins we can read the brick pattern and get a better understanding of how to build this mega structure

The bricks start deform as they form the arch

The vast open space, the structural expression here would be described as different typology for vertical layers

The logical and regular layering of mosaic floor patterning

It is a good example of how to use brick to build an arch, and the axial spatial quality can attribute to the placement of the archway

It is a natural “section” for us, there are two different kind of brick patterns: on the base it is more irregular than it is on the top, from my own understanding, it is because the base need to be more strong to take the upper load, and the irregularity can increase the friction among different bricks. On the contrary,  at the top, the regularity of the brick pattern can make the construction faster while owning the same weight.

The marble facade was attached on the brick behind it, which gives us the sense of their tectonic nature.

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Roman Forum

Architect: Collective

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date: 100BC-300

Building Type: City Center

Architecture Styles: Classical

Architectural Time Period: BC

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.

It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history.Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archeological excavations attracting numerous sightseers.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Ruins

Ruins

When visited Roman Forum, standing in front of the ruins with a history of more than 2000 years, we can still tell the basic structure system of the space, which is amazing to visitors by the intellectual level of ancient people.

People are trying to throw coins on top of the beam, it is a cultural phenomenon that architecture brings to people.

We can identify different layers of space and circulation

Ancient architectural culture shows us the order and logic behind their design. The space is well organized based on different typology of structure and the definition of “zones”

The two different structural typology: Arch and trabeation  systems, the arch is richly decorated, which shows the virtuoso of ancient Roman.

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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

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Spanish Steps

Architect: Alessandro Specchi

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date: 1721-1725

Building Type: Stairway

Architecture Styles: Baroque

Architectural Time Period: 1700s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. It is the widest staircase in Europe.

The monumental stairway of 138 steps was built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Bourbon Spanish Embassy, and the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, both located above — to the Holy See in Palazzo Monaldeschi located below. The stairway was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Urban Design, Approach

Urban Design

In urban design strategy, the Spanish Stairs were built to unite Via del Babuino, which is the easternmost of the three main arteries radiating into the city from the Piazza del Popolo with Via Felice. It is the first great street planned by Sixtus V (1585). Their junction is crossed at an approximately right angle by Via Condotti, which defines the direction toward St. Peter’s and the Vatican. The architect Alessandro Specchi’s ideas were later assimilated by the chosen architect of the Stairs, Francesco de Sanctis. The very rich and varied solution ultimately employed by De Sanctis (1723-26) is based on a simple doubling in depth of the central theme from the Ripetta: a protruding volume flanked by convex stairs and a straight flight in front. The upper unit presents the theme in its basic form; the lower constitutes an articulate and lively variation.

Plan Diagram of Spanish Steps

Approach

On the way up or down, there are three landing area to take a “break” of the long approach within the two levels, which is a brilliant idea. These three landing areas function as resting space for people.

Photograph taken at the bottom of the piazza, we can see people seating on the steps to take a rest

One of the landing area while walking up

Views from the upper-most landing area, looking towards the piazza and the main commercial street

The curve away staircase while walking up, this gesture has successfully connected the upper piazza and welcoming the circulation on a wider range

Approach and sectional diagram of Spanish Steps, which clearly shows the relationship of different levels

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MAXXI Museum

Architect: Zaha Hadid

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date: 2998-2009

Building Type: Museum

Architecture Styles: Deconstructivism

Architectural Time Period: 2000s

Construction Type: Concrete

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

MAXXI supersedes the notion of the museum as ‘object’ or – presenting a field of buildings accessible to all, with no firm boundary between what is ‘within’ and what is ‘without’. Central to this new reality are confluent lines – walls intersecting and separating to create interior and exterior spaces.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Dynamic, Circulation & Roof Structure

Dynamic

The “entrance” of the MAXXI

When entered the plaza, I was impressed by the urban strategy of Zaha, the complex has been integrated within the urban fabric of the city, to which it offers a new, articulated and ‘permeable’ plaza, wrapped by the spectacular forms. an exterbal pedestrian path follows the shape of the building, slipping below its cantilevered volumes, which opens onto a large plaza.

The volume of the museum gives us a dynamic feeling, which to me, is a variation of light and depth and visual caution of the facade and volume

Inside a large, full height atrium leads to the museum’s reception spaces, the cafeteria and the bookshop, the auditorium and galleries that host rotating displays of the two museums’ permanent collections, exhibitions and cultural events.

Lobby space, the weaving staircase breakdown the huge volume

Circulation

The circulation of MAXXI was navigated by the dynamic staircases, which shifting the views and light at every moment

Stairway make people physically shift their body and thus obtaining various feeling of the space

The roof structural beam follows the linear dynamic language of the museum, besides structural function, it helps to bring light into the space as a linear notion, which helps the co-play with physical and spiritual feeling of visitors

The bottom of the staircase has the effect of glowing, it helps to caught people’s eyes and stimulate the dynamic feeling

Dynamic curvy roof beam, indicating strong dynamic and fluidity

Interior sketch of the MAXII

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Sant’Agnese in Agone

Architect: Francesco Borromini

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date: 1652-1672

Building Type: Church

Architecture Styles: Baroque

Architectural Time Period: 1600s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

Sant’Agnese in Agone is a 17th century Baroque church in Rome, Italy. It faces onto the Piazza Navona, one of the main urban spaces in the historic center of the city.

The rebuilding of the church was begun in 1652 at the instigation of Pope Innocent X whose family palace, the Palazzo Pamphili, faced onto the piazza and was adjacent to the site of the new church. The church was to be effectively a family chapel annexed to their residence. A number of architects were involved in the construction of the church, including Girolamo Rainaldi and his son Carlo Rainaldi, and two of the foremost Baroque architects of the day; Francesco Borromini and the sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini.

The name of this church is unrelated to the ‘agony’ of the martyr: in agone was the ancient name of Piazza Navona (piazza in agone), and meant instead, from the Greek, ‘in the site of the competitions’, because Piazza Navona was built on the form of an ancient Roman stadium on the Greek model, with one flat end, and was used for footraces. From ‘in agone’, the popular use and pronunciation changed the name into ‘Navona’, but other roads in the area kept the original name.

 

My own exploration:

Keywords: Baroque& Interior Decorations

 

Baroque& Interior Decorations

We are not allowed to take photos when we can to the interior, I can introduce some of the information: there are a number of large scale sculptures in this church, including the marble relief in the main altar, placed in a setting installed by Carlo Rainaldi and Ciro Ferri, that depicts the Miracle of Saint Agnes, initially commissioned from Alessandro Algardi and completed by Ercole Ferrata and Domenico Guidi in 1688, under constraints that their product must remain in conformity with the original Algardi design. The Sacred Family altarpiece (third to the right) is also by Domenico Guidi.

The altar dedicated to Saint Alexius, depicting his death, was completed by Giovanni Francesco Rossi. The stucco decoration of angels by Ferrata with the symbols of the Saint: pilgrim’s staff and flower crown. The altar depicting the Martyrdom of Sant’Emerenziana is by Ercole Ferrata. He also completed Sant’Agnese and the flame, Leonardo Retti completed the superior portions. The altar depicting the Death of Santa Cecilia was executed by Antonio Raggi. Stucco angel decorations (with musical instruments) by Ercole Ferrata with fresco designs by Ciro Ferri. The altarpiece of the Martyrdom of St. Eustace was commissioned to Melchiorre Caffà, but generally completed after Caffà’s early death by Ferrata and Giovanni Francesco Rossi. The statue of Saint Sebastian Martyr is by Pietro Paolo Campi.

Sketch of the main alter

One characteristic of Baroque architecture is ‘painterly’ color effects, I was caught by this notion when I saw the main alter of this church, also, it has fascinating detailing with free curves and romantic motion.

 

 

 

 

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Piazza Navona

Architect: Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Location: Rome, Italy.

Building Type: Piazza

Architecture Styles: Baroque

Architectural Time Period: 1600s

Construction Type: Cut Stone Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings):

Piazza Navona is a city square in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans came there to watch the agones (“games”), and hence it was known as ‘Circus Agonalis’ (competition arena). It is believed that over time the name changed to ‘in agone’ to ‘navone’ and eventually to ‘navona’.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Baroque Roman Architecture, Fountains,Point In Space

Baroque Roman Architecture

Today we visited the famous piazza: Piazza Navona. it was defined as a public space in the last years of 15th century, the Piazza Navona was transformed into a highly significant example of Baroque Roman architecture and art. And I enjoyed ambling inside this Baroque pizza and I am trying to find what makes this place “Baroque”, and why it is so successful for people to use.

First notion for me was that facing onto the piazza, there are seveal important sculptural and architectural creations: in the center stands the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini,topped by the Obelisk of Domitian. As in the center of the piazza, it function as a attracting point in space, which attracts people in order to break the scale down and define circulation. In the photograph, standing as the background of Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi is the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone by Francesco Borromini, Girolamo Rainaldi, Carlo Rainaldi and others; It also add the Baroque language to the piazza and public.

Photograph of Pamphili palace, a palace facing onto the Piazza Navona also by Girolamo Rainaldi, that accommodates the long gallery designed by Borromini and frescoed by Pietro da Cortona.

Fountains

There are fabulous fountains seating on the Piazza Navona: at the southern end is the Fontana del Moro and at the northern end is the Fountain of Neptune.

La Fontana del Moro (the Moor Fountain) is a fountain located at the southern end of the Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy. It represents a Moor, standing in a conch shell, wrestling with a dolphin, surrounded by four Tritons. It is placed in a basin of rose-colored marble. The fountain was originally designed by Giacomo della Porta in 1575 with the dolphin and four Tritons. In 1653, the statue of the Moor, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, was added. In 1874, during a restoration of the fountain, the original statues were moved to the Villa Borghese and replaced with copies.

Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune) is a fountain in Rome, Italy, located at the north end of the Piazza Navona. It was once called “Fontana dei Calderari” because it was located close to a small alley with blacksmith’s workshops, makers of pots and pans and of other metal based businesses, all of them generating heat.

The restoration of the Roman Aqua Virgo aqueduct in 1570 was immediately followed by the start of work on a continuation water supply pipe towards the district of the old Campo Marzio, which following the diminution of the city’s size and importance was left as the most densely populated part of the city. Restoration of a piped water supply in turn permitted the construction of several public fountains. The basin part of the Fontana del Nettuno, (without the sculptures) was designed in 1574 by Giacomo Della Porta, who also designed the Moor Fountain at the other side of the square. It was sponsored by pope Gregory XIII. The lower part of the basin consists of white marble and the upper part of the local stone from Pietrasanta. For the next 300 years, the fountain survived without statues.

Point In Space

I think the piazza works well because the idea of “Point In Space”, the fountains play the role of “point”, distributing strategically in the space.

Analytical sketch for “point in space”. For me, this space works well for the following reasons:

1.  The “point” attracts people

2. They define “zones”

3. They define circulations

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Pantheon

Architect: Apollodorus of Damascus

Location: Rome, Italy.

Date: 118-126

Building Type: Temple

Architecture Styles: Roman, Classical

Architectural Time Period: 0-700s

Construction Type: Bearing Masonry

Context: Urban

Introduction(Information mainly based on Internet and Readings

Pantheon is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD.The temple is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft).

It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs” but informally known as “Santa Maria della Rotonda.” The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.

My own exploration:

Keywords: Portico&Logistic, Rotunda, Interior

Portico&Logistic

We visited Pantheon through Piazza della Rotonda, the portico was the first part that caught into my eyes, the pediment was decorated with relief sculpture, probably of gilded bronze. Holes marking the location of clamps that held the sculpture suggest that its design was likely an eagle within a wreath; ribbons extended from the wreath into the corners of the pediment.

From the reading, I know that it took 732 construction workers over 3 years to construct the Pantheon because of its many features.The Pantheon’s porch was originally designed for monolithic granite columns with shafts 50 Roman feet tall, the substitution was probably a result of logistical difficulties at some stage in the construction. The grey granite columns that were actually used in the Pantheon’s pronaos were quarried in Egypt at Mons Claudianus in the eastern mountains. Each was 39 feet (12 m) tall, five feet (1.5 m) in diameter, and 60 tons in weight. These were dragged more than 100 km from the quarry to the river on wooden sledges. They were floated by barge down the Nile River when the water level was high during the spring floods, and then transferred to vessels to cross the Mediterranean Sea to the Roman port of Ostia. There, they were transferred back onto barges and pulled up the Tiber River to Rome.

After being unloaded near the Mausoleum of Augustus, the site of the Pantheon was still about 700 meters away. Thus, it was necessary to either drag them or to move them on rollers to the construction site. So in this case, it is really amazing that how great humans are!

Entrance of Pantheon with the large bronze doors,it is ancient but not the original one of the Pantheon. The current doors – manufactured too small for the door frames – have been there since about the 15th century.

The wooden stricture at the portico, the triangular wooden truss is brilliant because it is stable as geometry itself and does well for tension force

Rotunda

When I enter the temple, the top of the rotunda wall features a series of brick relieving arches, visible on the outside and built into the mass of the brickwork. The Pantheon is full of such devices – for example, there are relieving arches over the recesses inside – but all these arches were hidden by marble facing on the interior and possibly by stone revetment or stucco on the exterior.

The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 ft), so the whole interior would fit exactly within a cube (also, the interior could house a sphere 43.3 meters (142 ft) in diameter). These dimensions make more sense when expressed in ancient Roman units of measurement: The dome spans 150 Roman feet; the oculus is 30 Roman feet in diameter; the doorway is 40 Roman feet high. The Pantheon still holds the record for the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. It is also substantially larger than earlier domes.

Though often drawn as a free-standing building, there was a building at its rear into which it abutted. While this building helped buttress the rotunda, there was no interior passage from one to the other.

Interior

the interior of the dome was possibly intended to symbolize the arched vault of the heavens. The oculus at the dome’s apex and the entry door are the only sources of light in the interior. Throughout the day, the light from the oculus moves around this space in a sort of reverse sundial effect. The oculus also serves as a cooling and ventilation method. During storms, a drainage system below the floor handles the rain that falls through the oculus.

Lighting and ventilation diagram

The lighting effect from the oculus

The dome features sunken panels, in five rings of twenty-eight. It gives a lot of depth to the roof and the space. This evenly spaced layout was difficult to achieve and, it is presumed, had symbolic meaning, either numerical, geometric, or lunar. In antiquity, the coffers may have contained bronze stars, rosettes, or other ornaments.

Circles and squares form the unifying theme of the interior design. The checkerboard floor pattern contrasts with the concentric circles of square coffers in the dome. Each zone of the interior, from floor to ceiling, is subdivided according to a different scheme. As a result, the interior decorative zones do not line up. The overall effect is immediate viewer orientation according to the major axis of the building, even though the cylindrical space topped by a hemispherical dome is inherently ambiguous. According to the reading, this discordance has not always been appreciated, and the attic level was redone according to Neoclassical taste in the 18th century.