Page C1.1 . 31 August 2005                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
NEWS   |   DESIGN   |   BUILDING   |   DESIGN TOOLS   |   ENVIRONMENT   |   CULTURE
< Prev Page Next Page >
 
CULTURE
 
  •  
  • Pantheon Inside
     
  •  
  • The Making of Rome - Engineering an Empire
     
  •  
  • Alexander Centering

     
    AND MORE
      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Search
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters
       

     
    QUIZ

    Pantheon Inside

    by Steven W. Semes

    The Pantheon in Rome is an ideal case study for understanding classical space, orders, composition, light, and character. Despite having been compromised by additions and restorations over the years, the great domed temple remains today the most complete and best-preserved monumental interior to survive from Roman times. No better model will be found to illustrate the principles of classical interior architecture.

    Upon entering the Pantheon, before we notice any particular details of the bounding walls or domed ceiling, we are impressed by the sense of space. Clearly, for the Roman architects, three-dimensional space was more than a void between objects. They conceived of space as positive, as if it were a solid body. In the classical conception, space is always volume, a geometrical solid, and a metaphor of the human body.

    The basic unit of classical space is the room, and we should think of it not as a void but as an expansive, albeit insubstantial and invisible, mass. A room may always be described in terms of one or more geometrical solids, and its bounding surfaces walls, ceiling, and floor are also figures derived from Euclidean geometry. The Pantheon is designed in the form of a sphere inscribed within a cylinder.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    This article is excerpted from The Architecture of the Classical Interior by Steven W. Semes, with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

     

    Continue...

    ArchWeek Image

    A computer rendering of the Pantheon suggests how it may have looked when new.
    Image: John Burge

    ArchWeek Image

    Detail of wall treatment in the Pantheon.
    Photo: Victor Deupi

     

    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

     
    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK   |   GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   NEW BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   SEARCH
      ArchitectureWeek.com © 2005 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved