21 May

second Agonalia
feast of Sts. Constantine and Helena

1471 birth of Albrecht Dürer

1500 Jean Wast associated with Martin Chambiges in the construction of the transcept of the cathedral of Beauvais
1502 discovery of St. Helena Island

1707 birth of Francisco Zarcello y Alcarez
1725 death of Martin Heinrich Böhme
1762 James Adam sends first copies of Il Campo Marzio dell'antica Roma to London

1819 birth of Eugene Louis Millet
1877 death of Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt
1878 foundation stone laid at Herrenchiemsee

transparent models
1997.05.21     2198 2209 2219 5500b

May 21st - the Agonalia
1999.05.21 11:24     206b 4500b 4600b 7601l 8239

Agonalia postscript
1999.05.21 16:40     4500b 8239

Re: the Agonalia
1999.05.21 19:32     0308 0312 0337

reenactment notes
1999.05.21     4403d

getting schizophrenia + architectures done completely
1999.05.21     4403d

2000.05.21     8239

the other Agonalia -- 9 January
2002.05.21 08:23     3727b

Jerusalem SKY
2002.05.21 15:27     4500e

2006.05.21 17:42     3749k 4500k 4600g

2006.05.21     3142d 3730h

2011.05.21 10:49     3706b 3749t 3771d 4500q

Need help identifying a building drawing! Please!
2012.05.21 14:25     4500r

What are the cultural ingredients of architecture today?
2013.05.21 21:29     3705s 4500s 4600l 5600x 7801f

17 May
1914.05.21 09:22     3308u 4500u mp6608z

OMA's hyper Corb
2016.05.21 09:26     3314e 5800f
2016.05.21 22:01     3314e

98052101 ICM plans   2110i30
98052102 ICM Porticus Theodosius plans   2110i31

1999.05.21 11:24
May 21st - the Agonalia
Agonalia - a festival in honor of Janus celebrated in Rome on the 9th of January and the 21st of May.
Janus is my favorite Roman god.
Janus - an old Italian deity. He was represented with a face on the front and another on the back of his head. The month of January was sacred to him, as were all other beginnings. The myth makes him a king of Latium or Etruria, where he hospitably received Saturn when expelled by Jupiter from Crete. He had a small temple in the Forum, with two doors opposite to each other, which in time of war stood open and in time of peace were shut; the temple was trice closed on this account. With reference to his temple, the deity was called Janus geminus or Janus Quirinus.
I like Janus because he can see in front of him and he can see behind him--into the future and into the past? Also, I like to wonder whether Janus was "two faced" or was he schizophrenic?
Within his large plan of the Campo Marzio, Piranesi applies the label "Circus Agonalis sive Alexandri" to the original Circus of Domitian which is today Rome's Piazza Navona. Albeit obscure information, Piranesi was indeed correct in his designation because the emperor Alexander Severus rebuilt the Circus of Domitian and renamed it in honor of Janus. It is fun to imagine all the big goings-on over 1700 years ago today within what is now the Piazza Navona.

Another monument in honor of Janus that still stands in Rome today is the Arch of Janus Quadrifrons, which is in the Forum Boarium. It is one of those unique four-way arches, and, according to Banister Fletcher, is "of poor design." What is most interesting about this arch, however, is that it was constructed under Constantine the Great after he converted to Christianity. I believe this signifies two important facts. First, the aristocratic and pagan population of Rome still had tremendous influence and power. Second, whoever designed this arch was extremely clever in that Janus, precisely because of his "two faced" nature, was the perfect god to reflect Constantine's own political position--exactly because of his conversion from paganism to Christianity, Constantine himself is Rome's ultimate Janus-like emperor. [Personally, I can't help but believe that it was Constantine's mother Helena that thought all this poignant symbolism through.] And, in an almost too good to be true sense, the Arch of Janus may well have predicted (looked towards) European architecture's next 1200 years: Banister Fletcher notes "it has a simple cross-vault with embedded brick box-ribs at the groins, affording a further instance of the progressive character of Roman construction techniques: such ribs are possibly the prototypes of Gothic rib vaults." [Fletcher is being a little two faced himself here -- first the Arch of Janus is not good design, and then the arch is progressive construction!] Could it really be that the first ribbed cross-vaults ever were built in late antiquity? Do these vaults, built by ancient Rome's first Christian emperor, unwittingly and uncannily prophesies a whole new future era of Western architecture? [And is it possible that Helena, besides being the first master architect of Christianity, is also the world's proto-Gothic architect?]
Constantine converted to Christianity the night before the Battle at the Milvian Bridge (October 28, 312) which lead into the City of Rome. He saw a vision of the (Christ) Cross in the sky, and hence ordered his troops to paint the (Christ) Cross on their shields. Constantine was victorious over the usurpative emperor Maxentius, and on October 29 entered Rome in triumph. Constantine's mother, St. Helena, is most known for having discovered the True Cross in Jerusalem (most recently dated c. 324-25). If you asked me, I'd say the "signs" surrounding this incredible mother-son team are still appearing.

1999.05.21 16:40
Agonalia postscript
As odd as it sounds, only after sending the initial Agonalia post did two things occur to me:
1. the space created by the plan of the four-way Arch of Janus essentially forms a cross.
2. Only Helena is honored as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, and her feast is celebrated the 18th of August. The Greek Orthodox Church, on the other hand (or is it other face?), honors both Helena and Constantine as saints, and they share a combined feast day, which happens to be today, May 21st.

00052101 Janus Quadrifons plan   206bi01
00052102 Extrusion Play 000 model perspective   230ai11   b

2002.05.21 15:27
Jerusalem SKY
...a link to
cartome.org/jerusalem-sky.introduction.htm -- a nice project.
The first sentence reads:
"Bird's-eye-view perspectives of Jerusalem construct the city along the pilgrim's spiritual horizon, a vertical axis whose vanishing points converge into sanctified sky—the allegorical airspace of Jesus' and Muhammad's respective ascensions."
Is it worth mentioning that Muhammad's ascension occurred (only) in a dream that Muhammad had?
Whenever I see Jerusalem and pilgrims mentioned together, I immediately think of Helena and all the pilgrimages to Jerusalem her architectural work there began. Today, 21 May, is the Eastern Catholic Church feast of Ss. Constantine and Helena by the way.
Helena also built the Basilica of the Ascension. There is a mosque at the site now, however. But don't forget Eutropia's (Constantine's mother-in-law) effort at Hebron.
Julian the Apostate, so named because he as emperor and a close descendant relative of Constantine's father [a indeed son-in-law to Constantine himself] revived (briefly) Paganism to the Imperial house, was the last ruler to sanction the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem. (Interesting history of earthquakes and lightning stopping that construction.) In light of Helena's and Eutropia's building activities, I see Julian's building activities as a very interesting design inversion, of course, also on an Imperial level/scale. If there ever was a family of Holy site 'architects' it was the Neo-Flavians for sure.

2006.05.21 17:42

Anyone else reading
William Zuk and Roger H. Clark, Kinetic Architecture (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1970)
From the front flat of the dust jacket:
"Surely our present task is to unfreeze architecture--to make it a fluid, vibrating, changable backdrop for the varied and constantly changing modes of life. An expanding, contracting, pulsating, changing architecture would reflect life as it is today and therefore be part of it"*
Kinetic Architecture captures the very essence of the above statement. But more than that, it gives every architect, engineer, city planner and builder a working knowledge of emerging, evolutionary concepts and ideas which are flexible to the speed, scale, and nature of change today.
Fully evaluating the bold and exciting potentials of architecture which can accommodate time-change effects, the authors provide a wealth of supporting examples which show how man can now, for the first time, construct a physical environment that is adaptable to his specific needs.
Denouncing the "monument syndrome of static, permanent architecture" in light of current needs, the authors persue new architectural mediums which would remain responsive to a broad spectrum of changing conditions. Such buildings might expand, contract, or even move as pointed up in the book's numerous examples and illustrations.
Here you'll gain new insights into the principles and possibilities of dynamic self-erecting structures such as the United States Pavilion on Osaka, Japan . . . incremental structures which have the potential to meet changing pressures through additive, substractive, or substitutive capabilities (which suggest new ideas for the mobile home industry) . . . disposable buildings--a possible solution to cost-benefit problems . . . the merits of a "second-hand" building market based on the capabilities od reversible architecture . . . and many more equally fascinating innovations.
*"Editorial" by Jan Rowan, Progressive Architecture

2011.05.21 10:49
What we have 'now' (as you've provided evidence to above) is that Mountain Dwellings by BIG and Beekman Tower by FOG and Audi Urban Future by Leong Leong all have a past, a history if you will, that extends back beyond their own existence. Whether wittingly or not, the BIG, FOG and Leong Leong designs all relate (genealogy) back to respective Glen Small designs. (Just as John Stezaker's more recent collage work has a past that relates to some of my collage work from over 25 years ago.)
Conversely, what we also have 'now' (as you've provided evidence to above) is that Turf Town and Copy Cat Skyscrapers and Jungle Theater all have a future beyond their own existence. In this case completely unwittingly, the Glen Small designs all relate (is progeny the converse of genealogy?) forward to respective BIG, FOG and Leong Leong designs. (Just as some of my collage work from over 25 years ago relates forward to John Stezaker's more recent collage work.)
[Coincidentally, the movie I saw last night, The Double Hour, very much plays with the intermingling of a shared past and future, and, in the movie's case at least, the chaos that may well then ensue.]
It is quite common for designs to have a past that extends back beyond their own existence. And, conversely, it is more rare for designs to have a future that extends forward beyond their own existence. I'm not sure how much attention current architectural history pays explicitly to designs that have a future beyond themselves.
What's the best art 20 years from now? OR What's Glen Small designing these days?
[Does seeking precedents... ...finding inspiration play with the intermingling of a shared past and future?]

2012.05.21 14:25
Need help identifying a building drawing! Please!
...the Pella Palace and its connection to the Versailles design by Boullée is actually something that I did not know of before today. I've known of the Boullée Versailles design for maybe like five years now--soon after... ...a link to the Lequeu collection at the French library website--I looked to see what else architectural was within the French library website and found all the Boullée drawings. The Versailles redesign was a project I've never seen before (I own several books on Boullée), and thus found it to be most intriguing.

13052101.db Houses Under a Common Roof, composite site plan @ NNTC   2170i37

2013.05.21 21:29
What are the cultural ingredients of architecture today?
form follows function
--well over a century ago
less is more
--four generations ago
You could say OMA's Content of a decade ago kind of mixed architecture with cultural ingredients.
crumble follows crumple
--something Orhan wrote last week
Has the recipe been rewritten lately?

2014.05.21 09:22
17 May
The first Tarantino film I saw was Pulp Fiction in 1994 and soon after that architecture started becoming very virtual. --2009.08.16
Saw Tim's Vermeer late Monday afternoon--experimenting, learning and discovering via reenactment indeed. Exactly similar to the subject of (the forthcoming) 9020f:
After rereading some of Tafuri’s text on the Campo Marzio, for some reason it dawned on me that my redrawing of the Campo Marzio is an attempt to walk in Piranesi’s own footsteps, with the best of my ability, meaning, I am trying to learn how Piranesi’s imagination operated by doing the same thing that he did--literally redrawing the plan. I am trying to get as close to Piranesi’s own drawing/designing procedure.
I then thought of what Collingwood said about not being able to truly learn from history because we are not able to actually experience history. In this sense I am trying to re-experience a specific historic occurrence, albeit over 200 years later and with a radically different drawing technology. --1997.08.08



2501 c0109

Quondam © 2017.08.14