piranesi

1997

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1997.08.06
Schinkel / Campo Marzio connection
I just noticed yesterday a similarity between the plans of the monuments to Julius Cearer and Augustus in the Area Martis and one of the monuments to Friedrich the Great by Schinkel. Moreover, there is also a similarity between the round rooms within the Horti Agrippinae and the lower level of the rotunda of the Altes Museum. These similarities make me curious as to whether Schinkel was inspired or influenced by the Piranesi plan diagrams. (Schinkel did spend time in Rome, and there is also the link to Piranesi via Durand.
In any case, it is an interesting coincidence, and whether or not Schinkel actually noticed the plans in the Ichnograpia of the Campo Marzio may not be all that important because regardless of the actual historical truth, the fact that I am now making the connection is now part of history and a comment on the fluidity of architectural history.


1997.08.08
redrawing the Campo Marzio
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 occurance, albeit over 200 years later and with a radically different drawing technology. Besides the use of CAD, which is actually related to engraving in that it is a type of "drawing" that is readily reproducible, the major difference between what Piranesi did and what I am doing is that Piranesi was designing the plan(s) as he was drawing them, he was producing with his imagination and with his graphic dexterity. Whereas I am only measuring his work and then digitally inputting the data. I am learning through osmosis, however.
This here is the beginning of my personal story/essay about my own redrawing experience. Besides my intial incentive for starting the project in the first place, (which I believe I have some notes on already). I will also relate the stages along the way. I will demonstrate the process by actually recalling the order in which the drawing was produced (and the times I did the drawing, as well). For example, I can tell the story about how I discovered the long axis because of the pervasive orthagonality of the Bustum Hadriani sector. This is only one of the examples of where I learned something because of and during the redrawing process--there are many more and I will have to document them by going through my notes and time sheets, and start a timeline web page.
The title of my essay (which I just thought of) is "Redrawing History: G.B.Piranesi's Campo Marzio in the Present," and, in fact, the whole book project may take on that name. This is another breakthrough for me because I am witnessing this whole Campo Marzio project coming together in ways that I didn't even expect. I will just keep plugging right along, and I now have even more reason to read about the philosophy of history. So as not to forget, I also have the opportunity to delve into the virtual realm and how reality and the virtual very much cross paths in the Campo Marzio.

1997.08.10
comments on Tafuri 1
I already have a web page (\acampo\etexts\tafuri1.htm) where I have comments typed out with regard to Tafuri's text from Architecture and Utopia.


1997.08.12
Redrawing History - outline
Redrawing History: Virtually Carved in Stone
Part I: Redrawing History
a. my own incentive for doing the project
b. my activity as a reenactment of a specific historical event; perhaps only true way to learn from history (Collingwood)
c. Piranesi's own reenactment (redrawing) of Roman "architectural" history
d. the question of archeological accuracy
e. Roman architecture as fertile architecture
f. Piranesi's Campo Marzio as fertilized architecture
g. Piranesi's imagination: fertilization, assimilation, metabolism
h. the Campo Marzio and virtuality
i. the Campo Marzio today
Part II: The Ichnographia: Axes, Assembledge, Meaning
a. The Field of Mars, so where is Mars?
b. the Triumphal Way
c. the axes of life and death
d. the axes of love and war
e. "downtown" vs. "suburbia"
f. pomp and circumstance
Part III is the "Typologies of the Campo Marzio"
Part IV is the "Glossary of the Campo Marzio"
Part V is the "Selected Texts"


1997.08.14
part 1b: my reŽnactment
There are texts in Collingwood that I should analyze and quote.
There also seems to be text in Foucault that is relevant.
I also want to search in Paley for any other reenactment texts.


1997.08.14
part 1c: archeological accuracy
My point is more that the program (the buildings but not their designs) of the Campo Marzio is archeologically correct.
I will relate the building references in the Campo Marzio text with the plans in the Ichnographia.


1997.08.14
part 1f: fertilized architecture
Fertilized architecture will come from the text of Tafuri 1 and from the "genetics" of the plans.


1997.08.14
part 1g: Piranesi's imagination
I will here elaborate on my notes and also relate back to the "redrawing" of history, fertilization, and then assimilation and metabolisn, and ultimately the dawn of the virtual.
I will also address the extremism of Piranesi and the Campo Marzio in particular.
This section will essentially tie together all my ideas expressed throughout Part I.

1997.08.14
part 1h: the Campo Marzio and virtuality
Try to express the idea that the Campo Marzio "breaks ground," breaks away and manifests a new realm, the virtual realm.
The virtual realm is both real and unreal; it is like osmosis and perhaps the Campo Marzio is the membrane through which the real and the unreal reach an equilibrium.
This could be where I address the similarities between Baroque Rome and the Campo Marzio.


1997.08.14
part 1i: the Campo Marzio today
I will here address all the "new" ways that the Campo Marzio (the Ichnographia) can be analyzed and used for inspiration.
This is where I will introduce the contiguous element theory, and in a way I could treat the exercise as turning Piranesi's Campo Marzio back into a "ruin"--a next (virtual and bizarre) step in "redrawing" history.
I like the backward/forward approach. It is a fitting conclusion to my overall "historical" analysis.


1997.08.14
part 2b: the Triumphal Way
Elaborate on everything I already have in the notes and end with the architectural promenade theory.
Start to generate aerial perspectives of the Triumphal Way.
Perhaps begin a 3-D modeling of the Campo Marzio.


1997.08.14
part 2d: axes of love and war
Draw a comparison between the life axis and the Equiria.
continuation of the metabolic theme.
I may also introduce the theme of equilibrium(?).


1997.08.14
part 2e: downtown vs. suburbia
This is where I contrast the location, density, and scale of the various regions of the Campo Marzio.
I will also relate the above notions to urban reality today, and thus raise the question of whether this brings some reality to the Campo Marzio as well.


1997.08.14
part 2f: pomp & circumstance
The prevasiveness of tombs and sepulchers throughout and its possible symbolism of commencement de le fin.
The beginning/end theme will provide the opportunity to analyze Tafuri's notions deeper.


1997.08.16
part 1a:
The possible title of the section could be: Fathoming the Unfathomable. This could work because that is exactly what it is that I set out to do in beginning to redraw the Campo Marzio.
I wonder if I could here introduce my idea of plans as text. It seems appropriate considering the stuff I'm going to do pertaining to the lamguage and hierarchy of the Campo Marzio plans.
I have to still get the direct quote from Scully concerning the Campo Marzio hanging over Kahn's desk. This is very likely the first time I became aware of the existence of Piranesi's Campo Marzio, and it worth noting that this first introduction also brought with it an architectural legacy--a sense that it may hold some special inspirational power, and therefore a sense of mystery as well.
Get the Frampton quote from the notes to Exhibit I.
I do not now have the Kahn book in front of me, but I want to still make a list (of 5 or 6 items) of Kahn building plans that seem very inspired by the Campo Marzio plans.
Here is a list of MG building plans that also seem very inspired by the Campo Marzio:
a. Elementary School, Aviano, Italy, 1981.
b. William Penn High School, Philadelphia, 1975.
c. Mission Park Residential Houses, Williamstown, MA, 1972.
d. Parliament House Australia, Canberra, 1988.
e. William Jeanes Memorial Library, Whitemarch, PA, 1967.
(Seeing the M/G plans in relation to the Campo Marzio also makes me aware of the subtle historical transformations that Giurgola also interjected into his designs. Specifically, I am speaking of the influence of Stirling and Aalto as likewise part of the overall design process.)
Right now I am thinking of either just sketching and scanning these plans, or perhaps I use the computer to do schematic plans. In any case, I don't think I wil be inputting the whole plan.
The point here will be to present the story behind my own architectural education (early exposure) and the notion that all these plans have a repeated pattern and an intricate planimetric geometry, a geometry related to the plan formations of the Campo Marzio.
I could also introduce my own Bank plan from 2nd year studio as an example of my own venture into geometry. I was more or less searching for a creative geometry that was also meaningful.
I can also discuss patterning and the other capabilities of CAD. I could show examples of the various copy and rotate techniques of CAD.
Ultimately it was capabilities of CAD (unlimited drawing plane, drawing individual plans and then positioning them into context, copy mirror, copy grid, circular copy) that manifested the possibility to redraw the Campo Marzio, thus making an unfathomable task fathomable.
I will end by illustrating the first set of plans that I generated, and explain how they represent plans made up of repeatable generative elements, thus also represting a specific type of design methodology. (see general note 124.1)

1997.08.16
part 1b:
See general note 116.
I can use all the following illustrations and references:
1. campobase.db as following in Fasolo's footsteps (?)
2. the years of dormancy (?)
3.Tafuri and the Horti Lucilliani - source of inspiration and information - textual references.
4. new plan beginning to take shape.
5. started making scale comparisons - between CC Philadelphia and the Campo Marzio which culminated within Exhibit I.
6. reaching a critical mass with the Bustum Hadriani and the Horti Neroniani.
7. reaching Piranesian proportions (of output) - also the manifestation of a new form of architectural documentation (and documentation here refers to his vast book output as well as to his tromp l'oui (sic) technique of representation).
8. Is Piranesi still my guide in this project? - the answer is yes because it is through Piranesi that I continue to learn about the virtual realm.
All of the above will be revealed as a real demonstration of the Collingwood's philosophy of history. (Although I should make it clear that my personal knowledge of Collingwood came very late in the process.)
I have to scan in the specific Collingwood texts that apply.
I can perhaps end this section by addressing the question of whether I have in the process been able to reach the same imaginative level of design ingenuity as Piranesi? I guess the real answer to that question is that I have mostly learned thing that I in no way expected. It is almost as if the original quest for an understanding of creative and meaningful geometry as it relates to architectural design is no longer the issue. The real issue now seems to be the discovery of the real capabilities of the virtual realm, and how the virtual realm may be opening a new alternative direction of historiography. This is perhaps the best lead into the next section which will address Piranesi's own re-enactment of history and how his process relates to the philosophy of Vico.


1997.08.16
part 1c:
(8.20.97) These notes now seem to not exactly relate to the main point, which is the relation of Piranesi's reconstruction of the Campo Marzio and the philosophy of Vico. Most of my references will come from Vico and texts on Vico (Vico and the imagination). Here are the notes:
1. I could make a comparison between the Nolli plan and the Forma Urbis and then make the connection that the Campo Marzio is like a combination of the methodology behind the two (prior) plans.
2. I'm still not sure, however, where the notion of re-enactment fits in. (I wonder if I get the Yourceau book out and read it--maybe there will be some reenactment ideas there.
3. I might make a case here distinguishing reenactment from archeology.
4. I may have to also do as much other Piranesi reading as I can in order to make a reenactment case.
5. I might end this section with an introduction of the notion of imagination. Was Piranesi trying to recapture the ancient Roman imagination? Where the extent ruins his primary link to Rome's architectural past? Was Piranesi essentially looking at the ruins and then imaginatively filling in the gaps? Dixon addresses this very point.
I have to scan the appropriate texts from Cecilia Miller, Giambattiata Vico: Imagination and Historical Knowledge. I should also re-read Sue Dixon's dissertation. Of course, I will aslo make reference to Sue's "Methods of Reconstruction".

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