The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

22 September 1778     Tuesday

Plan of the Mausoleum of Constantina and plan 'reconstruction' of the original Constantinian Basilica of St. Agnes, 1756.

Elevations and section of the Mausoleum of Constantina and elevation and sections of the remains of the original Constantinian Basilica of St. Agnes, 1756.

22 September 2003
Re: evolution and aesthetics
P. asks: But where is the principle in architecture which is equivalent to that of mathematics? If there had been one - why would we have styles which change throughout history. Where is this constant here? How does it show itself in history?
Steve replies: Earth's gravity is for sure a constant [force] that all architecture has to contend with. For example, although styles change, the predominant notion of floors being level doesn't. How does an arch best resist gravity? Via it being rounded or via it being pointed?
Another constant [force] that architecture always (has to) deal with is climate, and the fact that climate varies significantly dependent on location may well explain why (for most of its history) architecture (style) varies significantly dependent on location. Odd/funny how a great many of the buildings designed and executed today strive to have a constant climate inside regardless of where the building is outside.
"What climate does the inside of your building reenact?"
"I love how your design pointedly reenacts a resistance to gravity."
Perhaps Disney's greatest achievement is the making of lots of money reenacting reenactments.
"What New Urbanism is doing is great. We should reenact that reenactment here."
"This is my greatest design yet! It reenacts both evolution and aesthetics!"

22 September 2022     Thursday
Constantina is a daughter of Constantine and Fausta.
Helena is the mother of Constantine.
Eutropia is the mother of Maxentius and Fausta.

Plan of the Ludus Florae as delineated within the Ichnographia Campus Martius, 1762.

Plans of the Mausoleum of Constantina (354), remains of the original Constantinian Basilica of St. Agnes (314), and the present day S. Agnese fuori le Mura (625-38).

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