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Converging Lines

Second Year Second Semester

 

Converging Lines is the project title of the Marcellus Library that sits on historic land on the banks of the River Tiber in the magnificent city of Rome. This project incorporates the historical context of the site where a huge amphitheater called the Marcellus once stood. This theatre was at its time one of the biggest theatres in Italy and held great significance on the city which surrounded it. Little of the main facade of the exterior of the building still stands but it creates an important part of the history and architecture of this part of Roman capital.

 

The library takes precedent from this theatre. It uses the centre point and standard sizes that the building was created from to provide a concept for the form and siting of the architecture. It provides a narrative in the continuance of the history of the site. The library takes a site which has been vitally protected over the years and brings part of the early history of Rome back into public use, providing focal point and socializing space to a busy street and an important hot-spot in the city.

 

From research into the Marcellus Theatre, modular lengths were taken from the plan including walkway dimensions, seating blocks dimensions, radia, and pier angles. These were then projected across the site and positioned in order to create a design concept for the library. The theatres solid and void were then inverted to create the building blocks and walkways that would allow access to the reading garden in the historical ruins which have been restored to allow them to become habitable. Like the solid piers/columns and the walls supported the theatre, the building blocks become the support for the library. Therefore, the library becomes a support for the books and the history of Rome.

 

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