Wednesday, 7 December 2011


What occurs on the scale of the individual building, namely what has been discussed earlier with regard to ruins: the erosion of form, mining and additions of later generations to existing material –also occurs at the scale of the city. Areas are either set down and evolve or are cut‐up, eroded and altered through the centuries –every change adding difference and variation to the spatial continuum of the city’s public urbanity. What in individual buildings is the delightful accretion of various scales, materials and tastes, becomes a powerful display of cultural evolution and its spatial corollaries throughout the ages when expressed at the urban scale. Because in Rome there isn't one definitively dominant attitude structuring the city’s form, but rather a congested layering of various structuring marks from conflicting eras, each area’s streets and squares jostle with each other, under each other, over each other

If one could cast aside historical lineage for a day, and view the city purely as space, colour, form and ideas, then we would have an opportunity to experience Europe in all its breadth and contradictions. By virtue of the sheer overwhelming weight of its physical history, Rome collapses in on itself as an Architectural singularity, it is the epicentre of the continent where the laws of time and space implode. Rome becomes all of history in one point, and because this is rendered spatially, in this place we walk outside of history and its shackles of one‐thing‐comes‐after‐another. We walk through something that more than anywhere else comes close to being the spatial embodiment, in all its time travelling, space defying, taste denying waywardness –of the human mind. Rome negates history.

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