RELAX TEMPIETTO RELAX
Site: Courtyard of San Pietro in Montorio, Rome.
Bramante’s Tempietto of 1502 presently stands inside a contortionist box, under stress and with severe tension. The powerful muscularity of its solid, molded and Rorschach-like masses clash intensively with the planar, orthogonal and claustrophobic surfaces of its oppositional confinement, the small courtyard inside which it has resided for over 500 years. This, the longest prison sentence in history, will end. The Tempietto needs to Rest. It will Relax and Repose.
Working within the boundaries of the compact existing courtyard, two strategies have been implemented:
1. Hug/Contour: Introduced the perimeter colonnade that is contoured to its geometry so as to hug and cocoon. The divisive line becomes the threshold for the iconic views, and the resulting poché is transformed into the site for the intervention.
2. Ideal View Chambers: Created to direct the layering of the mythical views of peripteral columns seen through other peripteral columns (Bramante’s instructions). These chambers become instructive devices that direct symmetrical views along the lines of perfect symmetry, create asymmetrical snapshots at the moments of intense asymmetry in the plan, and in ironic ways, reveal a desire for invention over rules.
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