The Gallic author Stendhal described the Pantheon as the ‘first great memorial of non-useful architecture’ . This statement nullifies the utility of faith. as the Pantheon was a topographic point of worship but this is non what separated it from other Ancient Roman architecture. Its singularity can be discerned non merely in its immense and unprecedented size but besides in the originality of design and from a strictly aesthetic point of position. a clear synthesis of the classical orders.In order that one might nail the alone characteristics found in the Pantheon 1 must research other edifices constructed at the same clip that utilise more crude or so superior structural characteristics. The Aqueduct of Segovia is an illustration of a piece of architecture that is far removed from the Pantheon in footings of both signifier and map but portions similar building methods.

Following this peculiar comparing it seems to me that to take the typical characteristics outside of their whole unit is an often-flawed historical method.However. if one pinpoints the influences of the structural elements in ulterior architecture like the Baths of Diocletian and on figures like Brunelleschi than a sense of dignities can be transposed rather limpidly onto the alone characteristics of the Pantheon in footings of its design and building.

Bernini perceived the Pantheon as the brotherhood of cardinal signifiers. the portico and the cylindrical vault. This was a fusion of classical orders. the Roman vault and the Greek Corinthian temple forepart.The consequence of skips in architectural footings like the deficiency of a major statue or so a outstanding courtyard serves to elaborate the lucidity of the bing characteristics. the portico. the pediment and the dome. The dome remains the cardinal characteristic in conformity with the originality of design as even after about 2000 old ages it still remains the world’s greatest unreinforced concrete dome.

A sequence of crossing arches lay on 8 wharfs. which bear the weight of 8 round-headed arches that run through the membranophone.It is a common architectural point of view that the Pantheon is the vertex of ancient architecture that clearly embodies a synthesis of the classical orders with a simple two-point design. However.

in order to decently understand the singularity of the Pantheon it is of import to travel beyond simple aesthetics and dig into the existent building of the edifice and moreover the Pozzolana concrete that allowed huge weight to be posited on the membranophone.This lightweight concrete goes some manner in explicating the proficient success of the Pantheon but it would be negligible for an statement to overlook the other factors that allowed the dome to be procured on that graduated table. The coffering and concentric stepped rings are other illustrations of consummate workmanship being joined with aesthetics to ‘shred the mass’ of the domes and in bend the whole cylindrical construction.It seems to me that the cardinal factor in the Pantheon’s singularity is non as many believe its saving through the ages or its limpid symmetrical signifiers but the building of the dome and the stepped rings that consolidated the tensenesss in a round mode which 1 must reason was a purposeful design characteristic as opposed to a defect. For the saving of the construction is about entirely determined by the original workmanship.

The influence of the Pantheon can be determined by the legion emulations ( non transcripts as Carroll Meeks states in her article ‘The Pantheon Paradigm” . ‘The usage of transcript and imitation in such observations is owing to hasty observation on the portion of the modern critic’ ) . Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence primary and most likely exclusive influence from a design point of position is the Pantheon. Whether the Pantheon was a alone signifier of its clip or alternatively a apogee of earlier paradigms is a inquiry that is easier to reply than one might believe.

The Temple of Mercury at Baiae was the first recorded monumental dome. With a diameter of 21. 5m it is less than half of the Pantheon’s diameter.

which totals 43. 4m. The promotions in concrete is undeniable in explicating the Pantheon’s success as it allowed for curvilineal signifiers to be constructed on an unprecedented graduated table.

In the predating centuries of the Pantheon’s building ; lime howitzer as utilized in edifices of this type but due to long scene times and low compressive strength it was disbanded in favor of more hydraulic signifiers of concrete.Roman pozzolana. which is a hydraulic signifier. differs from lime howitzer. as it does non necessitate the H2O to absorb into the ambiance to dry but alternatively sets rapidly and holds its signifier in a more severe mode. It was utilised in the Pantheon amidst the stepped rings and it was set in such a manner that it cracked around the rings alternatively of against the rings.

which would hold resulted in eventual demolishment. These homocentric rings can be likened to miniature buttresses.However. there are pronounced differences between typical buttresses and homocentric rings as buttresses provided and antipathy to tensile forces whereas homocentric rings were used to compact tenseness into a stable signifier as opposed to simply opposing the force. This peculiar characteristic was unprecedented at the clip on such a big graduated table and is cardinal for the dome staying in an integral signifier as the weight is concentrated down in a perpendicular mode as opposed to outwards. which was the instance for about all. predating domes.

The bottom of the dome is coffered which was non an original pattern but the usage of 140 caissons coupled with lightweight sums in a geometrical form is a alone illustration. The weight remains directed at the membranophone as opposed to the more delicate upper side of the dome. The coffering was non peculiarly deep but measured to a 1. 5m opening which to all purposes and intents was plenty to prolong the hard-on of the dome. Some historiographers have disagreed with the utility of the coffering and dismissed it as simply an illusionistic device.Even so if this is the instance the caissons provide ample aesthetic significance and interrupt up the dome in a systematic and symmetrical mode. The Roman architects responsible for the rebuilding of the Pantheon were airy in their methods of easing concrete in topographic points where the dome was extremely sloped.

Cracks found in the lower portion of the dome point to possible ‘hoop tension’ which consequences from terrible but manageable compaction at the base of the springing vaults in the cylindrical walls. The Pantheon can be explained as non merely an vertex of Roman architecture but furthermore as the attendant symbol of a thriving and progressing civilization.It would be a false statement to reason that such architecture could be constructed without promotion in edifice engineering. The development of the round arch allowed for a advanced type of architecture free from the restraints of graduated table.

The round arch determined big gaps for visible radiation and entree. which was made possible by the building of the round arch. Due to promotions like this.

signifiers began to take on a new signifier of malleability and for this ground entirely a new distinguishable Roman interior infinite as procured. In order that one might tag the singularity of thePantheon’s characteristics in a mensural mode it is of import to research other outstanding edifices made at the same clip. The Amphitheatrum flavium was completed 50 old ages earlier and is the lone edifice to equal the pantheon in influence and stature. However. it is non matched in construction as the Colosseum rests on a squared rock model. which was a common architectural theoretical account that was raised to immense highs but unlike the pantheon is non an illustration of great architectural design. This can be put down to the stuffs used and the deficiency of any new methods being utilized ; it is just to province that the Pantheon surpasses it in footings of singularity.W L.

MacDonald in his book ‘The Architecture of the Roman Empire” dismantles the Pantheon into its most simple signifiers while associating each signifier to either an architectural precursor or more significantly the inter-related nature of one signifier upon another. MacDonald is remorseful in explicating the differences between the Pantheon and the traditional Classical temple theoretical account. The measurings of the pediment are markedly different to other illustrations of Roman temple pediments. The columns are unfluted and narrow as they rise towards the Corinthian capitals. which is comparable to the Temple of Mars found in the Roman Forum.Both architectural illustrations portion an 8-column frontage and a traditional Grecian pediment.

The measurings between the rotunda and the porch are geometrically precise and symmetrical. the rotunda is dual the length of the porch and two-thirds the breadth. MacDonald describes the pantheon as a ‘central building’ in so much as the perpendicular and horizontal axes meet at a cardinal point through the eye. If these measurings or lines had been away in any nominal ay than the dome would non hold sustained its signifier. Unlike.

its Grecian opposite numbers. the Pantheon was alone in its about secular imagination.Without an overbearing mythology. the divinities.

which the Pantheon professed to give its worship. excessively were either lifted from Greek mythology or merely replace with a more humanistic fear. The Corinthian pilasters. which are found in the entryway porch. consist of white marble. The asceticism of the white marble makes a blunt contrast to the dark granite columns found on the other side of the porch. This type of contrast is similar to the rib-like or even herringbone consequence the caissons procure on the interior of the rotunda.

The premiss of infinite is cardinal to an architect’s vision and explanatory of his peculiar design for a edifice. The round outside of the pantheon provides an huge interior infinite but due to their being no grounded axis jobs can originate in such round edifices. The deficiency of clear entree to the infinite or so any marked artistic articulation are some of the outstanding jobs found in round edifices like the Pantheon. However. the Pantheon is alone in its intervention of a consistent artistic programme around the inside without any peculiar focal points or pillars.These jobs explain why the Pantheon is the first illustration of its type to prolong its signifier on such a monumental graduated table. It seems to me that the Pantheon is alone non merely through the advanced structural characteristics that it used but the precise symmetrical measurings drawn out by its designers.

The patterned advance in understanding new signifiers of concrete proceeded into a new linguistic communication of architecture. To an untrained observer the sheer graduated table of the construction would be the most overpowering factor in its singularity.However. the concentric stepped rings coupled with the bold synthesis of the cylindrical vault and the portico are truly the outstanding factors of the Pantheon’s architectural solidarity.

Having discerned the building of other Roman architecture like the Colosseum and the Diocletian Baths it is clear to spot why the Pantheon is in such a superior province of saving in relation to its modern-day equivalents. An huge view is dictated from these peculiar proportions which start non from the springing vaults but as one enters the portico.

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