One of the more inspiring and brilliantly conceived and constructed dome structures in the world is the Pantheon of Rome. This example imposes a magnificent strength of ingenuity and dominance over their surrounding landscape, and the Pantheon deserves to be researched and admired for its architecturally innovative and bold design of its time. The building was accommodated with serious technical impediments that required a thorough and scrutinizing attention to detail in order to overcome. It is because of the prevailed obstacles by the various designers, architects and builders of this building that captures the consideration of those interested in the development of building technology and progress throughout the history of dome architecture and architecture in general. Considering the mastery of building techniques and materials of the time the buildings were erected, it is still quite impressive how immense and concise the overall structures were and still remain to this day. Clearly much thought and extensive planning were performed to conceive and materialize such behemoths of architectural prowess and innovation. THESIS; Although the Pantheon and its adjoining Dome are many centuries old, their architectural competence and proficiency of structural design have withstood the test of time and is noted as a penultimate example of Dome architecture.
In order to fully appreciate the grandeur of the Pantheon, a look at its formal qualities should be taken into account. The overall form of the Pantheon consists of primarily geometric and volumetric shapes such as the triangle, rectangle, cylinder and sphere when viewing the structure in its most reduced form(s). When looking further into each varying form, a world of detail and complexities are uncovered. For instance, the entablature above the columns houses a highly detailed and intricate array of relief sculptures each encompassing their own unique set of formal qualities. Although there are many different forms found throughout the Pantheon, the most awe-inspiring is clearly the half sphere comprising the dome atop the rotunda. The sheer mass of the dome demands a sense of respect and gratitude by leaving the viewer struck by the titanic proportions whilst inside the structure. The colors of the Pantheon are somewhat muted and primarily earth toned on the exterior fascia of the structure, while the inside houses a greater variety of colors and hues derived from the natural materials used to complete the building. The dull nature of some of the colors found throughout the structure are due to the fact that the building itself is some nineteen hundred years old and weathering from the elements has faded some of the previous vibrancy of the structure. However the color(s) of the Pantheon are still a good fit for the function of the structure. The reddish-grey marble columns adorning the inside of the rotunda serve to enhance the spiritual essence of the previously pagan establishment by adding a sense of variety to the building. The textures found throughout the Pantheon are plentiful if the viewer is looking in the right place. The exterior of the building seems to exude a rough and somewhat craggy texture found from the bricks of the rotunda and fastened portico. The columns are also somewhat rough on the outside, perhaps due to the expanse of time which has passed since the building’s completion. However, the marble columns housed within the structure appear smooth and pristine. The materials of the Pantheon each have their own definite feel and textural qualities. The metal used for adornments is clearly smooth whilst the igneous and metamorphic rocks which comprise the foundational elements of the building vary from being smooth to rough. The space of the Pantheon is quite massive. The oculus of the dome itself is twenty eight feet in diameter while the dome’s diameter as a whole is one hundred and forty two feet. Clearly a...
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