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CHASING THE ROMANS

Posted on 30 October, 2017 at 14:15 Comments comments (0)


Statue at the entrance to the Museum of Tarragona © Mba Photography 2017

This month we embarked on a cultural trip to Spain/Catalonia chasing the Romans in Tarragona(Latin: Tarraco) . The Roman ruins of Tarraco have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Part of the bases of large Cyclopean walls near the Cuartel de Pilatos are thought to pre-date the Romans. The building just mentioned, a prison in the 19th century, is said to have been the palace of Augustus. The second century Tarragona Amphitheatre near the seashore was extensively used as a quarry after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and but few vestiges of it now remain. A circus c. 450 metres (1,480 ft) long, was built over in the area now called Plaça de la Font, though portions of it are still to be traced. Throughout the town Latin, and even apparently Phoenician, inscriptions on the stones of the houses mark the material used for buildings in the town.

ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE

An oval structure built in the 2nd century overlooking the sea, its stands were carved directly out of the underlying bedrock. The amphitheatre is 109.5 metres long by 86.5 metres wide and can hold up to 14,000 spectators. In its day, it was the scene of fights between gladiators and against wild beasts, as well as public executions. In the year 259 A.D., the Bishop Fructuoso and his deacons Augurio and Eulogio were burned alive within its confines. In the early 6th century, a Visigoth basilica was built on the site, which was eventually replaced by the mediaeval Santa Maria del Miracle (Our Lady of the Miracle) church.

Roman Amphiteatre , view from the gardens © Mba Photography 2017

Roman Amphiteatre , view from above © Mba Photography 2017

THE  ROMAN CIRCUS

Located between Via Augusta and the provincial forum, Tarragona's circus was once used to hold horse and chariot races. An elongated structure measuring 325 by 115 metres, its original capacity has been estimated at 30,000 spectators. The complex was built in the 1st century. Unusually, it was located within the city limits and is thus endowed with several atypical architectural features. It is considered one of the best-preserved circuses in the West, although some of the original structure remains hidden under old 19th-century buildings. The Praetorium is a Roman-era tower that once housed the stairs that connected the lower city to the provincial forum by way of the circus, to which it is connected by means of underground passageways. It stands at one of the corners of the vast rectangle of the provincial forum square. In the 12th century, it was transformed into a palace for the monarchs of the Crown of Aragon. It was subsequently used as a prison.


The carving on the ancient walls defines the main access © Mba Photography 2017

What we were most interested in visiting this site was the restoration and modernization project carried out by the Italian architect Andrea Bruno,

where as the architect himself says " the reopening of ancient architectures has been implemented under the rediscovery of the peculiarity of the site  and the complexity of its stratification. The medieval wall was kept in its general consistency and the design research is focused on the design of the carving to operate to access the restored arches of the ancient masonry only a small section was sacrificed redesigned by a concrete frame".


The circus, in the background an ideal reconstruction hanging from a nearby palace. © Mba Photography 2017


Detail of the masonry cutting made up of the concrete frame that meets with the glass cover that joins the wall with the arches. © Mba Photography 2017


The entrance and the glass cover . © Mba Photography 2017


Underground tunnel access to the stairs. © Mba Photography 2017


View from above of the steps and the corridor underneath in the circular part of the circus. © Mba Photography 2017


The staircase leading to the upper floors and the panoramic terrace.© Mba Photography 2017

Pedestrian walkways and staircase leading to the intermediate terrace.© Mba Photography 2017


View of the town of Tarragona, with the cathedral at the bottom , from the panoramic terrace. © Mba Photography 2017


View of the Roman Amphiteatre from the panoramic terrace © Mba Photography 2017

We can conclude that surely those who are fascinated by Roman history can not avoid staying in this magnificent city for a few days and enjoy the beautiful monuments and fantastic sea and Mediterranean climate!

Source: www.tarragona.cat/patrimoni/museu-historia/monuments/el-circ-roma,   

             https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarragona ;        

             http:// www.tarragonaturisme.cat/en/monument/praetorium-and-roman-circus-mht

             http://www.spanisharts.com/arquitectura/imagenes/roma/tarragona_circo.html

             Progetto e Autenticita'  by Andrea Bruno ,1999 ed. Del Giglio S.a.s

ONE DAY OUT VISITING CAMBRIDGE BY THE RIVER

Posted on 11 October, 2017 at 11:05 Comments comments (0)

We liked ending the summer with a visit to a City we always loved both for the quality of architecture and for the University environment that is part of its history.

The Univeristy of Cambridge © Mba Photography 2017

The University of Cambridge comprises 31 Colleges and over 150 departments, museums and other institutions. The best way to see many of the central Colleges is to take a punt tour along the River Cam and that's exactly what we did.

The River Cam running through the city centre is used for boating. From the River Cam it is possible to appreciate the buildings and the textures of the materials with what they are built.

The boatman was our guide and we were shocked at his culture and knowledge of the buildings that illustrate us explaining their history and the various events they witnessed.

This visit will stay forever in our hearts and especially in our memories thanks to our photographs.

The Bridge of Sighs by Arch. Henry Hutchinson © Mba Photography 2017

The River Cam , detail of building and boat © Mba Photography 2017

House / Waterfront © Mba Photography 2017


Bodley's Court / King's College © Mba Photography 2017


The Wren Library at sunset, Trinity College Cambridge © Mba Photography 2017

Source: https://www.visitcambridge.org/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge

      

THE V&A'S NEW EXHIBITION ROAD COURTYARD

Posted on 3 August, 2017 at 11:55 Comments comments (1)

Last month we photographed this new Built Project by AL_A . Unfortunately, the new Sainsbury Gallery was closed for an exhibition preparation but we propose to visit it again in September when she will reopens to the public and  we will  provide also some images of the interiors.


Photo © MBA photography 2017

Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) worked with the V&A on an exciting process to install the first porcelain-tiled public courtyard in the UK.


Photo © MBA photography 2017


Photo © MBA photography 2017

This choice of material responds specifically to the fabric of the original building and its collections, which include numerous striking examples of 19th century decorative ceramics.


Photo © MBA photography 2017

The courtyard act as a venue for installations and events and is served by a glass-fronted café.


Photo © MBA photography 2017

In addition to providing a range of new public spaces inside and outside the Museum, the project create a new relationship between the heart of the V&A and Exhibition Road.


Photo © MBA photography 2017


Photo © MBA photography 2017


Photo © MBA photography 2017


Photo © MBA photography 2017

Source: https/www.vam.ac.uk/info/exhibition-road-building-project

The new Serpentine pavilion was unveiled (and it's worth having a look at it)

Posted on 4 July, 2017 at 18:55 Comments comments (0)


© MBA Photography 2017

It was designed by a Burkinabe architect, Diébédo Francis Kéré, the 17th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, last of a unique series of works of the most important international architects.

The design has a lot to do with weather, which could be many things. Spreading from a central ellipse of steel supports, a layered canopy of timber and translucent polycarbonate filters the sunshine. The blue, curving walls provide degrees of breeziness and shelter from the wind. Rainwater, something which Kéré thinks the British appreciate too little – “you don’t know what you have” – will slosh from the canopy into a central void formed between the supports, at speed and with volume, to make temporary elliptical waterfalls.


© MBA Photography 2017

When Serpentine Gallery decided to commission its Pavillion (it is showed until 8 October) to Kerè “it was a heavy, heavy burden” but, however, he decided to be “true to himself”. He came up with the idea of making an architectural version of a big tree in Gando, where people could gather in its perforated shade. Its structure is a festival of triangles, with curved walls beneath the orange-ish roof in complementary deep blue.


© MBA Photography 2017

The design has a lot to do with weather, which could be many things. Spreading from a central ellipse of steel supports, a layered canopy of timber and translucent polycarbonate filters the sunshine. The blue, curving walls provide degrees of breeziness and shelter from the wind. Rainwater, something which Kéré thinks the British appreciate too little – “you don’t know what you have” – will slosh from the canopy into a central void formed between the supports, at speed and with volume, to make temporary elliptical waterfalls.


© MBA Photography 2017

When Serpentine Gallery decided to commission its Pavillion (it is showed until 8 October) to Kerè “it was a heavy, heavy burden” but, however, he decided to be “true to himself”. He came up with the idea of making an architectural version of a big tree in Gando, where people could gather in its perforated shade. Its structure is a festival of triangles, with curved walls beneath the orange-ish roof in complementary deep blue.


© MBA Photography 2017

Sources : https://www.dezeen.com/2017/06/24/this-week-news-riba-winners-serpentine-pavilion-oma-mpavilion

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/jun/25/francis-kere-serpentine-pavilion-2017-review-burkina-faso

http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/about


Innovation and talent: Clerkenwell Design Week continues to inspire

Posted on 5 June, 2017 at 5:15 Comments comments (0)

Innovation and talent: since its foundation, in 2009, Clerkenwell Design Week has attracted the international design community, establishing itself as the UK's leading independent design festival. And, after visited the seven main exhibitions of this year, we can confirm it is completely unique, an exciting event for experts and also for festival first-timer, a real insipiration for the Exhibition industry.



From 23-25 May, all two-and-a-half square miles of the famously-creative district was packed with shows and installations in some of the capital's most interesting and historical buildings.

Now in its eighth-year, the three-day festival was made up of seven main exhibitions, each with a different theme, across seven main venues and 100 spaces in total. With a designated north-south route through the district, taking visitors from Exmouth Market to Smithfield, it was easy to stroll from one free event to another - just following the bright pink signs.




Source: www.studiostand.org
Photos: © MBAPhotography


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