Posts Tagged ‘ Person Pic of the Day ’

Bracciano + Dinner in the Campo + Jubilee Church = Amazing Weekend

First things first, Santa Maria della Pieta is coming along very slowly and I’m frustrated as hell that nothing is getting done and more complaining is happening than actual work being done.  I bet if half the effort for the complaining was put towards working to help make this place feel like home and function as well, we would be long done.  But I guess this kind of shock is new to people, I have been on camping trips before where conditions were worse and I had to live there for 2 weeks… Whatever a nice weekend away from Pieta was a beautiful experience.

First was the trip to Bracciano and the volcanic lake.  I regret not taking my camera because the views from the train and train station were breath taking, although it revealed a harsh truth.  Lorenzo said that it’s only a short walk to the water from the station.  We forgot about the fact that Lorenzo is a true Stalker and a “short walk” for him is about a 30-40 minute walk.  Additionally, it was all downhill so that means that after the relaxing trip down to get to the lake, we would have to hall ass all the way back up.  But we all were too determined to see this amazing lake and of course swim in it so we traveled down.

The water and the lake were beautiful.  Additionally, there was a bar nearby so I got myself a vodka and pineapple cocktail and laid out on the shore after we swam.  Then I went back in the water to play some volleyball.  Everything was fine until after I got out of the water, I noticed that my ring was no longer on my finger! I freaked out and searched frantically and my worse nightmare was coming true, I had lost my ring in the water… In addition to that I stepped on my sunglasses while trying to find the ring.  Could things get any worse… I ran back into the water and started searching for what seemed like an eternity but no luck.  Eventually, an Italian man approached me and lent me a pair of water goggles that fit perfectly.  I then dove back into the water and searched relentlessly not giving up.  I was getting exhausted at this point and starting making my way back to shore to lie down and catch a breath when all of a sudden a gleam of reflection hit my eyes, IT WAS MY RING! It was wedged between 2 rocks and was sticking straight up as if being put on display at a jewelry store.  I grabbed it as fast as I can, shot up out of the water, and yelled with joy.  My fellow studio mates were amazed but also happy I found my ring.  The walk back up the hill wasn’t as bad because I knew that the ring was on my finger and not lost in the volcanic lake.

That evening a few of us went to dinner at the Campo de Fiori and I had a great time.  Dinner was amazing; the restaurant was the Magnolia at the east end of Campo de Fiori.  It came out to 30 euro a person with wine and 3 courses (we all shared appetizers and deserts).  The food was very good and very Italiano.

Also, I got a great shot of RJ and Joann so they both get Person Pic of the Day.

Person Pic of the Day - RJ and Joann at Campo

The next day RJ was hell bent on seeing the Jubilee church because he had done a case study on it for studio I’m assuming last semester.  I’m glad I tagged along to witness the building.  On our long journey and quite a walk over, we made a left on a street and it was like a slap in the face. BAM! The Jubilee church by Richard Meier was perched on top of a slight incline right at the end of the street.  The frontal view was amazing, yet the context of the building was completely out of context.  Right across the street are 7-9 story apartment buildings and a park across a large parking lot.  The typical views and pictures of the church seem to set the building in a serene park and landscape.  Whether that was the previous condition when it was first built, that condition no longer exists.  Although a-contextual, the church was still beautiful architecturally; especially the white stone that stays bright white due to some kind of paint or sealant that is self-cleaning.  My knowledge on the building is not great, but even without extensive knowledge the building was still a great site to see.  It is hard to believe that 1st year 1st semester graphics I was trying just to sketch the building and now I got to see it first hand.

Me in front of the Jubilee Church by Richard Meier



Moving to Santa Maria della Pieta

Today was the day we have to say goodbye to the Derby and I was certainly excited to get out.  Waking up in a puddle of my own sweat was unpleasant and disgusting.  So living somewhere were we could actually design and live in I think is going to be fun.

But first we had to load up all of our things into a truck and take a train to our new home. On the train ride over I snapped a quick picture of Cara that def makes the Person Pic of the Day.

Person Pic of the Day - Cara on the train ride over to SMdP

After getting a good idea of how to get here, we made it and the first walk through made this place look pretty good, just not very well maintained.

Shot of Walking to the ex Lavanderia

When we first got here, the place did not look too pleasant although the pictures make this place look like an oasis away from home.  Although there are many Palm trees and very open spaces, the living quarters are well really crappy.  Outdoor showers with no concealment, outdoor terrace buried under mountains of dirt and pine needles, a space completely taken over by a theater that does not use the space the entire day and does not sleep here, and a very very bad internet connection.  It was not a pleasant place to be what so ever.  The picture outside the front windows says otherwise…

View outside our living space that looks serene...

We eventually broke off into separate groups to help fix things.  I was in the group to clean up the terrace that was filled with pine needles, pinecones, and just dirt.  The potential of the area was good; there was a bar and enough area behind it to cook dinners, an old BBQ that we carried upstairs, some sheets of metal, and some stands.  Soon we had a dinner table made to fit us all with benches made of large 2×12 pieces of lumber and small empty keg cans.  After that we made some food on the BBQ and had a great time with plenty of wine and beer to get our minds off the poor conditions we are dealing with.  Hopefully this weekend off will bring some well-needed relaxation.

ex Lavanderia - Our home for the Week


Baths of Caracala + Stalker take 2

First thing in the morning we headed out to the baths of Caracala in order to take our first stab at watercolor painting.  We were also reintroduced to Peter Lang who we had meet at our final review back in Newark.

We headed off to the Circo Massimo that was once a large horseracing spectacle in Roma.  Right next door is the Baths of Caracala were we would be doing watercolors for the first time.  To be honest I did not know what to expect since I had never done a watercolor before.  But first we got to see the baths themselves.  They were quite amazing.  The scale of the building compared to the human scale was enormous and just imagining the completed walls and ceilings with patterns, frescos, and beautiful materials would be quite a magnificent sight.  If only there was a time machine that could get us to take a look back in time to witness the views of the grand spaces the Romans imagined.

My first Watercolor painting...

After the Baths of Caracala, we walked around the area and eventually came up to a park that was perched on top of a hill and had a great view of Roma.  I just couldn’t resist so I took a panoramic shot.

Panorama After the Baths of Caracala in the nearby neighborhood

After our try at water coloring, (scanning coming soon), we went on another adventure with our friends from Stalker with Lorenzo and Julia.  Our trip now consisted of walking along the Tiber River at a level close to the water.  During this trip we saw how high the water can get in the Tiber and the need for the wall was eminent, yet the architecture and play with space was a bigger opportunity missed throughout this wall.

Nice bridge on our walk over

Along the way, we saw a series of pull-up bars that RJ, Edwin, and Caio climbed up on and created a Person Pic of the Day.

Person Pic of the Day - RJ Edwin and Caio

After this walk, we headed to an old slaughter house which was now divided into multiple parts, one being a part of a architecture school and exhibit, another a place for new people trying to immigrate to Roma and find a way into the system.  The reorganization of the area by Stalker for the refugees is a great attempt to better the situation of people trying to make their way into Roma.  By renovation the existing building, and also giving jobs that helped Stalker in public exhibits to the people who lived there was a great way to build up the community and eventually the diversity of Roma.  I do like where Stalker is going with this social discovery and social benefits for everyone living there.  I guess the experience of moving to Santa Maria della Pieta will be another chance to see how Stalker really works.

Caprarola – Italian Countryside Trip

The trip started with a mix up in buses and the bus eventually showed up an hour late, but we had a full size bus with a very good air conditioning system.  That was definitely a great relief from the hot as hell room at the Derby.  After a good 1.5 hours of sleep, we arrived at the Villa Farnese.

The large circular staircase with frescos EVERYWHERE

Villa Farnese - The front entrance & the circular staircase

Also just as we entered the building and waited for the next tour, we got a winner for the Person Pic of the Day.  This time it goes to Flores.

Person Pic of the Day - Flores

The building is a trapezoidal shape with enormous concrete walls that served as a fortress as well as a palace for the Farnese Family.  It was truly a sight to see.  Every room around the entire main building had frescos that related to the program the room was given, but enhanced by appropriating frescos of biblical and mythological importance.  As Jim guided us around the rooms, we eventually got to the upper floor and we were able to see a great view of the town below.  Back in the rein of the Farnese family, the Family owned the entire town and mountainside for many generations in addition to influencing many important territorial and political power ie The Pope.  Jim said that many Farnese family descendents were Popes themselves.  Nevertheless the Farnese still had some tricks up their sleeves in terms of they “home away from home.”

Panoramic view from the 2nd floor of Villa Farnese

The next portion of the Villa Farnese was a large fountain garden and a smaller home up a hill an in the trees of the Farnese property.  The fountains were gorgeous and really gave a sense of tranquility and escape from the trials and tribulations of the world.  With the Farnese always being in demand based on territorial and political disputes, they needed a place to just sit back and relax.

Villa Farnese - The getaway home and its fountains

Once we got to the top of the hill and got onto the opposite side, it was time to take a group picture.  To my fellow Siena Studio mates; if you want a higher resolution picture let me know.

Group Picture at the Getaway Home at Villa Farnese

Caio and Edwins Epic Jump

Next we were off to the Villa Lante.  Unfortunately my battery was running low and I was unable to snap some pictures of the Villa.  Villa Lante was a-typical because the cross axis of the villa does not run through a building.  In fact, there are two buildings, mirror images of each other, along both sides of the axis.  What ran through the middle was the most important; it was a series of water fountains the coolest being a dining table that had a stream going through it where platters of food would travel down.  I’m starting to believe the whole notion that in Architecture many things have been done; you just need to look hard enough.  Also, similarly to Villa Farnese, the Villa Lante was perched up on the top of a hill, yet the series of fountains can be seen from the street walking all the way up.  Both buildings were great sites to see and the exit to the countryside was great.  Ill end with the source of all the water to the Villa Lante, a start that almost looks as though the water is percolating through the walls naturally, almost signifying that the site was begging to have the treatment it got.

Villa Lante Waterfall


Roma ala Jim Dart with a pinch of Baroque

After experiencing Rome for 2 days, it was time to see Rome ala Jim Dart style.  We started off from the Derby onto the Garbatella station, which is the Metropolitana B line.  We got off at Termini, the main station in the heart of Rome, and headed on the Metropolitana A line.  The air conditioning on that train was beautiful to feel because it has been over 90 degrees with high humidity everyday so far.  In addition to that, no letting up of the relentless heat was in sight.  Anyway, we got off at Piazza del Popolo.  Our first venture was the Santa Maria del Popolo and it was one of the first on our Journey.  Bernini designed the 2nd dome on the left side aisle and it was a nice sight to see.  In addition, the church itself was just one of the magnificent churches we would see in Rome.  The church was very Baroque and the aura of lighting striking the center of the pedestal was amazing.  Of course the Baroque had to create great spectacles when designing these churches, I mean they had to keep up and hopefully succeed the Romans during their rein of glory.

Santa Maria Del Popolo - The great bands of lighting hitting the interior of the church

Sketch of Santa Maria de Popolo

Next we traveled to many locations, some too quick to snag a good photo and only enough time to draw a quick parti, or elevation, or section.  Either way I managed to get a church, which the name escapes me right now but it is major baroqo-qo-qo-qo. The phrase basically means Baroque gone nuts with way to much money.

Baroqo-qo-qo - Baroque to the extreme with too much money

After visiting this church we made our way to the famous Piazza Navona and the Sant’Agnese Church.  Of course, controversy followed even into the times of the Baroque when it came down to 2 architects; Bernini and Borromini.  With the Sant’Agnese and the sculpture/obelisk that marks its importance, Borromini’s sculpture and Bernini’s design for Sant’Agnese clearly express the controversy behind the two architects and more importantly the design for Piazza Navona.  Borromini had the forefront design when dealing with the entire Piazza, but Bernini got the church.  Needless to say the contradictions really do make the Piazza Navona great.  Maybe the pursuit of not just being an iconic architect, but the better architect of the two top architects of their time really pushed both of them to be equally great.

Sant'Agnese in Piazza Navona - The church and the statue with the obelisk in front of the church

Next we traveled to the jaw-dropping Pantheon.  Unfortunately, the exterior had scaffolding on half of it; that really was disappointing because my nifty new camera would have caught a nice shot of the front.  Oh well, the real architectural prominence happens on the interior with the center oculus shining light and glimmering the walls and amazing long spanning dome.  I planned on photo stitching a 360 dome like image encompassing the whole dome all the way until the walls hit the floor.  The image and more importantly the stitching is proving to be challenging.  Hopefully I will have time later to finish it.  In the mean time, a placeholder until that nice image comes.

A vertical panoramic view of the Pantheon

Next came the Campidoglio by Michelangelo and the “Wedding Cake” in front of the building.  The disappointing building had angle statues on the roof that needed cross bracing between the wings to support the sculpture.  In my eyes, that is a complete failure and incompetence of the architect and/or sculpture to not use a stronger metal that could handle the stresses.  More interesting is the Campidoglio and the large procession that leads to the trapezoidal center.  In this process, the Person Pic of the Day goes to Neil.

Campadoglio designed by Michealangelo

Person Pic of the Day - Niel

Finally, we ended in a church that was a designed by Bernini that so happened to be focused on the polish community in Rome.  We finally sat down inside and did a few sketches of the inside mainly plan and section with a few details around the page.  Additionally, I grasped a shot of Jim Dart looking straight up and contemplating how Bernini was just awesome.

Jim in Bernini church

That completes the day with our travels to Roma.  Quite amazing.  Tomorrow we have a trip to the country side to Villa Farnese and Villa Lante.  Going to be relaxing with not as much walking and great site seeing.

Ciao I Arrivaderci

Tempietto Days – not 1 but 2 days

First day out in Rome, the task of finding our first building to study and of course find was at hand.  My task was to find the small but highly important Tempietto by Bramante.  Not knowing where to go and essentially going in the blind, I was off to find the building.  The building is set within a church inner courtyard and thus its almost hidden from the exterior.  Additionally, as I was to soon find out, the San Pietro in Montorio (the church the Tempietto is set in) is perched up on what seems like a mountain in the midst of rome.  Fortunately for me I got lost for about 2 hours in Piramide, a Metropolitana (Romes subway system) train station.  Eventually I ventured around the station to find that there was a bus station that would eventually lead me to a tram stop to then a tourist pavilion who finally pointed myself in the right direction.  Well off to some pictures of Santa Maria in Trastevere which I passed on the way to the Tempietto and I also found other things on the way.

To start first – Person Picture of the Day goes to……… Caio Moretti in the morning of the first day out onto Rome.

Caio Excited to go on his first venture out into the world of Roma.

So after tracking like crazy I finally made it to Santa Maria in Trastevere and it was magnificent, on the SECOND DAY! The first day going to both locations, it felt like it was wedding season and everyone booked all the churches Roma had to offer.  Never the less the second day which was also the very next day I also got to witness the interior of the Santa Maria in Trastevere.  Although contained within the cluster of smaller homes all tightly packed into each other, the inside was splendid.  Check it out for yourself below!

Santa Maria in Trastevere - A major stop along the way to Tempietto

Santa Maria in Trastevere Interior

Although the ceiling is flat on the main concourse and vaulting happens on the side aisle of the church, the flat ceiling seems to have many different layers of art and overlapping pieces.  It was quite magnificent and just in awe.  Next came the a series of very steep and brutal sets of stairs, inclined hills/roads, and more stairs.  Eventually I got to the Tempietto and another wedding was happening there on both the first and the second day.  I returned the second day because the people at the tourist center (remember that place on my losing track over to the Tempietto) told me it would be open the very next day. WRONG!!!! it was closed not only that day but also for the next several days.  It was a huge let down and I was getting so desperate to the point I bribed the owners of the Tempietto – the Spanish Academy next door – To let me in.  Needless to say that did NOT work because the guy did not feel like losing his job.  I think it would have been a valiant and noble dead to let an architecture student into the Tempietto.  If only things were seen from my perspective.  🙂

San Pietro in Montorio - the church that encases the Tempietto.

The Tempietto

Needless to say the experience of actually seeing the building was great.  Hopefully I will get another chance to get into the building and get a more accurate description of what is going on in there.  I also walked around and discovered another monument, the Fonte Aqua Paula.  I grabbed a beer (un birra Peroni grande (or medio for people who want a little less, nonesense)) and sat next to the Fonte Aqua Paula.  Also, because of the mountain of a hike up to the Tempietto, an astonishing view of Rome was dead ahead of me.  It was beautiful and my only wish is to be able to point out all of the domes and prominent buildings pushing up from the sea of 4-5 story stone buildings.

Fonte Acqua Paola - The misting from the waterfall was very pleasant

Mapping the Journey to the Tempietto

Ciao i Arrivaderci

The Trip In

The flight was long, the sleeping was short, the troubles were filled, but it all payed off; we were in Rome.

To recap the flight to Paris, the flight was long, but the food on the plane along with the great selection of movies really helped the flight whiz by, so to speak.  Flights are never fun, in addition to the inability to sleep on the plane does not help.  Regardless, we finally landed in Paris and had a great time relaxing in the really open and modern Airport.

Ive also started a series of images everyday of the best photos of one of us from our group.  The first day goes to #mce_temp_url#.

Person Pic of the Day - Ian at the Paris Airport Looking through the Curved Concrete Wall in Awe

Paris Airport - End side of the Structure of the Terminal which connects to a Large Spanning Structural Spine

Soon enough after most of us were baking in the “Greenhouse” that was Paris Airport, we headed off to Rome.  Unfortunately I missed the sight of seeing the Eiffel Tower because I somehow managed to prop my seat back and pass right out… I guess that will just have to be another trip to another country, Paris I will be seeing you next.

Jen and Jill at the Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport

Once we landed in the Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport on the outskirts Rome, tragedy struck, Jim’s bag got lost and he was cellphone-less.  In addition the bus that was supposed to pick us up never showed.  So the next journey was all of us trying to find our way to the train station and hoping on a train to the station close to the center of Rome, Termini Station.  We valiantly found our way and eventually got on a taxi at Termini and got to our hotel, the Derby.  The taxi ride was great and although exhausted from the traveling, I was eager to see Roma.  Along the ride I was able to snag a shot of the Colosseum.

Passing by the Colosseum on my first Taxi ride through Roma.

Until next time, Ciao i Arrivederci