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|Location||Rome, Italy map|
|Date||118 to 126 timeline|
|Construction System||bearing masonry|
|Style||Ancient Roman, Classical, Corinthian|
|Notes||Great domed hall with oculus|
Poster Image - Pantheon Front Elevation Rendering
The Pantheon is one of the great spiritual buildings of the world. It was built as a Roman temple and later consecrated as a Catholic Church. Its monumental porch originally faced a rectangular colonnaded temple courtyard and now enfronts the smaller Piazza della Rotonda. Through great bronze doors, one enters one great circular room. The interior volume is a cylinder above which rises the hemispherical dome. Opposite the door is a recessed semicircular apse, and on each side are three additional recesses, alternately rectangular and semicircular, separated from the space under the dome by paired monolithic columns. The only natural light enters through an unglazed oculus at the center of the dome and through the bronze doors to the portico. As the sun moves, striking patterns of light illuminate the walls and floors of porphyry, granite and yellow marbles.
The portico consists of three rows of eight columns, 14 m (46 feet) high of Egyptian granite with Corinthian capitals. They support an entablature facing the square, which bears the famous inscription in Latin, attributing the construction to Agrippa, although the extant temple was rebuilt later by Hadrian.
The dome has a span of 43.2 m (142 feet), the largest dome until Brunelleschi's dome at the Florence Cathedral of 1420-36.
The interior volume is a cylinder above which springs the half sphere of the dome. A whole sphere can be inscribed in the interior volume, with the diameter at the floor of the cylinder of 43.3 m (143 feet) equaling the interior height.
Five rows of twenty-eight square coffers of diminishing size radiate from the central unglazed oculus with a diameter of 8.7 m (29 feet) at the top of the dome.
The dome is constructed of stepped rings of solid concrete with less and less density as lighter aggregate (pumice) is used, diminishing in thickness to about 1.2 m (4 feet) at the edge of the oculus. The dome rests on a cylinder of masonry walls 6 m (20 feet). Hidden voids and the interior recesses hollow out this construction, so that it works less as a solid mass and more like three continuous arcades which correspond to the three tiers of relieving arches visible on the building exterior. Originally, these exterior walls were faced with colored marbles.
Also known as Chiesa di Santa Maria ad Martyres
The Pantheon is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on holidays that fall on weekdays except for Christmas Day, New Year's Day and May 1, when it is closed. Admission is free.
Sources on Pantheon
"Pantheon Inside", by Steven W. Semes, ArchitectureWeek No. 254, 2005.0831, pC1.1.
Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan and section drawings, p34.
Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. ISBN 0-442-21535-5. LC 79-18045. NA2760.C46. large split section/elevation drawing, p109. figure-ground map of Rome at Pantheon, p111. plan and section, p212. A nice graphic introduction to architectural ideas. Updated 1996 edition available at Amazon.com
Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents In Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. plan and section diagram, p154. geometry diagram, p183. Updated edition available at Amazon.com
James Stevens Curl. Classical Architecture: an introduction to its vocabulary and essentials, with a select glossary of terms. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992. ISBN 0-442-30896-5. NA260.C87. interior photo of circular space, f4.35, p87. photo of the prostyle octstyle portico of the Pantheon, f2.55, p46.
Johnson Architectural Images. Copyrighted slides in the Artifice Collection.
Spiro Kostof. A History of Architecture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. ISBN 0-19-503472-4. LC 84-25375. NA200.K65 1985. photo showing light shining into interior through oculus, f1.2 , p4. Available at Amazon.com
William L. MacDonald. The Architecture of the Roman Empire I. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982. ISBN 0-300-02818-0. LC 81-16513. NA310.M2. analytical drawing showing arcuated structure in walls, plate 106. plan drawing showing floor pattern, plate 98. no image credit.
William L. MacDonald. The Pantheon : Design, Meaning, and Progeny. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976. ISBN 0-674-65346-7. LC 75-27900. Available at Amazon.com
Andrea Palladio. The Four Books on Architecture. New York: Dover Publications, 1965. LC 64-18862. NA2515.P253. detail drawings of portico ornaments, plate 56, book four. section drawing, plate 57, book four. interior elevation drawing, plate 58, book four. partial elevation drawing, plate 53, book four. plan drawing, plate 51, book four.
Russell Sturgis. The Architecture Sourcebook. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1984. ISBN 0-442-20831-9. LC 84-7275. NA2840.S78. drawing of interior restoration, p255.
Doreen Yarwood. The Architecture of Europe. New York: Hastings House, 1974. ISBN 0-8038-0364-8. LC 73-11105. NA950.Y37. detail perspective drawing of capital, f100, p43. no image credit. bottom drawing second from right on the page.
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