Category: Architecture as Experience Radical change in spatial practice

‘The mutability of all things’ The rise, fall and rise of the Meta Sudans fountain in Rome

Elizabeth Marlowe Next to the Amphitheatre of Titus one can still see the remains which are called Sudans, so called because abundant waters flowed down from it and relieved the thirst of those who had been at the spectacles in the amphitheatre . . . Here you can see the Amphitheatre of Titus on one […]


By altering citizens’ topological understanding of their city,70 such new paths fundamentally changed perspectives on, and perceptions of, the cathedral, reinforcing a formalist over a contextual understanding of the Gothic building that went on to dominate scholarship on Gothic architecture during most of the twentieth century. Like the new approach from the railway station, the […]

Ritual as radical changeю The burial of the Unknown Soldier and ‘ways of using’ the space of Washington, DC, 11 November 1921

Helene Lipstadt ‘Ways of using’ as ‘another production’ Benedict Anderson famously considered tombs of Unknown Soldiers to be the most ‘arresting emblems of the modern culture of nationalism’, observing in Imagined Communities that the public ceremonial reverence accorded these monuments. . . has no true precedents in earlier times. . . . Yet void as […]

The ancient fountain

The Meta Sudans was a tall, conical fountain located in the very centre of ancient Rome. Its name (‘sweating turnpost’) reflects its perpetual wetness and its resemblance to the conical turning-posts at the ends of Roman race­tracks. Built in tandem with the Flavian emperors’ magnificent amphitheatre and probably completed by 90 ce, the fountain’s relationship […]