Category Architecture as Experience Radical change in spatial practice

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From fountain to ruin

The accurate depiction of the spatial proximity of the two monuments on ancient coins, the descriptive name meta and the distinctive, conical form, ensured that, through the middle ages, Renaissance and beyond, the identity of the fountain as the Flavian Meta Sudans was never lost. The eighth-century

Einsiedeln Itinerary refers to it by name, as does the twelfth-century Ordo Romanus.28

By the time of the Renaissance, the Meta was the object of a surprising amount of attention, despite the monument’s relatively decrepit state (contemporary vedute show it as a crumbling, misshapen tower of brick)...

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Reading one: wilderness as a natural resource

The lagoon and islands offered a wooded retreat set aside from the rest of the fair. Frederick Law Olmsted, who created this seemingly natural landscape out of tidal mud flats, intended it to be the only area of the fair without significant buildings. Surrounded by a lagoon and covered with bushes, flowers, and trees, the islands lent a much needed shade to visitors in the scorching heat of a Chicago summer. Olmsted took care to create a natural­istic appearance for these artificial islands, recommending to the fair’s board of directors that,

as far as it is possible, the lagoon must be made to look like a natural bayou...

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Architecture as Experience Radical change in spatial practice

We are interested in the ways in which places are perceived and appropriated across intervals of time or culture. Landscapes, buildings and urban environ­ments are reconfigured in incommensurable ways by different groups, with their own particular identities, concepts and preoccupations. The different groups, bringing different sets of ideas and experiences to bear on the places that they encounter, spontaneously have different experiences in their encounters. The linking theme of the chapters is the volatility of meaning of particular places in relation to how they have been understood by particular groups, whether as lieuxde memoire, or as neglected sites of forgetting...

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