Category Architecture as Experience Radical change in spatial practice

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London Bridge revisited

Dana Arnold

Recently I used the concept of a heterotopia to examine the rebuilding of Old London Bridge in the early nineteenth century.1 I demonstrated how this Foucauldian notion allowed us to understand the bridge as a kaleidoscopic pattern of meanings that reflected and inverted the socio-political and cultural climate of London at that time.2 Old London Bridge symbolized the identity of London. Its history as a focal point of the national road network, such as it was in the pre-modern era, had earned the bridge a certain fame. And it had been the only link between the city and the south bank for over 1,700 years...

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Piranesi’s Pantheon

Susan M. Dixon

In the famous plan of a reconstructed section of ancient Rome that serves as the main illustration of Il Campo Marzio, 1762, and in a corollary bird’s-eye view, Piranesi offered an image of a Pantheon contextualized in relation to many Imperial monuments (Figures 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3). The Pantheon was one of the best preserved and arguably the most visited and commented upon architectural works in the city in the mid-eighteenth century, as it is today. It was often represented; architects from at least the late fifteenth century forward captured various aspects of the building: its fagade and interior decor­ation, and its measurements.1 However, none before Piranesi had positioned it in a plausible urban reconstruction of ancient Rome...

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Reading three: a moral lesson embodied in frontier life

A third reading explores an extreme view of wilderness taken by a group of elite men, members of the Boone and Crockett club, who see the frontier experience as an essential ingredient in forming men into American citizens.

Receiving an invitation from Theodore Roosevelt to attend a club dinner celebrating the opening of the Hunter’s Camp exhibit in the summer of 1893, the fair’s designer Daniel Burnham jumped at the chance for an evening out ‘with the boys’.23 Ensconced in its dark woodland setting, the two-room log cabin was filled with the bulky figures of Victorian gentlemen in informal clothes. Warmed by a blazing campfire and hearing the sounds of the fair muted across the water, Burnham joined other men of power and influence for a night of eating, drinking and talking...

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The French Revolution and after: implications for urbanism

Against this background of spatial practices and the architectural forms which housed them, practices and forms which remained largely unchanged for centuries after the Middle Ages, we may now better divine the specific archi­tectural and urban implications of revolutionary actions in the late eighteenth century. At the time of the French Revolution and the Terror that followed, acts of vandalism targeted the holy relics of the church; these acts of vandalism were accompanied by later acts of iconoclasm directed against carefully selected images adorning the cathedral exterior...

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Sultanahmet Four Seasons at the nexus of divergent geographical imaginations

The challenge of defining Four Seasons Istanbul simultaneously within its actual geographical context and within a supranational web of comparable spaces serving an affluent global elite highlights the third dimension of hetero­topic relations instigated by the conversion. To better assess this, we need to briefly look at the historical and cultural context at the time of the prison’s construction. The distinctive well-proportioned fagade unmistakably identifies the building as an example of Ottoman Revivalism...

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