Thomas Holme

City of Philadelphia

1   b

scale and architecture
The gigantism of Piranesi's Campo Marzio becomes perfectly evident when it is compared with other urban plans at the same scale. I have already done some comparative analysis between the Campo Marzio and parts of Center City Philadelphia, I particularly used the area around the Philadelphia Museum of Art because that building and the plan of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway are themselves, in general, fine examples of an urban design gigantism practiced in America in the early twentieth century.
If anything, this exercise will be a lesson in scale and, in particular, gigantic scale. It could perhaps lead to a better understanding of Piranesi's intention and his ideas on urbanism, and it might also lead to a finer understanding of urban scale in general, where the Campo Marzio may actually shed some light on the urban situation of some actual cities, in this case Philadelphia.

scale and architecture
3-D superimposition of Giza pyramids and Center City Philadelphia. ...the height of the Great Pyramid is very close to the height of Philadelphia's City Hall Tower.

scale and architecture
...[could] compile a Recueil using all the data I already have: the building models, some stray plans, the Philadelphia plan, my own designs, the Parkway project, and the Campo Marzio plans. It could be quit a document.

scale and architecture
...comparing the plan/ramps of the Palais des Congrès with the Vine Street highway ramps that connect with I-95 in Philadelphia.

scale and architecture
...a plan of the Parkway area of Center City Philadelphia with the building footprints x-hatched... ...the same scale as a section of the Campo Marzio.
...the Philadelphia street grid superimposed on the Campo Marzio.
...x-hatched building footprints of Philadelphia superimposed on the Campo Marzio. Where the former drawing demonstrates the relationship between a modern city street grid and the Campo Marzio, this drawing will demonstrate a comparison/contrast between the Campo Marzio and another form of urban density.

Center City Philadelphia   2093b

experiments with the Philadelphia model/virtual history
...create a surreal environment, something not seen before.
...this idea stems from working on the Campo Marzio, and wondering whether the Campo Marzio will somehow inspire a new theory on urban design. ...there might be a way of presenting the same type of graphically evocative urban design "plans" as the Campo Marzio using the Center City Philadelphia model... ...a comparison between what Piranesi did with the plan of Rome and what could be done with the model of Philadelphia.
...rotation/scale manipulation of the Philadelphia model parts. ...potential commentary regarding urban design in the computer age (or perhaps just in the virtual realm). ...the positive impression of downtown Pittsburgh with its collage of street grid patterns, and thus its strong contrast to the ubiquitous orthogonal grid of Center City Philadelphia.

racing thoughts
...creating new urban landscapes with deformed models from Quondam's collection. ...this relates to the deformation of the Center City Philadelphia model. ...a manifestation of the metabolic imagination.

merge building models ...use the Philadelphia model as the site for virtual architectural exhibits. ...the Great Pyramid superimposition was just the beginning. ...morph any building or section of the city all in the name of a virtual architectural exhibit. ...has implications for virtual exhibits and museology as well.

virtual Philadelphia
... using the Philadelphia model as a base for new "construction" of unbuilt or demolished Philadelphia, for example, M/G's Market St. Gallery, Kahn's Planning Commission studies and his City Hall, the Furness buildings that are long gone, and the cast iron district torn down to make room for Independence Mall.

Learning from Lauf, (vague) S. - outline
Race Street - Corso (Eguiria) connection
Independence Mall - Ichnographia connection

topological office buildings - high-rise blocks
...high-rise buildings where topological surfaces become the "front" and "backs" of building blocks, and the sides are simply the resulting profiles. ...uniform grids, which will come to represent modules for floor lines and for glazing units. ...apply the resultant designs within the Center City Philadelphia model.

good work
...reenact Guggenheim Bilbao in Philadelphia along the Schuykill River adjacent Eakins Oval.

The Architecture of Being [FOG]
Independence Mall.
an Art School for Girard College.

...begin an interpretive overlay of Kahn's Center City Philadelphia plans upon Quondam's Philadelphia model; could this produce a next wave of Koolhaas architecture? Or will it be a new wave of Piranesi/Kahn/Quondam?

Philadelphia 2026
Semiquincentennial... ...the next major event year for Philadelphia and the USA. ...a design program utilizing CAD and the Philadelphia model.

...[join the] Campo Marzio and Philadelphia at Hadrian's Tomb / Logan Circle, both at true north.
...reenact Kahn's Philadelphia via (enlarged) Campo Marzio plans.

2003.07.24 22:35
Re: news from [Old] York
...the Benjamin Franklin Parkway matches exactly the long axis of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art at one end matching the Nymphaeum Neronis, Logan Circle at the middle of the Parkway matches Hadrian's Tomb, and the tiny intercourse building at the other end matches the location of the Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture at the entrance to JFK Plaza [aka Love Park].
Since it's inception in the early 1920s, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway was seriously considered a reenactment of the Champ Elysees from the Tuileries to the Arc de Triomphe. The Free Library and the Court House on Logan Circle even reenact the Palaces at the Place de la Concorde. I have never come across any reference comparing the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Piranesi's Campo Marzio, but, who knows, maybe the Champs Elysees was somehow inspired by Piranesi's plan.

Philadelphia model development
First off, place the Mikvah Israel Synagogue redux into the model. This type of redux design is then inspiration for more design interpolation of Center City sites and buildings. For example, Independence Mall, Penn's Landing, Vine Street Corridor, Market East and Kahn's plans could all be "developed". At least the model should be the venue for all kinds of 3d design development, be it trees, paving, facades, new buildings/ideas--always a virtual museum of architecture.

Philadelphia model
...spent all day bringing the Philadelphia model up to par with the Parkway axis fix. ...do the various squares and the public green areas...

...place all the Campo Marzio porticus [within Ichnographia Quondam and] juxtaposed with the immediate Philadelphia context.
...a series of City Hall towers marching up the Parkway.
superimpose Basilica Sessorianum model and the Cathedral wireframe.
...model Love Park; superimpose the intercourse building.

2005.06.26 15:25
Re: NIST WTC Collapse Report
I have a 3D computer model of Center City Philadelphia, and it might be interesting to color code the "buildings" in the model as to degrees of danger (using new NIST standards). Display of such a model for Philadelphia and for other cities may at least be another way to "alert" the public.
Just maybe symbolism in contemporary architecture is not so much dead as much as knowing what to symbolize needs resuscitation.

2005.08.08 15:58
"How Did This Happen Revisited"
Vanbrugh begins "How Did This Happen Revisited" by pointing out the dates of the gardens of Versailles (1661-1668) and the plan of Philadelphia (1683), and from there it's a enlightening chronological list of events.

2009.01.25 11:21
Re: Philly Row House
...designing North Philadelphia as hyper-suburban. Versailles plus ultra even.

2009.01.31 16:38
Re: Misc. stuff
...a new way to think about Quondam--experiment with architecture within a/the space time continuum. For example, where some building models have already been collaged together, it's not just being playful but also seeing what it's like when architectures from different places and/or different times cross paths. Another example is how the Axis of Life of the Ichnographia matches the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is like where two different space/time architectures actually lock together, hence the Ichnographia Quondam.

bilocation, finally
Some more on "Bilocation Syndrome":
Axis of Life / Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Diana the Huntress/Nympaeum; Vatican/Life of Constantine tapestries; Gates of Hell; Logan Circle/Hadrian's Tomb; Intercourse building/Love Park.

2021.05.27 -
3000   3000e





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