The pantheon v colosseum

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Pantheon v Colosseum

     The Colosseums construction was initiated by the Emperor Vespasian around 72 AD. His son Titus had control over its completion and the official opening ceremonies in 80 AD. The Colosseum was built near the site of Nero's Domus Aurea “Golden House”. It got its popular name, the Colosseum, because of Nero's colossus (120 ft. high) statue of himself, which was nearby.

Pantheon into ...

Underlying Architectural Principles

The Colosseum was a massive structure. It covered over six acres of land, from end to end the Colosseum was 620 feet long, 513 feet wide, and over 160 feet tall. This magnificent theatre was build over many years and was containing four floors. The ground floor columns are a Doric style, second floor are iconic, and the top floor are Corinthian. (displayed below pic 4.) There is certain logic in having the plainest, simplest, and in appearance the strongest of the columns on the bottom floor, which must support those above it. Then the top tier of the building is divided into Corinthian columns that have rectangular windows every second panel. Previous authors have mentions that images have confirmed that a series of bronze shields were fixed around the panels that were not windows.

Cross section (pic 1.) shows how the amphitheater was an architectural success as well as aesthetically pleasing. Cross section (pic 2.) shows how two seating areas were created. One exposed double tier of seats for the mass of 45,000 spectators, and several enclosed viewing areas for slaves, woman and foreigners. The amphitheater had many complex systems of masts and guy ropes that have supported the velarium (awning or cover) which protected the spectators from weather elements. (pic 3)

The key parts of The Pantheon are its great dome, (pic 4) with a span of 43.2m. this was unchallenged until 1420 - 36. This amazing building is some what puzzling in its architectural styles, combining a huge portico with an even larger rotunda, and the dome cover. This is not the type of relationship that earlier temples had seen. The Pantheon's porch was initially designed for monolithic granite columns with shafts 50 Roman feet tall (weighing about 100 tons) and capitals 10 Roman feet tall in the Corinthian order. Whereas the builders made many adjustments in order to use shafts 40 Roman feet tall and capitals 8 Roman feet tall. The Pantheon is constructed of a series of arches. The arches rest on eight piers which support eight round headed arches which run through the drum from its inner to its outer face.

     The 4,500 ton weight of the Roman dome is manufactured using concrete, with 9.1meters in diameter which form the oculus. The downward thrust of the dome is carried by eight barrel vaults in the 6.4meters thick drum wall into eight piers. The thickness of the dome varies from 6.4meters at the base to 1.2meters around the oculus.

     The Pantheon has said to be a perfect space because the diameter of the rotunda is equal to that of its. The purpose of this space was to suggest geometrical perfection with the interior space fitting perfectly into either a cube or in a sphere. The detail of this building is astonishing. If the dome of the rotundra were flipped upside down it would fit perfectly inside the rotunda. The massive interior room is designed to symbolize the heavens. The oculus or "Great Eye" in the room is designed to symbolize the light- and life-giving sun.

Architectural embellishments / Reflect on the building materials employed

The construction methods of the colosseum were very skilful and contained a wide range of materials. The components of the build were concrete was used for solid foundations, tufa and brick for the walls, tufa infill between piers for the walls of the lower two levels, travertine for the piers and arcades, and pumice stone for the vaults to decrease the weight.

     The exterior wall has been said to have required over 100,000 cubic meters of travertine stone which were set in mortar, and held together by 300 tons of iron clamps. Travertine blocks were set without the mortar but were held together using metal cramps in the façade, and marble was implemented for the seats, columns and ornament. But over the centuries large sections of this wall have collapsed following earthquakes. The north side of the building is the side that remains.

     The Romans were aware of the weight of their building materials for The Pantheon. So they used lighter materials toward the top of the dome. The heaviest material was used, then a mixture of travertine and tufa, then tufa and brick, then all brick was used around the drum section of the dome, and lastly pumice (the lightest and most porous of materials on the ceiling of the dome). The Roman Pantheon was probably constructed by using a setup of wooden scaffolding, which would have been expensive.

     The Pantheon still has its old walls and vaulting. The bronze doors are originals yet they have been restored. The doorway is 40 feet high and 20 feet wide, and the old bronze doors are 26 feet 6 inches high, a bronze lattice fills the rest of the space. The rotunda is very well preserved and the interior has all the form of the original paneling of marble. Around the rotunda are seven niches both rectangular and semi-circular, and fronted by the Corinthian columns.

assess the preservation and conservation issues

     When The Colosseum restoration started, in 1995, just 15 percent of the Colosseum was open to visitors. But further on in the future they wish to open up nearly 80 percent.

“Keeping an old monument closed to visitors is like locking a vintage car in a museum, it may be nice to look at, but if you try to start its engine, it won't work,” said Martines.

     Martines stated that the more the Colosseum is opened up to visitors, the better preserved it will be for the future. “Tourists are good for the Colosseum. They keep it in working order,” he stated. This is a very uncommon approach to conservation, yet last year as many as 2.5 million people viewed the world most famous amphitheater.

     The pantheon was saved from being destroyed by it being turned into a church. Masses are held here on special occasions. It has also been used as a tomb, some of the people that are buried here are the painter Raphael, the first two kings, and first queen of Italy. Monarchists maintain a vigil at these latter tombs.