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C O N N E C T I N G L AY E R S

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IN-BE TWEEN TISSUE

A Scrolls Archive & Mediator of the City of Rome

Adam Kelly Stage 2 _ Anyplace | Tutor: Andy Stoane ESALA | Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture


C O N N E C T I N G L AY E R S

with

IN-BETWEEN TISSUE

A Scrolls Archive & Mediator of the City of Rome

Adam Kelly

Stage 2 _ Anyplace | Tutor: Andy Stoane

ESALA | Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture


- UNIT BRIEF -

Anyplace will explore architectures relation to the dynamics of its situation through the design of a Library. The written word will provide the course with a metaphor to think about Architecture: Students will be asked to consider design in relation to the dynamic performance of the city of Rome - exploring architectures relation to dynamic phenomena that cut across its site, and developing an architectural language that corrals and choreographs the performance of its use. This unit will develop student’s skills in design inquiry, introducing students to a requirement for design investigation by research and exploration. The studio project will be structured through an empirical design methodology. Starting without specific site the design process is predicated on intellectual inquiry and thought. Following this, projects will explore the nature of the surveyed subject, and the creative possibilities of its loci.


- CONTENTS -

1 S T UDY Rome

. 2 MA P P I N G The In-Between

. 4 RE S EA RC H Scrolls

. 3 P ROP O S E Connecting Layers

. 5 C ON S TR UC T The Tissue

. 6 APPENDIX


IN SIDE THE THEATRE OF MA RC ELLUS

THEATRE OF MA RC ELLUS MUSSOLINI’S [RE]C ON STR UC TI ON

R UIN S OF AUGUST US’ BATHHOUSE

SA N NIC OLA IN CA RC ERE


1 ST U DY Rome

R UIN S OF THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO

SA N NIC OLA IN CA RC ERE - SPOLIA C OLUMN S


1 S T UDY ROME


- SITE : ROME -

The chosen site is situated on the east bank of the Tiber, between the island and Capitoline Hill. The place is embedded with layers of history: the Temple of Apollo, the Theatre of Marcellus, the Porticus of Octavia, Augustus’ bathhouse and the temples of Janus Bifrons, Juno Sospita and Spes (which have now been morphed into the San Nicola in Carcere church), Major traffic infrastructure carves its way through the district, delivering the tumultuous activity of a modern European capital. The strata of the city can be unravelled by understanding the reappropriation of the Porticus into a medieval fishmarket, the conversion of the Temple into a church and the metamorphosis of the Theatre; including its use as an apartment building and the freeing of the building from encroaching slums by Mussolini, including an imitative partial reconstruction. Clearly, the site depicts an ever changing landscape of history and how, as a society, we deal with it. The interface between the ancient and modern city could become a relationship, and not just a coexistence.


A NC IE NT A RC HE T YPE

A NC IE NT FRAGME NTS


2 M APPI N G The In-Between

MODERN INFASTR UC T URE

EXI STING BUILD INGS

IN-BE T WEE N


2 MA P P I N G THE IN-BETWEEN

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D E - L A M I N AT I N G R E A L M S An exercise of de-laminating the historical layers of the site has revealed a hidden and perhaps understudied layer - a layer fully contracted to the study of the interstitial (5). 1. Ancient Archetype This layer contains the original layout of the Theatre of Marcellus, the Porticus of Octavia, Augustus’ bathhouse and the temples of Janus Bifrons, Juno Sospita and Spes. 2. Ancient Fragments The remains of the archetype. Most prominently parts of the Theatre, Porticus and Temples, which survive due to their reappropriation throughout history. 3. Modern Infrastructure Major vehicular infrastructure carve through the site delivering the activity and chaos one would expect in a central metropolitan area. 4. Existing Buildings A matrix of layers within itself, this layer is the structures on the site at the present moment - some of which have absorbed the ancient fragments. 5. The In-Between This is the accumulation of lightweight (and often temporary) paths, bridges, ramps, armatures, props, fences and signs which serve solely to assist our understanding of the ancient from a modern perspective. It is a layer which enables interpretation, which posits the question: can a library exist within this layer? Re-connecting the realms of the fragmented city?

T h e I n-B etween


T he In-B etween

Mussolini with a pickaxe “Liberating Rome� 1926

Existing Buildings

Modern Infrastr ucture

An cient Fragments

An cient Archetype


Through this de-laminating we can trace back, through the layers of history and endless flux of the site. The InBetween is a link between realms - their negative. It enables the interpretation of the ancient in terms of the present.

T h e I n-B etween


3 R E SE A R C H Scrolls

SC HOLA R S ST UDYING A NC IE NT, FRAGME NTED SC ROLLS


3 RESEARC H SCROLLS

Codex: R an dom Access

Sc rol l : Sequ ential Ac c ess


- RANDOM VS SEQUENTIAL -

Scrolls are innately archaic artefacts. The earliest ever found was produced in 2400BC, and the scroll reigned as the most superior writing material until the 6th Century, when it was replaced by the codex. Yet the scroll and codex differ beyond appearances: they represent a different method of reading. Whilst a codex offers convenient random access, a scroll is distinctly sequential. It is this arrangement that activates the notion of a linear library. During the scroll’s reign, another anomaly of sequential reading was also evident: a lack of spaces between words. The palimpsest owes its origin to the scroll: it was the process of scraping and reusing old scrolls, rendering these scrolls as monuments to the layering effect of history. Scrolls were produced on organic material, usually papyrus or parchment, meaning that they have usually degraded over time. Remains have been found in Pompei but a set of scrolls discovered in Herculaneum is what this project is concerned with. Approximately 2000 scrolls have been excavated and about 1000 of these have been deciphered and transcribed so far. Scholars believe that more than 2000 scrolls remain to be excavated, which the vaulted spaces of the amphitheatre can provide for.


C ONC EPT UA L MODEL


4 PR O PO SE Connecting Layers


4 PROPOSE CONNECTING LAYERS

A SUPERIMPO SED LINE: C ONNEC TING A ND REAC TING WI TH THE D I SC OVERED REA LMS


- C O N N E C T I N G L AY E R S -

In his essay ‘Bigness’[1], Rem Koolhaas suggests that the super-scale architecture of the contemporary city enters an “amoral domain, beyond good and bad”. It is no longer part of any urban tissue – “it exists; at most, it coexists. Its subtext is fuck context”. Rome, as a modern capital city of five million, is by no means exempt from this condition. However, Rome is peculiar: its context includes an ancient realm which continually pervades the modern fabric, everywhere! The question here is how does it exist? A scar on the modern city: a protected and untouchable archaeology, or something we can use and inhabit? Or perhaps there is something in-between these opposing attitudes toward history? It is this possibility of the in-between, a re-connection of the ancient and the modern, that my project explores. Koolhaas theorises that media has been the catalyst for the contemporary city: ultra-fast, contradictory and indeterminate. Can the library as a different, slower form of media, engage the city in a different way, mediating a better understanding of a complete city rather than a city of separate realms? Abandoning type, a simple line could be an intermediary device. Without a specific typological or programmatic presence, this line could subvert a convention of architecture: the attachment of itself to a specific realm and the containment of a programme within it. Programme would only become present where the line collides with the landscape of both ancient and modern realms, incising library activities within these existing territories.

The conception of the line prompts both a siting and programmatic strategy. A ‘floating’ glass box (the in-between) connects the amphitheatre (the ancient) and the new piazza (the modern). A linear library is a place of the sequential, not randomness. Therefore the line simultaneously activates the library’s purpose as a scrolls archive: in which the transcriptions of ancient, Augustan scrolls are stored. The scrolls were discovered many centuries ago in Herculaneum, preserved by a landslide that had engulfed the city. They have become fossilised, and were deciphered by chipping away pieces of the carbonised papyrus in order to study these shards under sunlight, revealing the metallic ink upon the surface. These shards are exhibited along the line. As the line cuts through the space above the Augustan ruins, the shards provide a reading of this ancient form of media. Simultaneously, the surface of the glass floor of the line is conditioned by a vertical projection of the ancient ruins. Together, a journey through the memory of the space once occupied by the ancient temples is assembled - an infrastructure of interpretation. The collisions with the ancient and the modern at each end of the line determine the library program. The scrolls are stored within the amphitheatre and they are rolled out and read beneath the modern piazza. In response to Koolhaas’ absence of tissue argument, this library is the tissue - modern and ancient bound together by the tissue of the ‘in-between’. A library which combines the layers of the city. [1]

Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau, SMLXL, p495


4 PROPOSE CONNECTING LAYERS

A SUBVER TI ON OF A RC HI TEC T URE: THE BUULD INGS PROGRAM I S D I SC OVERED, N OT C REATED.


The line is superimposed upon the layers of the site, precisely placed to collide with the modern infrastructure (bus stop and piazza), the ruins and the amphitheatre. These collisions define the three main spaces of the library. The reading room sits adjacent to the ruins of the bathhouse, beneath a new piazza and illuminated by a void which connects it to the modern city. A floating box connects to the amphitheatre, cutting through the space above the Augustan ruins with the shards providing a reading of this ancient form of media. The surface of the opaque glass floor of the line is conditioned by the vertical projection of the ancient ruins, their memory piercing through the opaque glass to reveal their remains below. The line then hits the amphitheatre, creating the scroll storage: an expanded mesh insertion. Like a giant cage, the construction sits millimetres away from the amphitheatre walls.


4 C O N ST R U C T The Tissue


5 C ONSTRUCT THE TISSUE

MODEL: AERIA L PHOTOGRAPH


The ‘line’ connects the library together: this is the in-between, the tissue that binds together the modern and the ancient. Vierendeel trusses support a glass box which displays the shards of the ancient scrolls between it’s glazing. The line cuts to reveal the ruins and hovers over the memory of ancient ho buildings.

The temporary scroll storage cabinet is housed within the reading room portion of the archive. This is where scrolls are stored during the day, before they are studied. The scroll cages: the permanent storage location of the scrolls, that sits within the scroll storage part of the archive.

The modern: the reading room - an ‘antithesis’ to the ancient ruins that lie on the other side of the line. This is where the scrolls will be studied. A courtyard floods the room with precious north light and connects to the modern piazza which lies above the reading room. ro

Scroll storage: an expanded mesh insertion into the vaulted spaces of the ancient amphitheatre. Like a giant cage, the construction sits millimetres away from the amphitheatre walls, with room for expansion to house future dscoveries.


5 C ONSTRUCT THE TISSUE

AMPHI THEATRE SC ROLL STORAGE


7AM. Required scrolls located within the amphitheatre and brought to temporary storage cabinet in the subterranean level.

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5 C ONSTRUCT THE TISSUE

EXCAVATED REA D ING ROOM


9AM. The study of scrolls begins. In turn, they are called forward, laid out and clamped on to the two long tables in the reading room, where they are studied by visiting scholars.

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5 C ONSTRUCT THE TISSUE

ROUTE A ND SHA RD EXHIBI TI ON


5PM. The scrolls are return to the amphitheatre storage from the temporary cabinet at the end of each day.

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5 C ONSTRUCT THE TISSUE

MODERN PIA ZZA A ND C OUR T


7PM. The scroll storage and reading spaces are closed. The route between the two remains open, as an exhibition space for the scroll shards.

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5 C ONSTRUCT THE TISSUE


1 Piazza 2 Shards Exhibition 3 Scroll Storage

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Bathouse Ruins Scroll Reading Room

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1 Bathouse ruins 2 Reception 3 Courtyard 4 Scroll tables 5 Scroll storage cabinet

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5 C ONSTRUCT THE TISSUE


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Cast-in steel dowel 150x150mm steel truss In-situ concrete walls, ceiling and floors 100x100mm cruciform steel columns Floor: concrete, insulation and screed Wall: concrete, insulation, metal frame and finish


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C O N N E C T I N G L AY E R S

with

IN-BE TWEEN TISSUE

A Scrolls Archive & Mediator of the City of Rome Adam Kelly Stage 2 _ Anyplace | Tutor: Andy Stoane ESALA | Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture



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