More Than a Thousand

Pantheon oculus

Originally uploaded by urbanoasis

Here’s a sample from my first round of film from the European trip. This is the Pantheon, one of the, if not the, most important buildings from antiquity. It was rebuilt on order of the Roman emperor Hadrian in 127 AD on the site of another temple. It is mainly composed of an immense interior space enclosed by a concrete dome with an oculus, an open hole, at the top. As you can see, the coffering (the squares) eliminate some of the concrete and thus the weight that the lower parts of the dome and the walls have to support. What you can’t see is that the materials get progressively lighter as you near the top.

During the winter, rain and snow fall into the interior through the oculus. This may be the first building I have ever studied that has lived up to the hype in person.