Tapered flights

False perspective is a familiar device in landscape design but remarkable examples occur in interiors. Bernini's scala regia at the Vatican (Figures 2.15a and 2.15B) has to be seen as stage scenery to dramatize the passage of the Pope to the Sistine Chapel. The traditional ceremony involves a brief pause as the blessing is given from the top landing to the crowd assembled below. The tapered flight at Venturi's National Gallery (Figure 2.16) extension is in reverse, it has no claim to drama. It is, however, the principal public entrance for visitors to the main Italian art collection, starting in the entrance hall and

Figure 2.11a Palazzo Municipio, Genoa, 1564 (Lurago) (from Fletcher, B, A History of Architecture, Batsford, 1954). A section widening up towards the main gallery, as opposed to the processional purposed by Bernini. His scala regia is in fact only used on formal occasions, apart from the lowermost connection to St Peter's.

There are many good examples of external tapered stairs. One of the most successful is the work of Michelangelo at the Capitol, Rome (Figures 2.17a and 2.17b). The determining factors are the abrupt change of level between Via del Mare and the piazza and the further rise to the Palazzo Senatorio built over the ruins of the Tabularium. The primary route is via a long tapered ramp of steps

Figure 2.11b Plan that terminates between a pair of giant statues of Dioscuri, made more dramatic by the reverse perspective. The arched fronts of the Conservatori and the Capitoline Museum are also canted in reverse alignment to enclose the full façade of the Palazzo. The final rise to the piano nobile is made externally with

Figure 2.11b Plan

Figure 2.12a Baroque Palace Stairs, The Augustusburg, Brühl, Rheinland, 1743-8 (J. Balthasar Neumann). Outline plan of stairhall (from Schuster, F., Treppen, Hoffman Verlag, 1949)

Figure 2.12b Residenz, Wurzburg, Germany, 1723-43 (J. Balthasar Neumann). Use of return flight to turn axis back to central space

Figure 2.12c View of return flights within the central hall (courtesy of Steinhoff)

Figure 2.12d Rococo stairs, Schloss Brühl, 1748 (Neumann)

return stairs that link the piazza arcades to the entry portico at first floor. The real magic of the eccentric geometry is captured by the mounded star paving that connects the eye with each element — colonnade, fountain, ramp, stairs and the centrally placed equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. Functional requirements such as shelter and vehicles are met by a shaded serpentine path whilst today cars use a winding road tucked away to the side. The surfaces are picked out in contrasting materials, dark grey granite with white travertine blocks for risers and for the star pattern to the piazza.

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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