After a prolonged competition Guglielmo Calderinis colossal neo Cinquecento

After a prolonged competition guglielmo calderinis

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After a prolonged competition, Guglielmo Calderini’s colossal neo-Cinquecento palazzo was chosen.This squat block of rusticated travertine is shaped with strong chiaroscuro effects in a lively architectural language while avoiding, according to the contemporary sensibility, the decadent excess of the baroque.All of the architect’s sources, both declared and inferred, correspond to the chronological range of architects active in the Fabbrica of Saint Peter’s, as if this construction were also the product of a century-long progress, the secular equivalent to the famous cathedral. Calderini, like Sacconi, used an architectural language enriched by relevant historical associations, in this case, in reference to Saint Peter’s. At the courthouse, images of ancient and modern Italian jurists, from Cicero to Vico, are presented like the saints arrayed before the Vatican.The allegorical groups are explicit and didactic.The brackets of the building’s cornice are images of yoked bulls, symbolic of the 246 the architecture of modern italy
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the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900 4.38 and 4.39 Guglielmo Calderini, Palazzo di Giustizia, Rome, 1889–1911
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248 the architecture of modern italy citizens of Italy who, instructed in civic virtues of strength, concord, sacrifice, and law at the Vittoriano, are here put sub jugem legis . Passages to and through this scenographic building, as in all the mature works of this period, unfold here like a triumphal procession, first through the entrance archway from the bridge and into a monumental courtyard.An exhilarating stair of Piranesian exuberance and complexity sweeps the visitor up to the vestibule before the courtrooms.A longitudinal space there called the ambulatorio replaces the usual salle des pas perdus of northern courthouse models. Calderini has proposed indigenous sources, each integrated in an historicist maneuver of considerable subtlety. He has retrieved the ancient forensic basilica, reappropriating the building type from its Christian converters, to rededicate the congregational space to its original civic function.The design of the Supreme Court chamber was kept strenuously secular in association with the top-light of an ancient cella and the architectural ornamentation associated with imperial audience halls.The fresco cycle by Cesare Maccari in the Supreme Court depicts great moments in the history and legacy of Roman jurisprudence, and was conspicuously modeled on the lunettes of Raphael’s Stanza della Segnatura, thought at the time to have been Pope Julius II’s own courtroom.As if to supplant ecclesiastical influence in the process of temporal justice, even the judges’ benches seem to appropriate the qualities of choir stalls and confessionals. Throughout this rich structure, symbols of the new institution of secular, temporal justice are posited as equivalents to the now limited role of the Church in Italian governing.
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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