Among the best of the Pantheon progeny is the chapel in the civic cemetery of

Among the best of the pantheon progeny is the chapel

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Among the best of the Pantheon progeny is the chapel in the civic cemetery of Genoa designed by Carlo Barabino and completed in 1851. Here, too, distinct prototypes are conjoined: a Doric portico, domed rotunda, and a lobed altar tribune area.The dramatic force of their juxtaposition is rendered through the reduced purity of elements. Like Possagno, the Genovese ensemble presents the major elements of its composition without gentle transitions; only aligned entablatures strap the forms together.They stand crisp and white against the backdrop of cypresses. The idea for the cemetery itself dated back to 1797. Napoleonic legislation on burial practices took the control of death away from the Church.“Monumental” cemeteries, as they were called, were founded in Brescia and Verona, Bologna and Ferrara,Venice,Turin, Rome, and Milan, to name only the most prominent. Genoa’s project was troubled over the site, costs, and local resistance, which delayed matters until a few weeks after the architect’s death from cholera in 1835. Giovanni Battista Resasco, Barabino’s closest collaborator, fleshed out the design and brought it to completion.The Pantheonic chapel is dedicated to the memory of illustrious men of Genoa, and Barabino is buried inside. As the city architect since 1815, Barabino provided vital social spaces and new structures to bourgeois Genoa. He devised the city’s first real expansion plan, providing incentives for development to draw building away from the crowded port area and up onto the hills.There were new, orderly thoroughfares and designated
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the architecture of modern italy 3.10 Carlo Barabino, Cimitero Monumentale, Staglieno, Genoa, 1835–51 3.11 Carlo Barabino,Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, 1826–28. Engraving by Luigi Garibbo
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apartment block prototypes—a cross between John Nash’s London and Charles Percier’s Paris, both examples cited by Barabino. Bonsignore was sent down from Turin to supervise.A new street system was devised that circled the old town and led to a new piazza where Genoa’s largest public theater rose. Since 1799, the Genovese recognized the civic value of a monumental theater, a focus of self-expression, but such ambitions were effectively suppressed in Napoleon’s designs for Italy. Under the new Piedmontese king’s more happy reign, the project of the Teatro Carlo Felice found enthusiastic support on the city council and from wealthy palchettisti . Construction was begun in March 1826 and completed in just twenty-five months. Barabino developed a facade with an austere, abstract geometry and crisp interlocking volumes. The interior pathways are designed also to draw pedestrians from the surrounding streets into the auditorium placed obliquely to the main facade.The civic nature of the Teatro Carlo Felice was also evident in the novel handling of the auditorium’s boxes.Their partitions were pulled back to create a sense of unity among them and better acoustics.The concerns of this society can be read in the subtlety of the auditorium’s curve and the inflection of its boxes as they turn attention away from each other in the hall and toward the stage.The
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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