The Bernini & Borromini Rome Studio – ‘Re-interpreting Masterworks IV’

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Rene Tan
RT+Q Architects

Studio Objectives

Like its three predecessors (the Palladio-Venice Studio, the Brunelleschi-Florence Studio, the Le Corbusier-Paris studio), the aims of this design studio is two-fold: 1) to acquaint students with masters of the past and 2) for students to apply lessons learnt to contemporary design.

But unlike its ‘travelling’ predecessors, this studio will rely—due to covid-related travel restrictions–on virtual reality as a means to explore the ‘eternal city’ of Rome and its treasures.

More specifically, the studio will study Ancient and Baroque Rome, its urbanism and its two greatest proponents—Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) and Francesco Borromini (1599-1667)—and their relevance today in architectural design. Students will explore, analyse and reinterpret the works of Bernini and Borromini and apply theirs ‘discoveries’ to their design projects.

Studio Content

The studio will meet twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays; the actual location and nature of meetings will be confirmed subject to further discussion. Lectures on Rome and its masters, discussions of their relevance and value, and reviews of their application will be done virtually on-line and actually in studio, subject to space availability and safe-distancing measures. Through the advent of modern technology and videos, ‘the lessons of Rome’’ will be just as effective in some ways and perhaps even more in other ways. The creative student will bring Rome to life regardless of limitations.

Studio Deliverables

In keeping with the nature of this virtual-travel studio, the deliverables will be videodriven. Students will present their works in:

  1. short ‘fly-through and walking-tours’ video format as well as
  2. physical models and
  3. drawings.

There will be 2 design projects:

  1. to design urban ‘Interventions’ to the ruins in Rome (site to be determined) and
  2. to design architectural ”Additions” in Rome (site to be determined)

Grading will based on studio participation, studio attendance, studio assignments, and studio design projects….and a sketchbook of free-hand sketches.