Bryony Roberts

Bryony Roberts

Booth Family Rome Prize
September 1, 2015–July 31, 2016
Profession
Visiting Professor, Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Project title
Projective Preservation: Orthographic Completions of Roman Antiquity
Project description

This project continues my ongoing research into the drawing techniques of historic preservation. Every method of drawing a historic building—from a measured elevation to a 3D scan—asserts a specific ideology of seeing, valuing, and maintaining that architecture. While in Rome, I will research the emergence of orthographic projection in the sixteenth century as a tool for documenting ancient ruins, examining how measured plans, sections, and elevations merged the ambitions of preservation and architectural invention. Motivated by the idea of instauratio—the revival of the former glory of Rome through restoration and repetition—Italian Renaissance architects perfected techniques of orthographic projection to accurately document and reproduce ancient Roman architecture. Drawings by Baldassare Peruzzi, Antonio da Sangallo, and Sebastiano Serlio reveal simultaneously the struggle for dimensional accuracy and the aesthetic ambitions of Renaissance idealism. In a tight feedback loop between documentation and design, these architects produced idealized abstractions of ancient monuments, which in turn influenced subsequent imitations and transformations. For this project, I will research and analyze drawings by Peruzzi, Sangallo, and Serlio and produce new iterations of their drawings, mining the bias of orthographic projection as a tool for observing, imitating, and transforming the past.