Adaptive Reuse

Piazza_del_CampidoglioWe tend to attribute the concept of adaptive reuse to the late twentieth century, when portions of cities in the western world were left with vacant buildings as a result of the transition of economies from manufacturing to technological bases.

The concept is in fact much older. Michelangelo’s replanning of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, the Campidoglio, conceived as early as 1536 and built during the mid sixteenth century, introduced order to the irregular geometry of the existing buildings. In the new facades and portions of buildings he added, Michelangelo shaped a trapezoidal space, in the center of which is not an ideal circle but an oval inscribed in the stone paving.

If planning a visit, October-November is a great time.

palazzo_dei_conservatori_large

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. - Michelangelo

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