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Joining Architectural Theory and Practice in the First Interdisciplinary Research Project (Accademia Romana, 1537–55)

Sat, March 24, 2:00 to 3:30pm, Hilton Riverside, 1st Level - Grand Salon Breakout 12


Claudio Tolomei, following Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, explained that because architecture – more than any other art – consists of theory and practice it has to be studied together with practitioners. This statement appears in a letter of 1542 in which he described a project to document all surviving and recoverable knowledge about ancient Roman architecture in order to create a reliable framework for the future. Modern scholarship long assumed that this project was never executed, but surviving materials – among them some 3,300 architectural drawings – document the successful efforts of the Accademia Romana. The primary draftsman was Guielmo franciosio, a craftsman (mistaken for an architect) at the Fabbrica di San Pietro. His drawings document the construction plans from Sangallo’s workshop, which was organized like a modern architectural firm, and prove that the Accademia was interested in all practical aspects of architecture, an interest that only reappeared in late nineteenth-century Bauforschung.


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