Saturday, April 28, 2007

Corso Cinema

Corso Cinema
Marcello Piacentini
Rome 1915

In 1915, Piacentini designed a new cinema (MAP) located at Piazza S. Lorenzo in Lucina. It was the first building of his new, refined style. The rectangular building is bisected at an angle by a façade that respects the alignment of the square. The façade is divided into three distinct zones: a center with two symmetrical wings. The central façade is subdivided into four entry portals crowned by semicircular fenestration. The axes and story-levels were obscured by the façade’s organization. The relationship between the entry portals and the upper windows was not reinforced through vertical elements in the façade

The outer zones are composed of polygonal oriels, so-called bay windows, projecting over the outer portals. Above these elements, the building appears to recede. A glass canopy stretching the length of the building provided cover from the elements for patrons, but its construction from modern materials gave it a light appearance in the façade composition. Visibly linked to the wall with iron chains, it provided a demarcation between the entry portals and the semicircular fenestration.

Contrary to assumptions that may be derived from an analysis of the façade’s formal qualities, there is no symmetrical space behind the façade; it is an asymmetrically cut trapezoidal vestibule that mediates between the piazza and the 1300-seat auditorium.

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