The Pantheon

The streets of Rome have hummed with the footsteps of people for more than two thousand years.  The Pantheon has been there all that time to record them in its worn floor stones.  Originally built to pay homage to Roman gods, it has survived into the modern era as a Mausoleum and church.

Outside on the street, the dome of the Pantheon doesn’t look very impressive.  The bulk of the square base seems to diminish the apparent size of the dome.  From some angles, the base of the building completely obscures the dome.  Once you walk through the massive doors, the effect completely reverses itself.  The dome dominates every inch of the interior space and the bulky base that supports it disappears.

The interior of the dome is covered with indentations that lighten the dome and help channel the weight into the base.  At its center, the Oculus paints a spotlight that roams around the interior of the dome as long as daylight lasts.  Instead of crushing a keystone with all the force of the dome, the weight is directed outward and down to the base.  Function directed the signature elements of the Pantheon’s dome, but the form they create pleases the eye and the mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheon,_Rome

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