Friday, March 13, 2009

Kristina Ragan: Aqua Vitae One

Fountain of the Naiads Inspired Michelangelo and Vanvitelli use to create this bascillica.
Basillica Santa Mariadegil Angeli.

Aqua Vitae—water of life
Within the foundations unit, we have discovered what it means to have beginnings, details and eventual influences that led into hybrids in the history of architecture and design. Tied in amongst these ideas, aqua vitae or rather, water of life.
Aqua vitae was most prevalent in the Diocletian Baths with the groups gathering as apart of their culture, the city gathered to bathe in these elaborate baths made of tiles and stone. These baths were areas where living people encountered water and used water in a social context. Pliny the Elder, “if anyone will consider the abundance of Rome’s public supply of water, for baths, cisterns, ditches, villas; and take into account the distance over which it travels, the arches reared, the mountains pierced, the valley’s spanned—he will admit that there never was anything more marvelous in the whole world.” This is saying that water was a prime and an abundant resource that was waiting to be utilized and was eventually recognized for its great necessity. Water was not just a social scene or hygienic means of cleansing, but was also necessary for travel in Greece. The islands in Greece needed to trade and use the water ways to get the resources they needed and revenue via trading with other countries. Therefore, water was a foundation for business and/or trade, d├ęcor (fountains and so forth), travel and hygiene.
In conclusion, water gave life an opportunity to live and thrive. Water cleaned the living and provided for design inspiration and gave cause to effect. Water birthed architectural foundations and created new, useful spaces for the public. The very nature of how society once lived has been changed by the use of water.

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