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Palazzo Farnese and The Habitat ’67

The chosen periods in this paper is the renaissance during the 16th century and the

contemporary period of 20th century (Ackerman 12). The Renaissance period was marked by the

spread of cultural movements and the renew of art characterized the period (Lowry 21). The period

marked the development of poets, sculptures, genial minds, and architects.

Massive development in technology and applications characterize the contemporary

period. The emergence of technological approaches led to the development of art and architecture

(Szalapaj 11). The complexity of architecture marked this period with more sophisticated

6equipment.

Palazzo Farnese

The choice of this building was facilitated by the fact that this was one of the most complex

structures during this time of Renaissance Rome. Different architects did its design, and its

completion marked a beginning of a new painting period (Gamrath 27). It was one of the buildings

whose construction took a longer time.

It was among the most beautiful palace in Rome during the renaissance period. Its

construction started in 1514 and completed at the end of 16th century. Antonio Sangallo was the

architect who initiated the development of Palazzo Farnese, continued by Michelangelo, and
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finished by Giacomo Della Porta while Alessandro commissioned the building (Gamrath 27). It

was owned by one of the famous families in Rome, and currently, it houses the French Embassy

in Rome.

The building was owned by a famous family in Italy as an imposing palace. It housed

different Cardinals from its construction. After the death of Cardinal Odoardo Farnese, the building

remained virtually uninhabited for about twenty years. When it was regained, Palazzo Farnese

homed Queen Christina, but she proved to be the worst tenant because her unruly servant had

stolen the silvers, paintings, and tapestries as well as smashing doors for firewood. In the 18th

century, Borbone family of Naples acquired the building, but they also spoiled the status of the

palace including the collections (Gamrath 29). Currently, the building is home to the France

Embassy to Rome.

The building had a unique architectural design that was attractive during this period.

Michelangelo decorated the façade overlooking the palace where the central balcony was carved

(Ching 12). The rear façade overlooking Giulia represented the most elegance architectural

competence.

The Habitat '67

The choice of this building was facilitated the new look and its integrated ideas. It

represents a paradigm shift from the traditional apartment that incorporated heavy architectural

work. The idea was to ease architectural work by fabricating identical modular units and creatively

arranging them (Hacker 12). They are then connected using cables.

It was designed by architect Moshe Safdie an Israeli-Canadian, which was initially

intended for the World Exposition of 1967. The design was created to experiment alternative
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housing for densely populated areas. It was constructed through prefabricated units aimed at

reducing the cost of housing as well as introducing a new housing topology. The new design

incorporated the quality of rural homes to urban areas (Hacker 13). Safdie integrated the idea of

prefabrication and re-thinking of an apartment in the creation of Habitat '67. The idea was

completed from 354 identical units that were pre-fabricated and referred to units/boxes. These

modules were stacked in different combinations and used cables to connect them. They were

accessible through pedestrian streets and bridges. Its construction commenced in 1967 and

completed two years later. Safdie was the lone architect of this classical building.

The purpose of this building was to increase housing units in densely populated areas. As

such, its principles basis was residential housing. Since then, it has minimally used for residential

purpose. However, in an interview, Safdie said that he was planning to gift the house to Canadian

Museum to be made open to the public (Hacker 13). The building was in 2009 designated as a

heritage building.

The new architectural work broke the traditional feature of the orthogonal high rise and the

geometrical configuration of apartments. In this design, the prefabricated modules were stacked

each box one step behind the immediate neighbor. The design was ingenious, and it provided each

module unit/box a roof garden, good flow of air, and effective natural lighting. These qualities of

the apartment had been inhibited in the traditional buildings (Hacker 13). The architectural design

of Habitat '67 was the pioneer of double-housing topology which gave economic apartments of the

new era.
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Conclusion

There has been a considerable and significant change between renaissance in the 16th

century and the 20th century. Ideologically, there is a massive transformation in the way people

used to think of the renaissance period and contemporary period. In construction, new complex

architectural work is evident during the modern period. The emergence of technology giving rise

to new approaches and mechanisms of doing things have facilitated this transformation. The

philosophy of renaissance period was mostly based on morals and ethics. On the other hand, the

modern conception is complex and revolves around human nature, social, political, and economic

basis. The aspect of globalization has led to transformation and massive difference between the

two periods.

The materials used in the two periods have changed significantly because of the

technological advancements. For instance, in there is a considerable change in the materials used

in the construction of the two buildings. The Palazzo Farnese was built from ordinary materials,

and its architectural design was not complex while the Habitat '67 used pre-fabricated elements

and modules connected through cables. The plans in these periods have also changed.

During the Renaissance period, the complex designs were made for the famous families

and the wealthy class. However, in the contemporary period, the complex apartments were

constructed to accommodate more people in densely populated areas hence a considerable change

in the functions.

The form in the mode of architecture has also changed from the material, design outlook,

and societal concern. The renaissance period considered wealthy class while in the contemporary,

the designs are incorporating all classes of the society.


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Work Cited

Ackerman, James S. "Architectural practice in the Italian Renaissance." Journal of the Society of

Architectural Historians 13.3 (2014): 3-11.

Ching, Francis DK. Architecture: Form, space, and order. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.

Gamrath, Helge. "The History of a Success in the Italian Renaissance: The Farnese Family c. 1400-

1600." Analecta Romana Instituti Danici XXIV (1997): 93 111 (2013).

Hacker, Sally D., and Robert S. Steneck. "Habitat Architecture and the Abundance and Body‐Size‐

Dependent Habitat Selection of a Phytal Amphipod." Ecology 71.6 (2013): 2269-2285.

Lowry, Bates. Renaissance architecture. George Braziller, 2012.

Szalapaj, Peter. Contemporary architecture and the digital design process. Routledge, 2014.