Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hey there, it's been a while, no?

It's been a while since I posted an update, and since the workload is relatively light right now, it seems like a good time, so here goes nothing.

The last two weeks have been relatively relaxing. The first week back after the trip north was quick and simple, it went by pretty fast and we didn't do much other than classes. We did get the chance to visit the Vatican Museum though, which was great. There was some absolutely incredible artwork in the museum, it was my first trip to the Vatican, and on our way out we got to see the double helix staircase! The building was absolutely beautiful as well and it was nice to have a day where we didn't have to worry about architecture, even though we all noticed it throughout the day and were astounded by the staircase we've heard about and seen pictures of so many times.

Earlier in that first week, for sketching class, we had the chance to visit Renzo Piano's Parco Della Musica and Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum, two of the very few modern projects in Rome. The were both incredible. Parco consists of three indoor theaters of varying sizes and an outdoor theater arranged together in a huge complex. We visited all three theaters shortly in size order from smallest to largest and each one was more incredible than the last. I would love to see a concert in any one of those halls, especially the biggest one. After that we went to MAXXI, which unfortunately was about half closed, so we didn't pay for the entrance, but we did see the exterior and the lobby interior and climb this really cool tree house, and hey we have another two months to go back and visit, right?

Our second week back was pretty quiet, on Tuesday our Derive project was due, the one where we wandered our way through the city. The presentation went really well but after a weekend working on it we were all pretty done so I'm glad it's over. Other than that the week was quiet, but on Friday we decided to go up north and visit the 1960 Olympic Village and Stadium Complex, which was absolutely incredible! We found the Olympic Stadium first but couldn't get inside, from there we found an open gate to the tennis complex and sat there for a while. We watched a couple of guys start to warm up before playing and then moved to a different court and saw two guys get into a pretty heated argument about whether a ball was out of bounds or not. After the tennis complex we stopped by the pool which was empty but huge. The pattern of the seats were really cool as well, they changed colors to look like waves moving throughout. After the pool we walked to the outdoor track, which was lined with huge statues from all different sports. We saw an awesome old fountain in front of the stadium and the ground was covered in mosaics depicting different events.

After the stadium complex we walked through the old Olympic Village, where the athletes stayed. They're pretty run down apartments now but in 1960 I'm sure they were state of the art. I can easily see them being a great place to live with a little cleaning up. Each little block of houses had a central courtyard and an open air atrium staircase, plus the streets throughout the entire complex were named after the countries that lived on them, and of course we found the United States.

All in all it was a pretty good two weeks, pretty relaxing, which was nice after the week of travel. One more week to go before we go to Istanbul and our second studio project is due Wednesday, but its not too difficult. This may be my last post before I go to Istanbul but there will definitely be a big one when I get back so keep an eye out for it in about two weeks!

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