The Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon is an ur space: outside time yet central to architecture’s history, archaic yet absolutely contemporary in the abstraction of its platonic forms. The dome—conceived to embody the cosmos, while the rich marbles of its patterned floor, collected from across the vast territories of the Roman Empire—drew this universality into dialogue with the earthly orders of the human condition. The interior of the Pantheon is the most photographed place in an obsessively recorded city, but the briefest glance at the internet demonstrates the dilemma of visually representing it. The German photographer, Thomas Struth, offers one powerful, authorial response in his photograph. Choosing to frame a sectional slice, the curvature of his lens flattens its geometries while the oculus that lights it is sensed rather than seen. In response, our model addresses the interior as a series of interpretive fragments that reflect upon reality, understanding and personal experience: in particular a vivid memory of seeing the dome’s entirety as a reflection, inverted in the rainwater pooled on the floor.
Established in 2000 by Daniel Rosbottom and David Howarth, London based DRDH engages with architecture as an international condition, across practice, academia and the written word. This strategy of looking outwards has resulted in work that is located across a number of countries and continents, providing diverse opportunities to approach architecture as a social, civic and cultural condition across a wide range of scales and project types. More broadly it has offered a platform from which to reflect upon global practice. In 2016 DRDH were nominated for the prestigious BCI Swiss Architecture Award, an international prize to recognize significant contributions to contemporary architectural culture.
Recent works have included two high profile projects in Bodo, Norway for a new concert hall & theatre and a city library, together named winner of the prestigious Norwegian State Architecture Prize 2015. The projects also received an RIBA Award for International Excellence 2016, were a finalist for the inaugural RIBA International Award 2016 and nominated for the 2017 European Union Prize for Architecture, The Mies van de Rohe Award.