Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Behold the “Double Helix” Staircase Typically Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci: It Options Two Intertwined Spiral Staircases That Let Folks Ascend & Descend With out Obstructing Every Different


Picture by Zairon, through Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

Among the many non-wine-relat­ed factors of inter­est within the Loire Val­ley, the Château de Cham­bord stands tall — or quite, each tall and large, being eas­i­ly the most important château within the area. “A Unesco World Her­itage web site with greater than 400 rooms, includ­ing recep­tion halls, kitchens, lap­idary rooms and roy­al aside­ments,” writes Adri­enne Bern­laborious at BBC Trav­el, it “boasts a fireplace­place for every single day of the 12 months.” No much less huge and elab­o­charge a hunt­ing lodge would do for King Fran­cis I, who had it constructed between 1519 and 1547, although the iden­ti­ty of the archi­tect from whom he com­mis­sioned the plans has been misplaced to his­to­ry. However the unusu­al design of its cen­tral stair­case — and cen­tral vacationer attrac­tion — sug­gests an intrigu­ing identify certainly: Leonar­do da Vin­ci.

“In 1516, Leonar­do left his stu­dio in Rome to affix the court docket of King Fran­cis I as ‘pre­mier pein­tre et ingénieur et archi­tecte du Roi,’ ” Bern­laborious writes. “Fran­cis I enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly embraced the cul­tur­al Renais­sance that had swept Italy, keen to place his impri­matur on the humanities, and in 1516 com­mis­sioned plans for his dream cas­tle on the web site of Romoran­tin. For Leonar­do, it was an ide­al assign­ment – the cul­mi­na­tion of an illus­tri­ous profession, enable­ing the artist to specific a lot of his pas­sions: archi­tec­ture, city plan­ning, hydraulics and engi­neer­ing.” However not lengthy after its con­struc­tion started, the Romoran­tin mission was aban­doned, and by the point Fran­cis bought begin­ed on what would develop into Château de Cham­bord, Leonar­do was already useless.

Leonar­do’s influ­ence nev­er­the­much less appears current within the fin­ished cas­tle: in its Greek cross-shaped flooring plan, in its giant cop­u­la, and most of all in its “dou­ble helix” stair­case, which resem­bles cer­tain designs con­tained in his Codex Atlanti­cus. “The cel­e­brat­ed stair­case con­sists in a hol­lowed cen­tral core and, twist­ing and switch­ing one above the oth­er, twinned heli­cal ramps ser­vic­ing the primary flooring of the construct­ing,” says the Château de Cham­bor­d’s offi­cial web site. “Magazine­i­cal­ly sufficient, when two per­sons use the dif­fer­ent units of stair­cas­es on the identical time, they’ll see every oth­er going up or down, but nev­er meet.” (Weblog­ger Gretchen M. Greer writes that “one girl I trav­eled with discovered the stair­case so strik­ing­ly sym­bol­ic of the mar­i­tal dishar­mo­ny and dis­con­nect that end result­ed in her divorce that she declared the beau­ti­ful archi­tec­tur­al fea­ture the ugli­est place within the Loire.”)

Some schol­ars, like Hidemichi Tana­ka, iden­ti­fy the hand of Leonar­do in prac­ti­cal­ly each element of the château. “Seen from afar, the roof ter­race, with its mul­ti­tude of archi­tec­tur­al embell­ish­ments, is sug­ges­tive of a soar­ing metropolis sky­line,” he writes in a 1992 arti­cle within the jour­nal Artwork­ibus et His­to­ri­ae. “It could be value com­par­ing the ‘metropolis in stone’ with the city­scape within the again­floor of Leonar­do’s Annun­ci­a­tion within the Uffizi Gallery, Flo­rence, in addition to with the struc­tures within the draw­ings of floods which the artist made in his lat­er years.” Although per­haps a chrono­log­i­cal­ly implau­si­ble obtain­ment, the design of the Château de Cham­bord would have been nei­ther tech­ni­cal­ly nor aes­thet­i­cal­ly past him. And certainly, who would­n’t be happy to see medieval cas­tle archi­tec­ture paid such extrav­a­gant and still-impres­sive trib­ute by the quin­tes­sen­tial Renais­sance man?

Relat­ed con­tent:

Leonar­do da Vin­ci Designs the Ide­al Metropolis: See 3D Mod­els of His Rad­i­cal Design

Discover the Largest On-line Archive Explor­ing the Genius of Leonar­do da Vin­ci

Leonar­do da Vinci’s Ele­gant Design for a Per­pet­u­al Movement Machine

Leonar­do da Vinci’s Notice­books Get Dig­i­tized: The place to Learn the Renais­sance Man’s Man­u­scripts On-line

An Ani­mat­ed His­to­ry of Ver­sailles: Six Min­utes of Ani­ma­tion Present the Con­struc­tion of the Grand Palace Over 400 Years

Primarily based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His initiatives embrace the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the e-book The State­much less Metropolis: a Stroll by way of Twenty first-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video collection The Metropolis in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­e-book.



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