Prior to Borromini, buildings for the most part were orthogonal boxes of plane surfaces, it was the architect's job to add decoration. Designed in 1634, the church San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane for the Spanish Trinitarians was Francesco Borromini's first independent commission and part of a complex of monastic buildings on the Quirinal Hill. Measuring 39 x 66 feet San Carlino is significant within the history of architecture for Borromini's ingenious application of a type of manufactured poche. Transformed from the structural necessities of poche (load bearing castle walls), this new type of architectural, secondary, support space was made of double walls and is here composed of sacristy, stairs, passages, and chapels: an in-between space, a fabric that gives the building its richness and makes possible San Carlino's undulating walls. Used solely for architectural requirements, each wall has an autonomous scale, function and decoration; it modulates decoration and scale from the city down to the main space of the church; it is after Borromini and, to a lesser extent Bernini and Guarino Guarini, that we get a layered architecture of depth, richness and, with a strong double wall boundary, a unique object of space. We have a in the Torqued Spirals of Richard Serra a modern counterfeit of this Baroque double space leading to, instead of a solemn, sacramental center is transformed into an empty space where nothing takes place. Devoid of function, the meaningful central space made possible by the double poche of Baroque architecture, is here co-opted, transformed into a simulacrum of a circulation to nowhere; a false representation of a cultural mystical, magical space...ov
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Stone shield of the Trinitarian Order on the façade of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1638-1641). wikipedia.
Stone elliptical stair in the "in between space" with curious windows and double walls...
* Space Cast pace models photographed by author from Baroque Typolgies :