The Resonance of Michelangelo

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Virginia Tech


This thesis is an exploration of creating an essence in architecture through a sense of ambition and harmony. The ambition for a design to have an architectural presence and establish a clear identity, while achieving a harmony of numerous aspects of the project in order to simplify the inherent complexities of architecture and allow the ambitious identity to be clearly present.

The investigation begins with the analysis of ruins as the result of a natural process that strips down a building of secondary components and leaves the exposed soul of the architecture. As a specific example, the thesis explores the Roman ruins, how they exude their cultural history and often how they express the initial architectural intent and identity. The ambition of Rome is carried to the harmony of Florence and finally to the embodiment of harmonious ambition in Michelangelo.

His work constantly achieved an ambition in creating a new identity with each masterpiece while always attaining a beautiful moment of harmony. The thesis explores not just the wonders of Michelangelo's life, but his inspirations and mastery of ancient traditions as well as his influence on the world after him. At the conclusion of the exploration, I propose a place of learning that both honors Michelangelo and his resonance throughout history and creates a new harmonious ambition.



Michelangelo, Harmony, Ambition, Renaissance, Architecture