Giorgio VERDIANI / Graziano CORSARO
(Facoltà di Architettura, Firenze, Italia)


The Hadrian’s Villa, for its extension, complexity and richness of architectonic characteristics, can be read as a real urban problem, with solutions typically derived from a town asset. The main objective of this project is the documentation and the investigation about the cryptoporticus system in the Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, Italy. The reading of this system will be done according to four main development lines: the urban scale, the architectonic scale, the detail scale, and the confrontation scale. From the cryptoporticus crossing the underground between the small and the great thermal baths in the Villa we had started a new and digital survey of the whole network which represents a real hidden city working to connect each single structure inside this awesome archaeological area.


The four lines of this research go on together, we applied our well proved procedures to obtain a detailed and accurate survey of the cryptoporticus network connecting it to our previous digital surveys in the Hadrian’s Villa; this was really powerful allowing a complete interpretation of the connections between the buildings and the underground. The use of a phase shift laserscan was a practical solution to produce high quality survey in small spaces reducing the overall scanning time and with the benefit of a very easy registration process. The post processing of the gathered data was aimed to add a more graphically pleasant appearance to the classical drawing and to start a better interpretation of the masonry and of the development phases of the cryptoporticus network. The whole research was done working side by side with archaeologists to read and to interpreter the traces and suggestions coming from this detailed documentation. The gathered data and the post processed

information are actually going to compose a new map of this system, giving back, for the first time, the opportunity to read the architectural work with a three dimensional approach reading the logic of these connecting veins to the whole architectonic apparatus. Thus, this is done without reducing or under evaluating the importance of two dimensional drawing as an important place of confrontation and reading. The confrontation between the cryptoporticus in the Villa and other similar networks in the area allowed developing a better idea of the life inside the Hadrian’s Villa. The sizes, the sections, the “built-in” plants, the kind of floor and masonry are all witness of the use of this network, the confrontation of this clear aspects with the size and function of the vehicles, storage places, relationships with building functions allowed to interpreter how this lively organism was capable to bear the whole Villa apparatus and keep each single function. The study of this network is not only useful for a better understanding of the la, but also to start a new reading of the large area of this monument where a lot is still to be said.


Cryptoporticus, Laserscan documentation architecture survey