Hotel Diocleziano

Over the course of a week, I documented the remnants of the Baths of Diocletian in order to understand its lasting impact on the surrounding urban fabric of contemporary Rome.

The history of the baths reveals much about the continuous transformation of Rome: following its use as a public bathhouse, parts of the complex have been converted into a warehouse, two churches, a monastery, a planetarium, a sculptor’s studio and a piazza. Its location brings into focus lines of ancient and contemporary movement across the city: along the aqueducts that once fed its pools and the railway tracks that culminate at nearby Termini Station. Its construction by Christian martyrs on the site of a dynastic mausoleum reveals a social history that is often lost in the enigma of the ruin. The resulting drawing collapses this timeline into a single image in order to reveal the fragmentary persistence of the structure in contemporary Rome and its tacit participation in the production of new forms of public space.

The Baths of Diocletian: a composite timeline, 72” x 54”

Sketchbook spreads