TidBits 033: The Paper Amphitheatre

In 2008, Lucca celebrated the 170th anniversary of its Roman amphitheater.

For the event, the translations in Italian of the books written in Japanese by Professor Taisuke Kuroda dedicated to these types of constructions were published: Lucca 1838. Trasformazione e riuso degli anfiteatri romani in Italia (Transformation and re-Utilization of Roman Amphitheatres in Italy, ndt) and the related album designed by the architect himself in collaboration with his wife Naoko, calledThe Roman Amphitheatre.

The two volumes are part of Archetipo’s “Architecture and Environment” series of books, developed by the Fondazione Campus - Studi del Mediterraneo – foundation and the Maria PaciniFazzi Editore publishing house; together with the Industrialists’ Association of the Province of Lucca and Comieco - Consorzio Nazionale Recupero e Riciclo degli Imballaggi a Base Cellulosica (National Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Cellulose-Based Packaging) – celebrated the Amphitheatre of Lucca by dedicating it these two special gifts.

Both volumes are the result of the research by Taisuke Kuroda, architect and professor at the Kanto Gakunin University of Yokohama, who, in the course of a sabbatical year at the Universityof Florence, extensively researched material on the re-utilization of Roman amphitheatres in Italy, bearing witness to the importance of renovation projects like the one made by Lorenzo Nottolini in Lucca in 1838. Prof. Kuroda analyzed over 100 amphitheatres, electing the Lucca amphitheater as the exceptional testimonial of the process of urban evolution and development of the city around this “ciambellone” (big bundt cake, ndt), as he loves to define it.

And the Album presents the Amphitheatre in a wholly new way, one closely connected to the work of architects and to the Japanese art of origami. The extremely long distance that separates Lucca and its history from Japan and its traditions is metaphorically reduced through this album comprised of information and curiosities, a bit of history, but above all, precise instructions for constructing a miniature paper model of the Amphitheatre. Cut and paste and makeyour own scale version of the piazza symbol of the city of Lucca. A veritable “reutilization” that even more strongly binds the relationship between past and present!

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