Collaborator: Daniel Kirkby. Submitted: February 2016. Grade Achieved: Distinction
Designed in the 18th century by the artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), Caffè degli Inglesi in Rome, just moments away from the Spanish Steps, is a prime example of a lost ‘cultural cafè’. Renowned for its eccentric Egyptian style, it was a main hub for British artists visiting the Eternal City. Although it was a key centre for culture and artistry, the café’s design divided opinion. Caffè Degli Inglesi only survived for circa 20 years.
Only two plates etched by Piranesi himself have survived that depict one long and one short internal wall. Because of this, our main challenge was re-imagining the space. As the cafè is long gone and we have no information in regards to the materials, colours, techniques employed, it therefore seems clear that the physical architecture of this space shouldn’t be our main focus, but capturing the lost atmosphere by trying to create a ‘shadow’ of the lost physical space.
Complete catalogue available here.
View the model making blog to see more information about how the piece was built.