MICHELANGELO Buonarroti
(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)

Laurentian Library

1530
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Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence

The horizontally of the long reading room is unexpected after the verticality of the vestibule. At first sight the room looks more conventional than the vestibule. However, the disturbing aspect of the room is that it has no reasonable focus or terminus. Pilasters, ceiling beams, and floor patterns produce a continuous cage of space in which the reading desks (also designed by Michelangelo) are trapped, two to a bay, and the observer with them. Since each of the bays is identical, the succession could contain two more or three less with no effect on the purely additive composition.