Francis D.K. Ching Provokes My Nostalgia
Francis D.K. Ching. That’s his sketch above. Countless students of architecture have found guidance in the drawings and writings of this person over the last four decades. It’s more of a memento than a resource to me now, but I still have a copy of his “Building Construction Illustrated” within reach of my desk. I recommend it to every budding architect.
So you might then imagine my delight when, while browsing the internet one Saturday morning, I discovered Mr. Ching’s blog. I have always admired his drawings, and that admiration gets amplified when I scroll through his blog posts, which are populated with countless of his urban sketches from around the world.
I scrolled and clicked through the blog again recently. What a thrill I had to find his sketch in Rome, of the church in the piazza where I studied as a student many years ago (that’s the sketch above). I recognized it instantly, and by force of nostalgia I went searching for my old Rome sketchbooks. I don’t in those sketchbooks have the same perspective that Mr. Ching sketched, but perhaps some classmates will see this post of mine and remember the view I’m including below? It’s the very small Piazza Sant’ Appollonia, which is connected to Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, the piazza where Mr. Ching put his pen to paper. In fact, Mr. Ching’s vantage point in his sketch is very likely taken at a table in the outdoor café beneath the windows of the studio that my fellow classmates and I called “home base” for our semester of study.
(By the way, notice what is either a strength of self esteem, or an exercise in poor judgment, as I dare to place my humble sketch in proximity to this master’s.)
My overarching recollection of Piazza S. Maria is that it seemed, once Spring had arrived, to always be filled with half the occupants of Rome. Especially as Spring approached Summer, that piazza came alive every night with an energy that was wholly unique!
Are there any witnesses reading this? Either to the mastery of Francis D.K. Ching or to the teeming of Piazza S. Maria? Has anyone been to S. Maria in Trastevere recently? I’d love to hear your thoughts…and any former classmates of mine, please leave a comment!
E naturalmente! I encourage you to visit the blog of Francis D.K. Ching – you can reach it by clicking HERE!