Overview on the architecture of the baths of Diocletian
It is interesting to note that these baths were built by the Roman emperor Diocletian (as the name of the bath suggests), who built this grand building after dividing the Roman empire. Therefore, the purpose of the building was to compensate for the losses or turn a blind eye to the failures and try to appeal to the public eye by building an impressive public structure.
Discovering this fact reminded us (of an interesting quote we had come across in Spiro Kostof’s ‘History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals’, “…repeatedly civilization has exemplified Patrick Geddes’ dictum that the perfection of the architectural form does not come till the institution sheltered by it is on the point of passing away.”
Do Roman baths have any significance in today’s architecture and society?
Where did all the water come from?
It is important to note that all this large supply of water for the baths came from aqueducts – channels built with waterproof cement and covered with slabs of stone that directed water into reservoirs. The aqueducts themselves are a work of architectural wonder. They were usually built with materials that were readily available, usually, stone, brick, or concrete. Some were set on arches while others ran underground. The very first aqueduct to bring water to Rome was built in 312 B.C. Today, some aqueducts are still in use. For example, the source of water for the Trevi fountain still comes from an aqueduct built during ancient times.