Reconstructing the Elliptical Building

The entire set of Elliptical Building reconstructions are available in the report from Chester Archaeology .

These reconstructions, along with The Chester Project, were started during March, 1996. Unfortunately, because of work commitments, the Elliptical Building took alot longer than I ever anticipated, and indeed The Chester Project is nowhere near as advanced as I would like it to be. But now the Elliptical Building is complete, work is proceeding on The Chester Project, and indeed the next major building reconstruction which will be the Legionary Bath House.

Please note that the images on this page, for the most part, are from development models and do not themselves appear in the report. However, the final project, for the report at least, comprises fifteen Flavian reconstructions and fourteen Severan, along with the cover. Two can be seen on the Elliptical Building homepage, and one is linked off this page, an image of the Severan east entrance.

Originally, David Mason and myself agreed to do only the Flavian Elliptical Building. Once the basic models were complete we textured the courtyard based on the colours of our local sandstone, the raw stone material used for the legionary fortress and its buildings.

A few months later we tried a creamy-white rendered version, but still retaining the dry pinkish colour for the paving stones.

Then, late 1999, given that such a building is likely to have been highly decorated, at least within the twelve chambers, we decided to devise a colour scheme, based on source material and photographs from various sites around the Roman Empire.

The stone fountain bowl was replaced with a highly polished bronze version, as were the main doors to the Flavian Elliptical Building.

The surfaces which were likely to receive colour were separated from the rest, and we then spent a few days working on the scheme. Some of the results are in the three images below.

In addition to colouring the Flavian Elliptical Building, we also took the somewhat larger decision to reconstruct the Severan Elliptical Building. Although the ground plan is remarkably similar, the 3D version is quite different, primarily because of its two floors, but also, on the outside, because of its monumental entrance.

The images below are early development renderings from the basic models for the Severan building. They are very incomplete, but you can gain a sense of the difference between the two buildings.

A very early layout for the main entrance of the Severan Elliptical Building.
Note the fountain in the centre of the courtyard.

Click Here to see the finished image, one of many from the
report - see news item link below

Although there is no immediate evidence for steps, it goes without saying
that if the interpretation is for a two-storey building, you need some way
to allow easy access to and from the first floor gallery.
This see-through version shows a stair arrangement
placed exactly within the entrance chamber prior
to entering the portico.

This view is taken looking into the portico and courtyard
from the chamber mentioned above, the one where we
built the stairs.

On the left is a view from the courtyard, on the right, a view into the
courtyard from the first floor gallery.

Julian Baum

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Page Last Updated 20th May, 2007