Matterport - Harlan Hambright

Harlan Hambright

Civita Tour via Matterport

Harlan Hambright, Civita Institute Creative Retreatant, 2021

2021 marked the 50th anniversary of a life changing experience for me. I was fortunate enough to participate in a summer-long study abroad program while attending the University of Tennessee’s School of Architecture in Rome with Professor Zarina. I was then and still am a photographer.

My architectural photography career has taken me to lots of places. After I scanned a local resort hotel, The Cloister, I found out using Google Earth that the hotel’s footprint was nearly exactly the same size as Civita. I put a Creative Retreat together, thinking of the technical challenge of scanning an entire hilltown.

November proved the ideal time to execute this project: not too cold, not nearly as hot as July, sparse people most of the time. The Matterport system is infrared based and as such is not too happy outside in the sun. I calculated that Civita was dense enough to act more as a large interior space if I timed the sun angles properly. It was also a challenge to figure out how make a spiel in Italian explaining what I was up to.

My retreat afforded me an opportunity to explore and expand my craft in a highly challenging, creative and supportive setting. My 50-year-old connection with the place was rekindled and I appreciated every minute of it.The challenge of executing a project of this magnitude was personally satisfying. I look forward to a return trip to update.

I was introduced to the committee that’s working on the UNESCO World Heritage application and I have given them permission to utilize the tour. The Civita Institute is also free to use it. The tour can be viewed here:

I grant permission to anyone with a legitimate interest or purpose in Civita to utilize this URL for non-commercial use of any sort. Just remember to credit the source.