The Roman Colosseum: The Building and The Grand Spectacles

American Academy in Rome

Andrew Kranis (B.A., Duke; M.Arch, Columbia) is Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a winner of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Rome Prize Fellowship. He teaches design and urbanism courses on the Art and Architecture faculties of Temple University, University of Arkansas, Penn State and other Rome Study Centers.  An award-winning architectural and environmental designer, as well as a LEED-accredited specialist in sustainable architecture, Kranis designs and teaches with a passion for resource conservation and for smarter cities. He runs an architectural practice from New York City and Rome, and is an experienced tour guide who developed innovative online tours to bring virtual travelers to the Eternal city during the pandemic.



Join Professor Andrew Kranis — FROM ROME — for this virtual tour of the fabled 1st Century gladiatorial amphitheater that was built by the Flavian Emperors to entertain, intimidate, and flatter the Roman people for over five centuries. We will examine its site within the ancient city, its extraordinary and cutting-edge architectural features, and its role as Italy’s unofficial logo. As the most ambitious and technologically complex structure ever constructed for pure blood sport, it stands as the world’s most enduring example of “negative heritage,” while setting the standard for Broadway- and Las Vegas-style stagecraft and spectacle.



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Jeffrey Watt


We found it very interesting to learn about the architecture and building of the Colosseum and how it fits in Rome.

2 years ago
Hans Bleiker

Roman Colloseum

Great information about Roman architecture. The details of the structure and provisions for the audience were nothing short of amazing. The cruelty of that era is difficult to comprehend in light of the sophistication and attention to detail for the structure.

2 years ago
Deborah Bhagwandin

The Roman Colosseum

Although I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Roman Colosseum several times, I learned so much from this presentation! Professor Kranis provided an excellent historical and architectural overview of this amazing structure! He is clearly passionate about this building and his maps, illustrations and video clips make the entire city of Rome come alive! Thank-you!

2 years ago
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