The incomplete dream of Duomo Nuovo lives with Augmented Reality


May 1, 1317 - 2017

A journey inside a dream,

a journey into the history of a project that was never completed: the New Cathedral, a major construction project that got off the ground in 1339 but was abandoned for good in 1357.

The plague, a lack of financial resources and structural failure all helped to put paid to a project that meant much more to the Sienese than a mere extension to their old Cathedral. The New Cathedral was supposed to bring fame and glory to the old Republic. The unfinished façade, the pillars, the capitals and the bases of the piers are today a fabulous skeleton testifying to a wonderful dream that never was.

Download the New Cathedral Augmeted Reality (Duomo Nuovo AR) to explore the three aisles that were never built and to wonder at the vaults that would have ceiled the new Cathedral, on a virtual tour of what would have been the largest church in the whole of Christendom.


Instructions for Use

What device do I need?

You can use this app on a smartphone or on a tablet. Mininum requirements for it to work correctly are Android 5.0.1 (Lollipop) or iOS 8.0.

How do I enable 3D mode in augmented reality?

For the augmented reality function to work correctly you need to enable the device's GPS tracker. We recommend you disable automatic screen lock.

Must my mobile data be on?

The app already has lots of internally preloaded data, but if you enable mobile data you'll allow the app to collect additional data regarding your GSP position. The "points of interest" (POI) function is the only function that specifically requires mobile data connection. Without it, the app can't collect the information it needs to display. Check the small yellow triangle at the bottom of your screen.

Can I use a viewer, for example Google Cardboard?

Yes, the "pano" function can also be used with Cardboard. We recommend that you always disable automatic screen lock.

I can't see the 3D model!

The "3D" and "POI" sections need to pick up the device's GSP position. If you can't see the 3D model, check that your GPS tracker is enabled. If you still can't see it, try exiting the 3D function and then going back in again.

GSP isn't picking up my position!

Your position is picked up via satellite and (only if enabled) mobile data network. The app only judges your position to be "excellent/good" after a few minutes' use once the satellite signals are being received perfectly (i.e. once your GPS has "warmed up").

Does the app memorise my personal data?

No, the app doesn't memorise ANY personal data. Your GPS position is used to switch the model into augmented reality mode, but the moment you disable this function the app "forgets" your data (even if you continue using the app to consult other information).

Why does it say "Not in Piazza Duomo"?

The augmented reality function positions the model on the piazza's true coordinates when you are within a 500-metre radius of Piazza Duomo. In every other case, i.e. when you are outside that radius, the model is positioned around the user, thus it takes the user's actual position as its "point zero".

What's the best position for the app to pick up my position in Piazza Duomo?

The position tracker works best in open spaces at a reasonable distance from obstacles, vertical walls, porticoes and so on. The best places for the app to pick up your position are the marks on the first and second columns on the paving stones in Piazza Jacopo della Quercia.

Why isn't the augmented reality 3D model positioned exactly in Piazza Duomo?

The GPS signal has a 3 to 10 metre margin of error depending on the accuracy and quality of your device and on an error in the signal transmission modality. The app is designed to create an idea, a vision of the building in its real position, but current state-of-the-art technology doesn't necessarily allow it always to be 100% accurate.

Why can't I see the existing part of the Cathedral transept in the "3D" and "pano" version?

The app is designed to recreate and to visualise the architectural model of the cathedral that was never built. In future, you'll also be able to see other parts of the New Cathedral Complex to complete the history of this important monumental project that never came to fruition.

The incomplete dream