Bermúdez, Julio; Ro, Brandon
December 2012
Arquitecturas del Sur;2012, Issue 42, p88
Academic Journal
Case Study
Using nearly 2,900 entries to a survey on 'Extraordinary Architectural Experiences' (EAEs) as a general background mapping of the 'subjective side' of exceptional architecture, this article focuses on three paradigmatic religious buildings cited in the survey: the Pantheon, Chartres Cathedral, and the chapel of Ronchamp. The purpose is to establish (a) the unique (sacred and extraordinary) phenomenological signature of each building; (b) a comparative analysis between them and in relation to EAEs in general; and (c) possible links between subjective responses and the buildings' empirical aspects. Lindsay Jones' hermeneutical taxonomy for associating built form and religious experience in sacred architecture is used to articulate the information and relationships revealed. The conclusion is reached that while the Pantheon induces spiritual experiences using itself as contemplative apparatus, Chartres achieves the same purpose by combining theatrical and contemplative strategies, whereas Ronchamp makes use of its sanctuary quality and aesthetic-contemplative nature.


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