Monday, March 23, 2009

The Coolest Building Never Built: Newton's Cenotaph

Étienne- Louis Boullée designed this structure as an homage to both Newton and The Age of Reason. He writes, "I conceived the idea of surrounding thee with they discovery and thus, somehow, surrounding thee with thyself." The building was so large and his techniques so innovative that the mere idea of this structure challenges the idea of the construction of space.

It is a bohemoth of a building; a perfect sphere, to represent nothing less than the absolute truth of Newtonian science. The scale is giant- really giant (in the image below, those are fully grown trees encircling the building). Visitors enter from the bottom of the Sphere, first through a tunnel and then entering into the giant space.

But here is the kicker.....

During the day, the interior would be dark but illuminated by holes in the walls- THAT SIMULATE THE STARS- to represent the night sky. The confines of the space would disappear and the visitor would be engulfed by the vastness of the universe. 

And then I got high. And then I got high. And then I got high.

At night, the space is filled with a lamp that radiates light and simulates sunshine. Of course, Newton's sarcophogus would be the only material object in this perfect world.

Basically, the world needs more transcendental architecture. And planetariums.

1 comment:

  1. hmmm, that's pretty cool, but I thought you hated that Architecture class...