Thursday, April 7, 2011

Williams, Heather IAR 221 Unit Summary 2

     The Dome of the Rock is important to Islam and Christianity. It holds a rock at the center, which is the highest point of Mr. Moriah where the prophet Muhammad went to heaven. It symbolically represents upon which the world was created and is also the place of Abraham’s binding of Isaac, from Christian belief.  It also represents the idea of the heavens in both faiths because of the importance of the center point through the dome.


Meridian Gate

      The Meridian Gate, the entrance to the Forbidden city, aligns with the city’s enclosing wall and moat. This Gate physically and symbolically connects the people to the city on its axis. The building itself brings people to an understanding of a universal soul because it represents the idea of connecting beyond, similar to people moving forward spiritually. This gate connects people physically by bringing them together and symbolically by the idea it portrays of a universal spirit.

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India

 “The Islamic Garden of Paradise is a reinterpretation of the Garden of Eden from the Old Testament” (Ching 508). This shows the attempt at symbolizing heaven on earth by creating perfect symmetry in the gardens and the structure of the Taj Mahal. It also represents the connection people had with this architecture because it symbolized the idea of heaven to them, and the idea of moving to a new life.  This connects people through the symbol of the structure.

Tempietto; Pietro in Montario Rome

   This Structure also connects humans to a more spiritual world through architecture. It is built in perfect symmetry, representative of perfection of the heavens, and has a center dome with a cross on top pointing upwards emphasizing the heavens. The windows were meant for a person looking out to be able to see the sky, also connecting people through the world, or another spiritual world through architecture.

The Crystal Palace

   The Crystal Palace was created using iron bars and glass panels filling the spaces of the walls and ceiling. It was also built around the existing environment and able to be disassembled later so it would not cause any harm to the area. Allowing trees to remain in the structure, and the open glass ceiling, gives the people inside the space a connection with nature and the outside environment.

Einstein Tower, Potsdam by Erich Mendelsohn

   “Architecture is much more than a utilitarian appliance- that it can and should be primarily a vehicle for evoking emotional, even mystical states of experience” (Roth 535). This quote referring to the structure Einstein Tower by Erich Mendelsohn represents how architecture is used as a way of communicating emotion, ideas, and energy that cannot be explained with words in physical form. This structure was built based on sketches he made that used different line thicknesses for emotion and to represent a certain feeling. Because of this, it is able to connect the people who observe this structure by communicating and evoking emotion and inspiration.

      Each of these structures represents the impacts architecture can have on humans and the connections they make with it. For example, the Meridian Gate brings the people of the city together and at the same time symbolically suggests the idea of humans coming together in a later life. Although these structures serve very different purposes, they are all connected to each other through the way they act as a connection between the earth and the heavens and portray these thoughts to people observing them.
     Each of these structures were built with thought towards religion and symbolic references that they wanted to portray. The Taj-Mahal is built of perfect symmetry and represents the idea of calmness and perfection, like what is thought of the heavens. “At dusk and dawn, the Taj Mahal appears to float weightlessly, and ethereal, uncanny apparition”(Ching 508). At the same time, Einstein Tower works in the same way because although it is representing emotion in a different way. This structure used many sketches of feelings, and intuitional lines to provide thought. Both of these structures are built in a way that speaks for itself and evokes humans to have their own thoughts and feelings while experiencing it.

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