Sacred Transitions: Chapel At Belem, Lisbon
Starting the year with Dantes’ Divine Comedy, with emphasis on the current impact of environmental determinants on architectural production.. I will look at the notion of Transition, and progression in architecture, In the divine comedy transitions between circles form the spatial and written structure, to the text, with Dantes’ observations across the different thresholds becoming the key anchor to the narrative. If we consider that our society also has moments of transition where we can reflect on the past and look to project into the future.
If one considers this on a more narrow focused perspective Architecture is dominated by transitions I shall investigate how the body of the architectural object can change, through processes of transition, these could be outside to inside, solid to void, hot to cold, light to dark, or from profane to sacred. These transitions can act at many scales and be urban, tectonic (figural) spatial and atmospheric but also importantly intellectual caused not by the object itself but by ones understanding of meaning of such transitions.
Transitions can only really be read as one progresses through them the work must be viewed not as a whole but as perceptual or cinema graphic fragments of a journey, always changing and capable of generating multiple interpretations.
If one takes the divine comedies spatial structure the interstitial spaces, the thresholds become important one can consider the role of programmatic interstitial spaces in architecture. Can the residual urban and non-programmed spaces be considered residue of program and infrastructure of planning or be left deliberately left to form stages in which the unplanned rituals of daily life can occur. Do these spaces create architecture that is conceptually ‘Open’ and connected to contemporary society?