A look at the powerful moods of sacred works of architecture, the influence on their inhabitants and postmodern, industrial design.
St Hilaire church in Melle in the Deux-Sèvres
Serenity is the state of being calm and tranquil, an inner peace that emanates from being both physically and mentally aligned with an internally harmonious sense of balance. Architectural serenity is a physical representation of that very state; it not only suggests beauty but a way of being. An appreciation of patterns, symmetry, and nature’s deepest design can produce sublime architectural and interior designs that finds delight in the simplicity of its earthly influences, creating a sense of freedom within a space.
Church centre in Uetikon, Switzerland by Daniel Marques
Spaces are of significant importance to us, as they shape our daily existence. There are different aspects of design that can enhance a sense of serenity along with our general mood, personal sense of motivation and creative thinking skills . One important factor to consider is the use of light. Light is often a key element in creating a sense of calm, free thought. It should enter a space freely, if possible, and magnanimously.
On a more personal level architectural serenity encompasses an element of sacredness. Describing something as‘Sacred’ suggests that it is something that can be set apart from the ordinary. Spaces designed for prayer and worship encompass this and it is of huge interest to me, that a building can create such an overwhelming feeling of contentment and peace almost regardless of previous moods, and currrent affairs and any issues that people are going through. There is almost an architectural cleansing system going on within these spaces. Despite being noted as being ‘holy’ I simply think this is absolute architectural mastery to create an atmosphere of serenity, so seemingly effortlessly through a use of high ceilings and expansive structural work that utilises glass and natural materials such as stone. The Taj Mahal is the perfect example of a sacred and serene building, built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in 1631 as a monument built for the love of his wife.
The way the stone plays with the light is spectacularly magical, making it appear white at times when, in fact, it has more of a yellow tint to it. The pillars aligned either side create its aura of magnificence, made all the more effective through the buildings architectural parallelism which, viewed from afar, set it aside from many other temples.
Incorporate an atmosphere of serenity into a home by minimalist design, parallelism and expanding a sense of space wherever possible. Play with light with glass objects and large, unconcealed and undressed windows. Use natural stones and colour shades with lots of grey, beige and white to assist with creating a blank canvas that can offer the mind space to drift and contemplate. A shift towards presently trending industrial interior design uses aspects of serenity, creating this with a rough edge using concrete can create sublimely modern interiors. Look at the images below to see examples of how architects at Igor Sirotov have incorporated these key features of light with an appreciation of natural materials to display serene, open spaces in chic style.
Igor Sirotov – The Frame
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