Architecture Monday

Thorncrown chapel is a classic, at once both visually striking and yet somehow ethereal at the same time.

The striking part definitively comes from its repeating set of very expressive structural frames, marching into the distance that creates not only a pull forward but also complex sets of overlapping patterns and voids as you move around and through it.  The frames themselves are straightforward (and were designed such that every piece could be carried into the site by hand by no more than two people), but they seem anything but simple when arrayed like they are, one after the other.

The ethereal part comes from the lack of walls.  Not that there really aren’t any walls, for it is enclosed in glass.  But that transparency allows the frames to blend and merge with the forest that surrounds it.  And through this the visual interplay multiplies, between the frames and the trees, and especially how light, shadows, and reflections all begin to dance, with everything taking on a different look and feel as the sun, or moon, or seasons, move and change.

It’s a classic for a reason.  Great work.

Thorncrown Chapel by E. Fay Jones

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