While BLDGBLOG just explored Etienne-Louis Boullée’s Cenotaph for Newton – of which some better images appear here –
– complete with an internal view of the dome’s constellational ceiling –
– Boullée also designed another, if substantially less well-known, cenotaph (complete, again, with monumentally over-sized dome and somewhat ridiculous, almost elephantiasis-stricken, pyramidal shell), revealed here in both elevation and section –
– as well as yet another tomb – or cénotaphe – here a kind of architectural remix of the first pyramid:
And even that wasn’t the end. Boullée designed a tomb for Hercules; a tomb for Sparta; several funerary monuments; and a chapel of the dead that seems to have set the architectural temperature for the bunker-like, uninspired, and potentially even anti-Christian churches you now find all over today’s middle America:
Well, actually, it looks an awful lot like the house Robert Venturi built for his mother –
– which I suppose says something about Robert Venturi.
8 thoughts on “Death’s pyramids and Boullée’s domes”
Wow. I had never seen the cone version before. Cone totally beats sphere. No contest really.
Bollox. The spherical form is perfect – embodiment of a pure platonic solid. Cone is pure folly…
I needed to find something over 100 years older than the venturi house to compare and contrast for my arch. class… looks like I won’t have much to contrast.
It is a triangle, it can look like my dogs house or even the set square that i will use to design it. There are other things that should be compaired between the two.
Boullee's Architecture, Essay on Art, is really fantastic. He has a small section on cenotaphs and funerary monuments that discusses his approach and concepts for this type of architecture. Its worth reading.
His work is truly awe-inspiring.
To the second poster (anonymous):
The sphere is not a platonic solid.
Nonsense, Cone and Sphere are vain. Nothing beats the pure mathematical lines of a cube.
Cubes that are particularly appealing with topped by an isosceles triangle. 😉
Did you really link Venturi to "psycho"!!!?
Common' he deserve better than that.