Archive for the ‘Bertoia’ Category

Connecting heaven and earth

05/12/2008

Eero Saarinen’s non-denominational Chapel at MIT

The ‘piccolo Pantheon’ of Cambridge.

If you visit Boston this week for the AIA convention and you find you need “a place of mystic quiet,” here you are.

03/22/2007

Where was I?

Comments from the last post: Cynthia said… “Saarinen’s Chapel @ MIT. Incredible.”

She’s right. Send your address to TheNewModernist.com and I’ll send you a Hello Beautiful! baseball cap poifect for Spring.

The tiny chapel is monumental. A mini-maxi Roman Pantheon.
But while the space inside the Pantheon basically carries you up and out the opening on top to ride with the g-ds; in this chapel, the conception of space is more modern. The movement of space on the inside connects heaven to earth. The light above connects to the altar on the earth, by way of the reflections off of Harry Bertoia’s screen sculpture.


Saarinen’s chapel and the Bertoia’s light-reflecting screen are old friends of mine. And I thought of it when I saw Behnisch, Behnisch and Partner’s Genzyme building, not far away, also in Cambridge, Mass; an office building highly “sustainable.” They use a similar sculpture, this one to reflect light down into the offices.

Sustainability does contain a spiritual aspect.

-E