Forays into Atmosphere

Atmosphere is integral to the experience of architecture. It describes many qualities of a space, including aura, ambiance, and tone. The following research considers the qualities which contribute to atmosphere in architecture and how designers can influence them. It spans three continents, multiple projects, and five years. This book concentrates on the intentional work conducted during my final twelve months of undergraduate school, culminating in my thesis. It is divided into three chronological sections.

The first section consists of four illustrated essays that were composed for the Aydelott Travel Grant. This annual $20,000 grant enables the recipient to travel the world to research a topic of their choice through the lens of any four buildings they select. As the Auburn winner of the 2019 award, the author chose to research the atmosphere of sacred space. The selected buildings were the Cologne Cathedral, The Pilgrimage Church in Neviges, Saint Peter in Klippan, and Grundtvig’s Church in Copenhagen.


The second section explores both the analysis and the documentation produced following the Aydelott journey. This work was undertaken in an effort to describe atmosphere, and explore how best to convey it.

The final section is my thesis undertaken in fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Architecture Degree at Auburn University. This work synthesizes the broader research and explorations into a single project. It is divided into four parts: impressions of atmosphere, precedent analysis, physical studies, and the resultant thesis project. 


exhibition design, atmosphere, photography, presentation, graphic design, research


Summer 2020


Margaret Fletcher




Auburn University, Directed Studies


Compiled Studies

Aydelott Grant research and undergraduate thesis research are combined in Atmosphere


Guiding Lines

The quantity of written content required a clear hierarchy between titles, body text, captions, and supporting images. 

Color Theory


The cover is a shade of sky blue designed to contrast with the warm hues found in many of the organizing diagrams, title text, and photographs contained within. The rust tones observed in the interior diagrams are pulled from their companion images, serving to unify multiple kinds of content across the entirety of the book.


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Section Intro





" A renowned architect has with all his being built
here a hallowed room of majestic weight. "



the cross

ceiling is supported by a
structure of raw iron beams,
elevated by a large cross.

The final major work of the Swedish master Sigurd
Lewerentz, Saint Peter in Klippan, Sweden is a holistic,
obsessive, and moving space. A disorienting journey
through a thick and tranquil atmosphere, the church is
intimate in scale and carefully detailed. Shadow dominates
the interior of Saint Peter. Sources of illumination are
sparse, focused, and purposeful, lending warmth and

contrast to the space. The atmosphere of Saint Peter is
inseparable from the treatment of the masonry. Lewerentz
insisted on never cutting a brick to turn corners or make
complex forms, and uses mortar with equal skill to craft

careful moments. Saint Peter of Klippan is an intimate
experience in which craft constructs atmosphere.

- Bishop Martin Lindström, 1966

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Body Text

The town of Klippan had wanted a church since the 1890s, but did not have the resources to support one. Klippan lies along the Pilgrim’s Way Skåne Blekinge, part of a medieval religious trial connecting shrines between Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Vadstena, Sweden, and Nidaros, Norway. The predominant feeling was that a church would elevate the town’s position to one of greater significance along the route.

In the 1940’s, the Klippan’s Church Foundation was formed, and with the aid of other local organizations collected funds to build a church. During this time, services were held in various civic buildings, including

an assembly hall.




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Page Numbers









The content spans nearly two years of research, writings, and drawings. 



Diagrams were formatted to match the overall aesthetic of the publication while maintaining a relationship with their source projects. 

Sectional Systems

Each section is announced by cover spreads featuring abstracted content, project data, and a brief text summary.

Catalog of Work


This book was designed as one in a set of three. The accompanying volumes are titled WORKS and STILLS. WORKS is a portfolio of architectural and craft-based projects, while STILLS is a wordless collection of standalone photographs and compelling image pairs, spanning the five years of my undergraduate experience. At their publication, these books described my academic and personal work to date.