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 research-oriented work conducted during my final twelve months of undergraduate school at Auburn University, including Aydelott Grant research and culminating in my thesis. It is divided into three chronological sections. 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.
8" x 10" · 230 Pages
Book · Undergraduate Research
Auburn University · Directed Study
Thesis · Research
Aydelott Grant research and undergraduate thesis research are combined in Atmosphere.
Division of Data
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.
The quantity of written content required a clear hierarchy between titles, body text, captions, and supporting images.
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" A renowned architect has with all his being built
here a hallowed room of majestic weight. "
2019 | AUBURN UNIVERSITY
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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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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