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Symmetry: Culture and Science
Volume 30, Number 1, pages 091-107 (2019)


Duncan Stroik*

* School of Architecture, University of Notre Dame, 110 Bond Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, U.S.A.
E-mail: dstroik@nd.edu

Abstract: Can the history of sacred architecture be summarized in universal principles? They would need to be ones to which the builders of early Christian basilicas, Gothic cathedrals, and baroque chapels could accede. In previous ages, these principles were tacitly understood and did not need to be articulated. In this paper, I propose five universal principles that apply to sacred architecture of all times, all places, and all styles, with examples from the great buildings of history and my own creative work. I also propose that while fundamental to the revival of sacred architecture, they are not a formula, and must still be applied by a talented architect.

Keywords: Directionality, durability, geometrical order, iconography, pilgrimage, principles of architecture, procession, proportion, sacred architecture, tectonics, transcendence, verticality.