This is one of the most incredible buildings I’ve ever seen.
Building Study 004: Notre Dame de Paris, 1163-1345.
I’ve visited Notre-Dame de Paris on two occasions. Both times I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed. It’s one of the most breathtaking spaces I’ve ever stood in. Check out my photo-essay to see a broader study of architecture and urban space in Paris.
Standing inside the cathedral created in me an actual bodily reaction. But I’m not a holder of religious beliefs; my reaction wasn’t spiritual – it was born out of the atmosphere and character of that space! The interior of the building has an air of the sublime. It is simultaneously soaring and majestic; while being serene and elegant too…
It is mighty and intimate at exactly the same time.
The ornate, sculptural carvings which envelope the facade create a dramatic and expressive narrative – a story which sits in pleasing synergy with the muscular and robust form of the building. As a whole; it has a spectacular urban presence, but, thanks to the evocative storytelling which adorns the walls; there is also an immediate, humane quality to this wonderful landmark.
Given the richness and complexity of the spatial moments created externally and internally by the building; it’s interesting to consider a delightful, simple truth. It’s just stone; and glass.
Those materials have been crafted in to something which transcends the ordinary physical qualities of the built environment; to form an object of compelling and memorable beauty.