An Architecture of Pendant Drops

By:  | November - 22 - 2015

Mimicking the process of sacred behavioural patterns in religious rituals, the Sikh Temple designed by Maria Esteban Casañas at the Bartlett School of Architecture, proposes a syncretic model of architecture that merges the poetic with the functional through ornamental formation. Originating in two-dimensional patterns, the temple emerges through volumetric transformations that morph Sikh sacred geometry into a three-dimensional inhabitable space. The existing Sikh temples are of rectangular nature, however, this proposes a new typology in which the ceremonial routines in the temple dictate its geometry, such as that of circumambulation.

Located in the northwest of London, the Sikh temple is envisioned as part of a religious hub, generating pilgrimage to the site. The pendant drops that form the architecture materially express a religious porous transition, moving from the earthly world to the spiritual one, arriving to deeply intimate and enclosed spaces like glades in the forest, protected for prayer.

The atmospheric qualities rise from the convergence of the ornamental and the formless, the natural and the tectonic. The Gurdwara, absent of figurative representation, must rely on the abstraction of Sikh geometries. Consequently, the project digitally generates sacred forms in the process of abstraction, embedding holy geometries in the temple.

Design: Maria Esteban Casañas
Tutors: Marcos Cruz, Marjan Colletti


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