Friday, January 30, 2009

Grand Designs and the Pantheon

The people featured on Grand Designs are awfully bourgeois and middle-brow, don't you think? Their property aspirations, I find, are generally rather banal. The term 'budget' (a typical bourgeois concern), often seems to enter the fray.

This is all very infra dig. If I designed a house, it would have a voluminous and labyrinthine library; a wine cellar, with a tunnel leading to a secluded balcony overlooking the local river; a retractable domed emplacement on the roof, housing a powerful telescopic observatory; a particle accelerator in the basement; multiple spiral staircases; glass elevators; conveyor belts; a grand piano in the foyer; and lots of secret doors.

The entire building would also function as a sundial, much like the Pantheon. On last October's trip to Rome, we were fortunate enough to stay in a hotel opposite the Pantheon. We did not know it then, but it transpires that the geometry of the interior is so designed that, every equinox, and only on the equinox, if the day be not cloudy, then the sunlight will shine through the ocular at the top of the domed ceiling (and I thought an 'ocular' was the thing darts players stand on), onto a small grille placed at the junction between the roof and the wall. The sunlight will thence pass through the grille, and shine onto the floor of the colonnaded courtyard outside, the only time during the year that the sun will fall thusly.

Now that's proper architecture.

No comments: