Sacred Spaces and Idealized Cities

Discipline: Architecture
Instructor: Boeschenstein
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1430
End: 15:45
Field Work: Day 1 | Argentina Download Syllabus

This class will consider the sacred sites and idealized communities of various cultures, emphasizing those along the voyage. It will investigate how places of ritual or sanctity (Stonehenge, Chartres Cathedral, Alhambra Gardens, Robben Penal Island, etc.) have risen above the profane and ordinary and how idealized communities (English Garden Cities, pilgrimage cities, Washington DC Mall, etc.) have become profoundly meaningful places for many people. Relating to the semester’s itinerary, the course will address sacred sites in terms of three themes: the sacred (places consecrated to or belonging to a god or heavenly order), the hallowed (places set apart for, and dedicated to, some person, place, purpose, sentiment, etc. rather than to a god), the venerable (places entitled to the highest respect or reverence). Students will select two sites, of their choice but ones not covered in the course, to describe and compare as their course project.

Special Requirements:
Each student should have access to a digital camera, allowing downloaded images to be incorporated into class assignments. –Moleskine Folio A4 Plain Notebook (12” x 8.5”) –Mechanical Pencil –7mm lead size, HB weight –Rubber Eraser — white, smooth such as Staedtler

Field Work

Country: Argentina
Day: 1

As the Spanish and Portuguese established footholds in their new colonies, they imposed on their settlements their town-planning guidelines, known as the "Laws of the Indies." Based on European precedents, these guidelines defined street patterns, size and location of civic plazas, and placement of major buildings. Colonia del Sacremento, Uruguay, dating from 1680, still exemplifies this tradition of town planning. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it rests on a peninsula of land across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires. After taking the ferry, students will walk the town's cobblestone streets lined with palms, visit the Plaza Mayor with trees draped in Spanish moss, and study the Plaza de Armas accented by the oldest church in Uruguay. Tours of local museums will provide insights into the town's tumultuous history and an awareness of everyday life in this colonial outpost. Overall, students should gain an appreciation of the guidelines, arguably the most influential in history for the role they played in colonizing the Americas.