North Elevation

Lumen United Reformed Church, 88 Tavistock Place, Bloomsbury, London


Commissioned by the URC, 2009

Architect: Theis & Khan, Art Consultant: Modus Operandi

The North Window panel is constructed from a web of whirling squares suspended in the window alcove. The panel curves into the space forming a sculptural arc which echoes the two dimensional pattern.

This geometry is the basis for a number of traditional designs in various sacred contexts. In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, geometric mandala designs symbolically represent the universe or cosmos and are used to aid meditation and establish sacred spaces. Variations on the spinning square pattern may be found in these designs. There are similar patterns in Islamic architectural plans which demonstrate how a dome is constructed and consequently decorated. The squares would unfurl from the highest point of a Mosque for example, naturally forming a potentially infinite dome shape.

Symbolic geometry is integrated into the design of Greek and Roman architecture as well as Medieval European cathedrals. In the United Reformed Church which welcomes all faith groups touse the space, the North window sculpture aims to explore how geometry unites different, often highly contrasting systems of symbolism and representation, all of which signify an approach to the eternal.

Photos by Nick Kane

© 2018 Rona Smith. All rights reserved.

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