The Framing of Sacred Space: The Canopy and the Byzantine Church

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Oxford University Press, Jun 19, 2017 - Architecture - 464 pages
The Framing of Sacred Space offers the first topical study of canopies as essential spatial and symbolic units in Byzantine-rite churches. Centrally planned columnar structures--typically comprised of four columns and a roof--canopies had a critical role in the modular processes of church design, from actual church furnishings in the shape of a canopy to the church's structural core. As architectonic objects of basic structural and design integrity, canopies integrate an archetypical image of architecture and provide means for an innovative understanding of the materialization of the idea of the Byzantine church and its multi-focal spatial presence. The Framing of Sacred Space considers both the material and conceptual framing of sacred space and explains how the canopy bridges the physical and transcendental realms. As a crucial element of church design in the Byzantine world, a world that gradually abandoned the basilica as a typical building of Roman imperial secular architecture, the canopy carried tectonic and theological meanings and, through vaulted, canopied bays and recognizable Byzantine domed churches, established organic architectural, symbolic, and sacred ties between the Old and New Covenants. In such an overarching context, the canopy becomes an architectural parti, a vital concept and dynamic design principle that carries the essence of the Byzantine church. The Framing of Sacred Space highlights significant factors in understanding canopies through specific architectural settings and the Byzantine concepts of space, thus also contributing to larger debates about the creation of sacred space and related architectural taxonomy.
 

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Contents

List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Ciborium or Canopy? Textual Evidence on Canopies in
Archeological and Architectural
The Place of the Canopy in the Church
The MicroArchitectural Framing of Sacred Space
The Canopy and the Byzantine Church
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Jelena Bogdanovic is Associate Professor of Architecture at Iowa State University. Trained as an architect and an historian of art and architecture, she specializes in the architectural history of Byzantine, Slavic, Western European, and Islamic cultures in the Balkans and the Mediterranean.

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