Death’s pyramids and Boullée’s domes

While BLDGBLOG just explored Etienne-Louis Boullée’s Cenotaph for Newton – of which some better images appear here –


– complete with an internal view of the dome’s constellational ceiling –


– Boullée also designed another, if substantially less well-known, cenotaph (complete, again, with monumentally over-sized dome and somewhat ridiculous, almost elephantiasis-stricken, pyramidal shell), revealed here in both elevation and section –


– as well as yet another tomb – or cénotaphe – here a kind of architectural remix of the first pyramid:


And even that wasn’t the end. Boullée designed a tomb for Hercules; a tomb for Sparta; several funerary monuments; and a chapel of the dead that seems to have set the architectural temperature for the bunker-like, uninspired, and potentially even anti-Christian churches you now find all over today’s middle America:


Well, actually, it looks an awful lot like the house Robert Venturi built for his mother –


– which I suppose says something about Robert Venturi.

8 thoughts on “Death’s pyramids and Boullée’s domes”

  1. I needed to find something over 100 years older than the venturi house to compare and contrast for my arch. class… looks like I won’t have much to contrast.

  2. It is a triangle, it can look like my dogs house or even the set square that i will use to design it. There are other things that should be compaired between the two.

  3. Boullee's Architecture, Essay on Art, is really fantastic. He has a small section on cenotaphs and funerary monuments that discusses his approach and concepts for this type of architecture. Its worth reading.

    His work is truly awe-inspiring.

  4. Nonsense, Cone and Sphere are vain. Nothing beats the pure mathematical lines of a cube.

    Cubes that are particularly appealing with topped by an isosceles triangle. 😉

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