By Andrzej Piotrowski
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Extra resources for Architecture of Thought
57 In considering the symbolic functioning of this church, information about the original construction of windows is important. 58 Like mosaics, the screens with the colored glass must have glittered with sparkles of intense color. 59 Only the gap windows, when the shutters were opened, would have created bright (though hidden) sources of light. 2 is quite different from what a person would have seen in the past. Today, the interior is both much brighter and visually fragmented by multiple and competing bright spots, be it those created by clear-glass apertures or by their reflections in the highly polished surfaces around them.
2. In the past, the enclosed spaces of the gallery captured daylight, but their visible fragments looked different. 5 happens. 5 shows remnants of two kinds of finishes in the southeast gallery, matte but relatively light below and painted surfaces above. The gallery floors are made of matte light-colored stones. The band of wall surfaces adjacent to them, but below the height of the railing of the balustrades, was made of untreated stucco resembling floors. Light-colored and matte surfaces reflect a high percentage of light energy, but in the process of doing so they appear bright.
As is always the case with architecture, the process of designing a building provided an opportunity for conceptual engagement with a variety of explicit and implicit issues. Suger, the designer, emphasized verbal production— a profound departure from the emphasis on nonverbal and exploratory modes of expression in post-iconoclastic architecture. His objective was not just to construct a new building representing a religious vision but to produce a new set of symbolic definitions, identities, and political relationships.