Does a strong axial plan always create ritual space?


Does a strong axial plan always create ritual space?

As we all know ritual places are gathering spots for families or individual with a common spiritual background. Axial planning on a building means that it is symmetrically about both or just one axe. Many ritual places were built with an axial plan (Ching et al 14). The ancient ritual places like the cathedrals, basilicas and the abbeys used this plan. Cathedrals were just flat structures with no floors but some of them had basements. Basilicas on the other hand were longitudinal structures with floors in them whereas an abbey was a structure that was previously part of monastic complex that included refectory, cloisters and dormitories.


A cathedral took the architectural form that was dependent largely upon the functions as that of a bishop. This is a place where sacred books are read, order of service performed, sermons preached and even prayers offered. A bishop performed so many liturgical rites. He is the one that does the confirmation and ordination. He also does the induction of a mayor to coronation of a monarch. In a cathedral all this things are done with a lot of elaboration. These particulars must be fitted in the plan. It was created with all this aspects considered (Ching et al 66). First it was a place created for God’s glory, so it was appropriate for it to be granted wealth and skills with all the beauty put in place. Apart from that a cathedral was a place of liturgical rites. It brought together people in large numbers and this too had to be put into consideration. This was essential because it functioned as a social meeting place not only for the people that lived around but the whole region as well. Wealthy local patrons held their burial ceremonies in it. It was traditionally a place of pilgrimage, people travelled from afar for certain festive days or to visit shrine associated with certain saints.

Cathedrals don’t have to be necessarily big but the essentials must be in place. A platform was supposed to be put in place and high enough for a clear view by the listeners. This was the place where the bishop performed all the preaching and other rituals that he was to perform. Seats were arranged in such a way that they all faced the podium from all sides. Cathedral walls are uniquely built; the smooth curves provide a good surface for sound waves to bounce back to the audience strategically positioned. The big windows provide good circulation of air in the cathedral and the colors gives beauty every time there is sunshine outside (Ching et al 144). There must be a space between seats facing the platform for ease of movement for the believers. In the middle a clear path separates the columns of seats paving way for the bishop to move through the gathering.

A cathedral

In conclusion, most ritual places around the world used axial planning in making not only the sacred places but even their own houses. Sacred areas or arenas are places to be respected and should be orderly right from the way it looks here am implying of the way the interior looks plus its arrangement. People should look at it and get insight of the way the spiritual world operates (Ching et al 203). Many corners and corridors most of the time creates some form of fear to humans. We want everyone to be inspired right from the beginning. The platform creates an area for leadership and an utmost respect.




Work cited

Francis, Ching, Mark, Jarzombek, Vikramaditya Prakash. A global history of          architecture. 2 nd ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.Print .