Cenotaph for Newton

A cenotaph for the English scientist Isaac Newton, which would have taken the form of a sphere 150 m (490 ft) high embedded in a circular base topped with cypress trees. Though the structure was never built, its design was engraved and circulated widely in professional circles. Boullee's Cenotaph for Isaac Newton is a funerary monument celebrating a figure interred elsewhere. Designed in 1784, for all its apparent originality, it actually derives from contemporary archaeology. The small sarcophagus for Newton is placed at the lower pole of the sphere. The design of the memorial creates the effect of day and night. The effect by night, when the sarcophagus is illuminated by the starlight coming through the holes in the vaulting. The effect by day is an armillary sphere hanging in the center that gives off a mysterious glow. For Boullée symmetry and variety were the golden rules of architecture.


9 drawings

Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov updated 59 media, updated, added 4 digital references, removed 3 media and uploaded 8 media
    Facade Section during the night Section during the day View of the dome's constellational ceiling Plan ngma foer4 rzyo boullee cenotaphe 05 sqgp boullee cenotaphe 03
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • Mike Foster
    Mike Foster updated 4 media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com