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Guid Essay

Spirituality In Architecture – Free Essay Example


The purpose of this research paper is that how spirituality affect architecture , its had two folded purpose. Firstly , it investigated the issues inferred by the topic , as how spirituality influences architecture and secondly through critical analysis of literature case study of “ Lotus temple , New Delhi”. The importance of such a temple was established by analyzing architectural qualities that contribute to creating a spiritual environment as stated in the hypothesis. Subjective problems were identified as lacking architectural character and identifying spirituality. Architecture is considered a means of establishing a dialogue between these groups by adhering to the need for self-learning in terms of spiritual knowledge and practice. Critical questions were key elements for secondary research, including an in-depth literature review based on appropriate architectural principles and concepts, leading to a list of architectural design ideas. The study attempts to understand the functional, physical and experiential properties that contribute to making sense of a place. The relationship between social and cultural groups was analyzed under the theory of critical regionalism, which also discussed the presence of nature in addition to culture in creating identity. The sacred nature of the place and the sacred architecture have been an indispensable area of research aimed at exploring metaphysical, symbolic, and tactile qualities applying the practical functional requirements of the temple. The relationship between man and his environment was studied in the context of natural and sensory experiential qualities that would create a serene environment. The study concluded that architecture is helpful in tying man to nature, while understanding the inner self and his senses enables him to become aware of his surroundings. Connects the spirit of the place to the spirit established while applying the appropriate architectural design principles. A holistic environment is then created and suitable for spiritual practice. Such a place creates a feeling of spirituality.


Spirituality is an ultimate or a perceived immaterial reality. The essence of spirituality is the quest to know our real self, to discover the true nature of consciousness. In other words, it is a continuous search for the unbelievable, our real self and our quest to be true, why we are, who we are and where we are. It has been a part of man’s eternal quest since time immemorial. Many people have answered these questions in different ways, but are subject to one’s own interpretation and perception. Spirituality is our effort to be conscious of our soul. ‘Spiritual Architecture ‘refers to any construction system that facilitates this awareness. It is a process of exposing or exposing oneself, not by denying a case, but by manifesting it at various levels and in many forms


Spiritual places can be found in nature or they can be a built place. A spiritual place found in nature is a place designated by individuals or groups as such. It is a separate place, a place whose character distinguishes it from its surroundings. They differ from specific or commonly found locations. The designation of a place as spiritual comes from human truth to establish a relationship with inner truth. A place that is spiritual to one person or group of people may not be spiritual to others.


The architecture of a space can invoke all the senses, help to focus a positive energy to calm a troubled mind and take a peaceful stable mind beyond the physical. It is an essential part of life. It attempts to reflect the source of man and the reason for being in many different ways. Architecture is more than just physical shelter or symbolic artifacts.


Architecture is the first pioneer on the highway toward the adequate realization of inner self. For this means it levels space for self-realization, informs his external environment, and builds a fit place for the aggregation of those assembled having similar faith, as a defence against the threatening of tempest, against rain, and savage animals.

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Besides the variety of buildings and design approaches in the effort to create a space where man can feel spirituality, there can be found some common design tools that help to create the soul stirring experience. The following discuss some of these parameters.

The portal or threshold is the entryway into the sacred space, which helps to separate the space from the greater surrounding space and invites you to step inside. A portal can be created with a hardscape such as a gate or a portico, or with simple planting. The destination point is an end point within a space that inexplicably draws visitors. It may be a resting place, such as a bench, or a beautiful natural feature, such as a gurgling fountain or rain curtain. It is a point within the sacred space where those who visit always end up. Sacred spaces may have more than one destination point.

Space and volume : Space defining elements, Source: F.D.K.Ching, Architecture – Form, Space and Order 3rd edition) Space, whether of the individual or the universal, possesses a unique quality of experiencing. It is hyper sensitive, besides being super potential. Sense of surround defines the space as separate and apart from the overall outdoor environment. Visitors who enter the space feel as though they are entering into a room. There are natural or man-made boundaries (or a combination of both) that delineate the space within the greater environment. These boundaries provide a subtle feeling of shelter, enabling people to feel safe and enjoy their time spent in the space. (Nicolas, W. Robert Leo A Daly, 2004, building Type Basics for Places of Worship). By generating a continuous flow of spaces, each act movement becomes an experience. Each component of architecture becomes important and provides for this linkage. It can be by repetition of elements, alteration in scale and proportion, staggering, light, texture, and colour and also by using perspective as a device to accentuate the drama. (Robinson,J., 1979, Religious Buildings)

Architectural form is the point of contact between mass and space “Architectural Form required to fulfil its functional requirements for that is the reason for its being – both physical and spiritual.” (Saarinen, E., op.cit. pg) . Every form conveys a meaning. It is important to understand how form can transmit a spiritual meaning. Certain shapes and forms are conventional associated with certain meanings.


Scale refers to the size of something compared to the size of a reference standard or something else. Setting the scale of a sacred space is a common design concern. Some neighbors are mixed in the fabric of community and landscape; Others stand out as easily identifiable landmarks for their particular purpose. Generally, holy places take a monumental scale to create an atmosphere of awe, mystery and grandeur. The size of the interior spaces, the size and weight of the doors, and exposed structural columns and beams serve all.

Human body proportions are used not merely as numbers with an inherent harmony, but as a system of measurements that could govern lengths, surfaces, and volumes. It can lend itself to an infinity of combination; it ensures unity with diversity; the miracle of numbers.

Proportional buildings and scale link spiritual architecture to the mathematical structure of the cosmos. The building should relate well not only to the human scale but also the psyche.


Colour is the attribute that most clearly distinguishes a form from its environment. We respond to bright colours, for instance red, with the emotional part of our brain. First, our muscles get tense, and then we lean towards the colour. Our respiration and heart rate goes up and the blood pressure starts rising. The opposite reactions occur when we see light colours such as blue. Our muscles relax, the heart and respiration rate drops and the blood pressure lowers. It also affects the visual weight of a form. Gradation of colour exist; from pale to brilliant; from cold to warm. Thus colour expression is also full of meaning.

Texture is an important asset of colour. It is the visual and especially tactile quality given to a surface by shape and arrangement, and the proportions of the parts. Texture also determines to which the surfaces of a form reflect or absorb incident light. It gives an expression to the surface, thereby contributing to the overall impression.


  • Red : Stimulating, exciting, provocative, dynamic ,Increased enthusiasm, interest, and energy
  • Pink : Happy, sweet, spirited, romantic, youthful, Calm and relaxing feelings
  • Brown : Wholesome, rich, durable, rustic, sheltering, a connection with the natural earth the stability this brings
  • Orange : Friendly, vital, tangy, energizing, inviting ,Increases creativity and gives relief from things becoming too serious
  • Blue: Dependable, cool, serene, constant, quiet , Broadens your perspective in learning new information
  • Green: Refreshing, healing, fresh, soothing, nature, Gives freedom to pursue new ideas
  • Purple: Sensual, elegant, mysterious, regal, spiritual, Calms over activity or energizes from depression
  • Black: Strong, classic, elegant, powerful, mysterious ,Opens the door to mystery and prepares for the unknown
  • Yellow : Warming, sunny, cheerful, luminous, enlightening ,Gives clarity for decision making and sharper memory and concentration skills
  • White : Pure, bright, innocent, lightweight, pristine ,Starts a fresh beginning


Human civilization has always been attracted towards some kind of spirituality. It is a craving to explain the ‘nature of things’ and has appeared in buildings and places throughout time. People of some religions consider their places of worship to be sacred, while others do not. The purpose of the thesis is to understand which architectural elements influence how the church, synagogue, mosque, etc. are interpreted by occupiers. Light, layout, and proportions all have a strong influence on how someone interprets a space. It is unnecessary for the architect to say that a space feels a certain way because it is blessed or sacred. This is not to say that it is not blessed or sacred, but that architects or designers can control how the space is interpreted. As the thesis explores places of ‘spiritual’ feeling that are not religious it will become clear. It also explores whether a person outside a faith can interpret any place spiritually.

Spiritual spaces that are not directly connected to a religion are also analyzed. Most people have lived in a natural place that felt ‘spiritual’ or peaceful. This cannot be attributed to architects, but elements of these locations may be used in future design work. It is clear that any religious person would attribute a natural, spiritual place to his specific deity. However, this work argues that this feeling is due to several other factors that may or may not be under the control of any one designer.

The work also explores cultural influences on an individual in the interpretation of space. For example, if a person does not have knowledge of a certain faith, they may or may not have a spiritual experience at their place of worship. The thesis will explore how much our cultural knowledge affects our experience of space.


Man is a measure of everything whether it is social , physical and spiritual . Architecture is a derivative of this measure. Architecture is the reason of all the measure. Throughout this research paper , various aspect of architecture had been researched and analyzed . These aspects are needed are needed to create spiritual environment towards establishing many spiritual buildings that will primarily accommodate spiritual practices . The spatial , functional , and natural element contribute in connecting people to environment and spirituality . These elements and guidelines can be further used in designing and making concept so that we can make this world a better place to live.

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