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The use of light can lead to very diverse feelings: a ray of sunlight calls attention; glare overpowers; the nocturnal sky fascinates, while a dense dark forest arouses fear. Religions have made use of these experiences to convey the mystic aspects of their respective deities — accordingly, so too do their erected buildings. After the break, an exploration of the different approaches for using light as a vehicle of symbolic meaning and spiritual experience in religious spaces. Mariendom / Gottfried Böhm Gottfried Böhm's Mariendom in Neviges, Germany, encloses the contemplative visitor in a dark environment to focus his attention away from the material world and towards inner enlightenment. The daylight, which enters through small rooflights, only slightly highlights the altar. The concept deliberately plays with adaptation, where the eye slowly adjusts from a bright exterior to darker interior, giving the impression that the environment turns slightly brighter over several minutes. View more View full description
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