The architectural components of the Charters Cathedral combine geometric
shapes and principals that result in one of the most beautiful cathedrals
in the world. Orison Wells spoke of the power of art in culture using this
cathedral. He said that the cathedral was more important than the people
that created it. The Charters Cathedral stands 130 meters in length, 32/46
in width. The height of the nave is 37 meters and 16.4 meters in
width. This cathedral is well known for the use of geometry and in particular
for "sacred geometry". "Sacred geometry" tends to include man in
a system of rhythm and harmony similar to the natural one. "(www.sangleno.
info). This cathedral uses circles, octagons, hexagons, triangles, which
medieval builders called the "Godly" shapes. From the flying buttresses
to the delicate designs in the stained glass windows, geometry has an important role in the construction and life of this building.
The floor plan shows this. The cathedral is laid out in the shape of a cross. The longer north south rectangle intersects across the east- west axis. This makes two lines of symmetry. The original builders used three diamonds which continues this use of symmetry. Quadrilaterals seem to be well represented in this cathedral. The Charters cathedral has a three dimensional trapezoid roof. Cylinders support arches throughout the cathedral. The solids that hold up the vaults alternate with the openings in equal measured spaces. It gives this cathedral a sense of proportion. The Charters cathedral has two towers. One of the towers has a octagonal form and the other one is formed like a rectangular prism. When you step into the cathedral there are a lot of shapes and designs on the floor. This floor has two symmetrical crossed hexagons in the middle of the floor. An interesting fact we want to include in our discussion about the geometry of Chartres is its labyrinth. The best known classical labyrinth, this pattern creates a path of quarter circles and semi-circles that do not loop. One of the symmetrical features included in this design is that this path is reversible.
The north rose window has different types of polygons inside it. It is a circle that can be divided into twelve equally spaced points. It is a kind of connect the dots picture using squares, circles, equilateral and isosceles triangles which shows the basic layout. Chartres cathedral is a perfect example of how architecture is more than just a building, but aims at creating something that will last forever. It makes man want to look higher.
Drawing by Trevon