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Yale School of Architecture

Western Landscapes Seminar

Bryan Fuermann

Fall 2017

The Plan of St. Gall is an early medieval document of a Carolingian monastic architecture and can be described as a visible demonstration of monastic life. The artifact itself, the plan, was drawn with red lead on smoothed faces of five calfskins, is approximately 44 by 30 Carolingian inches, and contains more than forty buildings. Everything was entered on this plan; the purposes of the buildings, the names of the alters, details of the furnishings and their scale, and even the names of trees in the orchard. In this plan, we enter an ideal world. St. Benedict created the Carolingian order to be economically independent of the secular world by proposing that a monastery should be arranged so that all of the necessary things may be within the enclosure. Here, under the Benedictine Rule, time shapes space. The monastery emerged as the art form that was able to combine both idealism and functionalism together. Within these spaces, it becomes clear that the Carolinians valued and controlled both their landscape and exposure to the outdoors. The following drawings exemplify the relationships that St. Gall creates between its architecture, landscape, and the rituals that they were designed around.

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