Like almost all Religious buildings, the Dor Kemmyn prayer space is based on Geometry. From the Stone circles of the Aboriginal Pagan people of Cornwall to the Sacred buildings of the Abrahamic Faiths (Muslim,Jewish & Christian) to modern Bahai temples, religious buildings have rigorous Geometry in common. 1
The Dor Kemmyn building’s elliptical shape is constructed from combining parts of four different cylinders together, in a proportional system , that is very easy to draw out. Much, much easier than a computer generated “Ellipse”, the plan of our building is generated by using a simple piece of String to create two fractions of cylinders Radius R and fractions of two cylinders radius 3R .
So take a length of string or rope , the same dimension as the long length of the building. Firstly , Divide this length of string into four equal parts, quarters, algebraically lets call each quarter R.
R or One quarter of the piece of string, produces the tight radius of the building, and the position of the two columns C1.
2R or half the length of string , is the distance between the two columns. It also creates the perpendicular bisector and location of the shallow radius cylinders C2. 2R is also the radius of the Vescia Piscis shaped Lantern in the roof: Think Venn diagrams at school, the area of overlap of two circles is the shape of a Vescia Piscis and is an important shape in several religions : Christian art (C12 images of Christ show him surrounded by the shape with the four Apostles around eg Chartres cathedral ), Hindu images of Ganesh as well as Buddhist iconography.
3R is the radius of the shallow radius cylinders, centre C2.
4R is the length of the longest part of the building.
Other interesting geometrical properties worth considering are the circumference: a circle has a circumference 2 Pi R. The elliptical prayer space has a circumference of 10/3 Pi R. The ceiling of the prayer space will be a modern interpretation of a Fan-Vaulted ceiling , with 40 ribs, emanating from the two Columns and from the Lantern. Where these ribs strike the perimeter of the room, they will all be equally spaced 1/12 Pi R apart. Look at the Oak frame page for more info. on this.
1 The Quaker meeting house of Come-to-Good is an interesting exception to this geometric rule. Interestingly, this is in stark contrast to Contemporary Museum Architecture, such as the Guggenheim in Bilboa which explicitly celebrates the Human individuality of its designer, Frank Gehry.
2 Most builders use Trigonometry to create perpendicular lines (3,4,5 triangles ) nowadays, but in Mediaeval times pieces of string would be used to create at least two pairs of arcs that will cross “perpendicular bisectors”: connecting these two points with a straight line creates a perpendicular line. .