AMP > Publications > A Graphical Analysis of Louis XIV’s (...)
Année : 2010
Auteur :
Szanto, Catherine

jola 9 te szanto 52 59.pdf

A Graphical Analysis of Louis XIV’s walk in Versailles

SZANTO Catherine, « A Graphical Analysis of Louis XIV’s walk in Versailles », JoLa-Journal of Landscape Architecture, "Thinking Eye" section, Printemps 2010, pp. 52-59.

Each area of Versailles is unique in its physical organi-zation, with distinct combinations of primary and secondary focal points, rhythmic patterns, spatial delineation and axial structure inviting site-specific movement.As soon as one enters the central room, the space to the left attracts one’s gaze with the strong axiality suggested by the symmetrical layout and the fountain of the Arc de Triomphe at the upper end. The latter is made more ‘triumphant’ by its elevated location and by the shape of the space ; one finds oneself in an ante-chamber that one has to cross to enter the actual room in which the Arc de Triomphe is located. The passage from antechamber into chamber is reinforced by the change of level and by the two ‘goulettes’ (small wa-terfalls on the ground) that further restrict the space available for movement.The other objects in the space are secondary focal points. On the way up, when one’s attention is con-centrated on the arch, they reinforce the axis of sym-metry leading up to it. On the way down, they enliven one’s journey by offering a succession of quite different points of interest. On one’s way down, the fountain at the lower end of the room acts as a terminal focal point, one’s last goal before definitively leaving the space. (This is one way of exploring the space – there are many other ways).