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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Carl Jung on “Space” and “Architectural Archetypes”

To Peter de Brant

Dear Sir, 20 June 1959

In dealing with space man has produced-since time immemorial -the circle and the square, which are connected with the idea of shelter and protection, place of the hearth, concentration of the family and small animals, and on a higher level the symbol of the quadratura circuli, as the dwelling place of the "inner man," the abode of the gods, etc.

This original conception has undergone many changes since man has found himself removed from the unity with nature and himself separated from the gods, thus shaping temples of elongated form, the gods at one end and the human public at the other end.

Most pronounced in the Christian churches, except the old Baptisteria, in which man's original identity with God is reasserted.

Any development that leads further away from the round and the square becomes increasingly neurotic and unsatisfactory, particularly so when the elements of the building, i.e., the rooms, lose their approximation to the round or the square.

A certain interplay of round and square seems to be indispensable.

This is about all I can tell you about "architectural archetypes."

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 509-510