No.3 / Top 10 lighting experiences: La Sainte Chapelle, Paris

April 06 2011 — by Jonathan Speirs
La Sainte Chapelle is a 13th century Gothic chapel built on the Ile de la Cité in the heart of Paris and commissioned by Louis IX. There is apparently little documentation as to who the original architect or mason was, but it is thought to be Pierre de Montreuil, with later restoration directed by Violett-Le-Duc in 1855. The architecture is in the Rayonnant style, a term that clearly refers to light and a sense of weightlessness.

La Sainte Chapelle, Paris

When you ascend into the chapel you are indeed struck by the weightlessness of the space, an effect achieved by the sheer amount of glazing, with the roof seeming to be held up by glass. The colour and saturation of the stained glass is tremendous as it wraps around the volume. This is a space to spend time in savouring the views and the experience. And worth the long queues that seem to be there all year round.

Jonathan Speirs