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Author Topic: Building a temple in my garden  (Read 1816 times)

dionysos

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Building a temple in my garden
« on: February 19, 2017, 11:40:50 am »
I'm building a Hellenic temple in my garden, about the size of a shed.

Any advice, especially practical advice, measurements, materials etc?

Chatelaine

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 03:02:16 pm »
Quote from: dionysos;202889
I'm building a Hellenic temple in my garden, about the size of a shed.

Any advice, especially practical advice, measurements, materials etc?


Definitely paint it white. (I don't like white cladding, but if you do, that's an option.) Red tiles for the roof. Make sure it gets some natural light. Perhaps a skylight over the altar? And use as much natural pottery in the fittings as possible.
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Alexeigynaix

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 04:20:45 pm »
Quote from: Chatelaine;202897
Definitely paint it white.

 
Why white? and, though I can't find the cite for it (it was a 3D animation of the Acropolis as it would have looked in full color; possibly that cite is this but I can't figure out what plugin I need to view the content so I can't say for certain sure), I'm pretty sure the temples were painted in vivid color too. The "all white marble" impression we collectively have of ancient Greek architecture and sculpture is because the paint faded over the centuries.

I don't know what to suggest to OP, though. Possibly you want to look at magazine articles relevant to the construction of sheds, gazebos, such like?

Chatelaine

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 05:53:25 pm »
Quote from: Alexeigynaix;202903
Why white? and, though I can't find the cite for it (it was a 3D animation of the Acropolis as it would have looked in full color; possibly that cite is this but I can't figure out what plugin I need to view the content so I can't say for certain sure), I'm pretty sure the temples were painted in vivid color too. The "all white marble" impression we collectively have of ancient Greek architecture and sculpture is because the paint faded over the centuries.


There were certainly embellishments in colour, but trying to keep the entire colonnade painted, considering the thing's sheer size, the impermanence of the pigments used and constant exposure to the elements, would have been an exercise in futility. The sanctuary walls, which haven't survived, were more likely wood and/or plaster, and those would definitely have been a riot of colours. (I can't view that content either, but I've found relevant stills here).

We don't know what the OP is planning to do - if it's going to be an actual building job or a converted wooden shed - nor his (artistic) painting ability. I was just suggesting, if the construct comes in natural wood brown, not leaving it that way.
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Yei

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 06:51:58 pm »
Quote from: dionysos;202889
I'm building a Hellenic temple in my garden, about the size of a shed.

Any advice, especially practical advice, measurements, materials etc?

 
An excellent idea. I wish I could do it myself, but alas, I have no garden.

As for advice, I guess it depends on exactly what sort of temple you intend to build. Both in terms of the gods you want to worship there, how you intend to worship, as well as the materials you need, and what your budget is.

I have several ideas in my mind, but as I am not a Hellenist, I don't know how authentic they are. It might be worth looking at some actual Greek temples, both major ones and household shrines to get an idea about how they were designed and organised.

My first idea would be like a vault. Raised on a platform, tiled, and closed off. The second would be like a pagoda, with pillars and maybe a roof. The third would be a sort of rock garden, but designed to allow for worship. Either way, the key elements would be: a divine focus, a table for offerings, and room to worship.

Alexeigynaix

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2017, 07:42:57 pm »
Quote from: Chatelaine;202905
We don't know what the OP is planning to do - if it's going to be an actual building job or a converted wooden shed - nor his (artistic) painting ability. I was just suggesting, if the construct comes in natural wood brown, not leaving it that way.

 
Okay, fair enough :)

Nymirah

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 11:15:42 am »
Quote from: dionysos;202889
I'm building a Hellenic temple in my garden, about the size of a shed.

Any advice, especially practical advice, measurements, materials etc?

I remember when I was studying art history (as an architecture student) that the Greek Temples were constructed with a very specific mathematical ratio that would determine height, width, depth, column count, column spacing, pitch of the pediment and the like... I would suggest you pay very close attention to the geometry of your design making all measurements clean fractions of other measurements (i.e. front of temple is exactly half it's length and equal to it's height.)

I wish I could give you more specific advice or examples of the ratios used for certain temples... I had a bunch of them memorized for exams but alas that was several years ago and sadly I did not retain it. Worse still my text books are buried deep in some box that hasn't been opened since I last moved. A safe bet however would probably be to stick to the golden ratio when drawing up your plans.

Lastly, I'm not sure if you intended to use columns or not, but while some hardware stores sell ready carved capitols (the stylized top of a column) you might want to familiarize yourself with the different types as they prevailed at different times and had different significance. For example, The ionic capitols (the ones with a scroll on each side) were considered to be more feminine and better suited for goddess worship, as opposed to the more basic and traditional doric columns that were thought to be more masculine and simple.

Corinthian columns, by the way, were the ones with all the leafy foliage at the top. It's popular today for neoclassic revival architecture and art, but in the time of the ancient Greeks, it was actually, and somewhat amusingly, considered to be too showy and pretentious and was therefore widely disliked.

Good luck with your project. Sounds like an absolutely lovely thing to have in ones own garden. :lub:

EDIT:

Whoops, found the pantheon ratio. It was 9:4.



To quote the website where I found this:

Quote
The ratio of the length of the temple to its width is 9:4
The ratio of the distance between the columns (measured from centre to centre) to each column diameter is 9:4
The ratio of the width of the front of the temple to its height is ... you've guessed it - 9:4!

So the whole temple, although it looks simple in construction, has a harmony about it which is based on mathematics.

Source: http://www.visit-ancient-greece.com/the-parthenon.html
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 11:19:05 am by Nymirah »

Vixen

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2017, 08:03:37 am »
Quote from: Nymirah;202928
I remember when I was studying art history (as an architecture student) that the Greek Temples were constructed with a very specific mathematical ratio that would determine height, width, depth, column count, column spacing, pitch of the pediment and the like...

 
I studied art history too as a building historian and I fully agree with Nymirah. You could look up Vitruvius. He was a roman that wrote a book on construction. Anything from plumbing (yes the Romans had plumbing) to the ratio needed for columns and such.

I found one translation in PDF file online. But there are better books out there with pictures in them to explain the text better.
http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/pdf/kfh125b2128022.pdf

I'll see if I can find a better one
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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 06:38:12 pm »
Quote from: Vixen;202999
I studied art history too

 
Me three! Though my focus was more into Northern Europe. Anyway, I'm quite fond of Caryatids but I imagine they'd be difficult to pull off as a backyard project.

Darkhawk

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 09:46:37 pm »
Quote from: dionysos;202889
Any advice, especially practical advice, measurements, materials etc?

 
For this sort of thing I'd second what other people have said: look into the ancient temples and see how they did things and - more importantly - why they did it that way.  Because when you know the whys, you'll have a better sense of what you can duplicate yourself properly, and what you have to change, and what you can get at the same idea differently on.

Unfortunately, I don't know what reference to give you on the theologies of Greek temple construction.  (I could hook you up if it were Egyptian!)
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as our ashes turn to dust
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ehbowen

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 01:11:45 pm »
Quote from: dionysos;202889
Any advice, especially practical advice, measurements, materials etc?

An outsider here, but I note that the proportions Nymirah references may not be practical to backyard garden construction. If your width to height is 9:4, and you want to be able to walk inside, you're looking at basically 14 feet wide, minimum...which is a dimension which may put you afoul of building codes; many municipalities exempt structures under a certain size (usually about 100 square feet) but are very strict about permits and code compliance for larger structures.

May I propose an alternative which reflects practical realities and yet attempts to honor the spirit of the tradition? I suggest that, as an example, if you want to build your backyard temple into a 5' by 8' shed footprint with the 8' wide side as the entrance that you consider the lower portion of the structure to be a "pediment", as it were. So, if you are using the 8' wide side as your entrance, your wall height is 6' 6", and you want to use the 9:4 proportions, you would take the lower 3' (roughly; I'm not using a calculator), paint it black, and consider it your pediment, and take the upper 3' 6" and decorate and consecrate it as your temple proper.

Just a suggestion; take it for what it's worth.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 01:12:58 pm by ehbowen »
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dionysos

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2017, 07:05:00 am »
Quote from: Yei;202906
An excellent idea. I wish I could do it myself, but alas, I have no garden.

As for advice, I guess it depends on exactly what sort of temple you intend to build. Both in terms of the gods you want to worship there, how you intend to worship, as well as the materials you need, and what your budget is.

I have several ideas in my mind, but as I am not a Hellenist, I don't know how authentic they are. It might be worth looking at some actual Greek temples, both major ones and household shrines to get an idea about how they were designed and organised.

My first idea would be like a vault. Raised on a platform, tiled, and closed off. The second would be like a pagoda, with pillars and maybe a roof. The third would be a sort of rock garden, but designed to allow for worship. Either way, the key elements would be: a divine focus, a table for offerings, and room to worship.


It will be a temple for Dionysos-Bakkhos and the nymphs of Nysa, there will be a place for the 12 Olympians however as a follower of Neo-Bakkhism they are not my main focus. My worship will be private (I don't want the neighbours looking in on me) so all my rituals and offerings will be within the temple. As for budget, I haven't got a clue, as this is in the very early stages of planning.

drekfletch

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 06:22:24 am »
Quote from: dionysos;203448
It will be a temple for Dionysos-Bakkhos and the nymphs of Nysa, there will be a place for the 12 Olympians however as a follower of Neo-Bakkhism they are not my main focus. My worship will be private (I don't want the neighbours looking in on me) so all my rituals and offerings will be within the temple.

 
Since it's private and personal worship, standard temple architecture doesn't really apply, since that's public.  You might look into the cave-grottoes of the nympholepts.

Some questions:

For dimensions, I'd figure out how much space you need for your rituals and observations. Do you need to plan for space for more than yourself?  How many more? Once you have that number, add at least 2 feet.  (Half a foot for walls, half a foot for wiggle room and/or shelves.  repeat.)  How high do you want?  Just above your head for a cave-like feel?  Or out of the reach of your fingers?  What style of roof trusses, and how far apart?  Will your structure even need trusses?

Will there be any associated outdoor space?  Will it be just what's in front of the doors, or all around?  How will the temple be oriented to the surroundings (house, land, neighbors/street)?

I presume Dionysos and the Nymphs will have icons of some sort.  Will the rest of the 12 be on the same wall, or beside or opposite?  Will there be a place-of-fire for Hestia / offerings?  How will the walls be finished?  Painted? Murals? Tapestries?

What kind of storage will you use?  Will you have a shelving unit?  Cupboards under a counter?  Open shelves or with doors?  What kind of things will be stored in the space vs what's stored in the house?  If you are using fire, where will you keep the fire extinguisher in case of emergencies?

Do you want a finished floor? Hardwood? Slate? Polished luon/plywood?  Will you need places to hang things on the wall?  What kind of lighting will you use? Will you have windows?  Will you want good insulation and some kind of heating system?  How will it be powered?  Can you run an extension chord from the house, or will you need an electrician to install sockets?

I'm sure there are other considerations.  But this is plenty for now.
There is no inherent meaning to life.  Stop looking and give your life meaning.
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drekfletch

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 06:25:42 am »
Quote from: drekfletch;204607

I'm sure there are other considerations.  But this is plenty for now.

 
Oh, thought of some:  When answering these questions, decide what's ideal, and what's the lowest quality that's acceptable.  This will be helpful when budgeting and prioritizing.
There is no inherent meaning to life.  Stop looking and give your life meaning.
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Chapter 91 of The Order War by L.E.Modesitt jr.  If I could quote the entire thing I would.

Yei

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Re: Building a temple in my garden
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2017, 06:21:14 pm »
Quote from: drekfletch;204607
How will the walls be finished?  Painted? Murals? Tapestries?


 
Easy. Imitation Marble.

Only the gods will know the difference!

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