Andersen, Hendrick Christian [Hrsg.]; Hébrard, Ernest M. [Hrsg.]
Creation of a world centre of communication — Paris, 1913

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theatres hitherto built in any country were considered. The hall was accor-
dingly conceived in the shape of an immense, almost semicircular amphitheatre,
prolonged in the rear into a wide and deep stage, sufficiently large to afford
adequate space for performances of any magnitude. The orchestra is invi-
sible being below the level of the stage. Curving tiers of seats, capable of
holding between three and four thousand people, rise almost to the height
of a circular row of columns, which support with their gold bronze capitals
a low and softly lighted dome. Everywhere the grandeur of strong simple
lines has been aimed at, so that the eye and mind, undistracted by small
detail, may be wholly concentrated upon the performance. The practical
problems of seating as large an audience as might see and hear to the best
advantage, and of allowing ample space for free and rapid circulation have
been carefully studied; and in the desire to create a centre purely and simply
for the highest artistic attainments of humanity, the object has been to give
this palace a certain religious solemnity, such as we might suppose brooded
over the Temple of Solomon.

Although this Auditorium is in the midst of the main building, care has
been taken not to leave it imprisoned between walls. There is a wide semi-
circular lobby surrounding the great hall, to provide a promenade for the
audience during entr'actes, connected with two courtyards at the sides as well
as with the great main entrance in front and with the Temporary Exhibition
Galleries at the back. Two arches under passages that connect the Picture
Galleries with these last, furnish an exit from the courtyards. Therefore,
however large the audience may be, the vast hall can be filled or emptied
with safety in a few moments.

From the Auditorium the main entrance is reached through a spacious
Rotunda, above which a dome, springing from a circular colonnade of polis-
hed marble rises to the height of 80 metres. This Rotunda is the connecting
point between the great divisions of music and the drama, painting and
sculpture. It is conceived as a sort of International Pantheon in which the
names of all those who have enriched the artistic patrimony of the world
might be inscribed. Four great doorways permit of free circulation. The
main entrance and the door to the Auditorium face one another; the
other two lead into the Sculpture Galleries which, to right and left, occupy
the whole facade of the Temple of Art.

After a careful study of the practical requirements of a museum, the
writer has endeavoured to provide an edifice worthy of its contents, without
sacrificing the latter to the exterior. There are three interior divisions based
upon three distinct categories of works of art : statues, large paintings and
small paintings. Different types of rooms have been arranged for these
three styles of work.

The arrangement of the interior of a museum, like the planning of an
auditorium, is one of the most delicate problems that an architect has to

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