Events Details - FALL 2022

How to Read Sacred Architecture: Reinterpreting Architectural Roots at Jerusalem, Rome, and Salt Lake

Brandon R. Ro, Assistant Professor of Architecture

November 17, 2022 - 1:00pm

Many sacred spaces have the ability to speak to us, inspire us to act, or even transform our understanding of the world. But have you ever tried to read one of these buildings like a book? Sacred architecture is often described as the built form of theology with multiple layers of symbolic meaning. Any study of architectural history reveals that many of the messages found in sacred spaces share common themes and patterns. In this presentation, we will compare the sacred architecture of three different religious traditions separated by time, culture, and geography. In particular, we will explore ancient Jewish architecture, Early Christian and Roman Catholic structures, and Latter-day Saint temples. While the architectural configurations of each religion are formally and historically different, unexpected similarities become clear when ritual experience, religious ideals, spatial sequence, and cosmic history are compared.

More about Brandon Ro

Brandon R. Ro, AIA, NCARB, ICAA, is an award-winning architect, leader, and educator. In architectural practice, he has worked on projects for private sector developers, state universities, governmental agencies, religious institutions, and healthcare providers. His projects have received awards from the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, US Green Building Council, and Walt Disney Imagineering. At Utah Valley University, he is an assistant professor and the co-founder of the new professional degree program in architecture. His scholarly work has been published in several venues, such as the Journal of Comparative Theology at Harvard, Enquiry: A Journal of Architectural Research, and Religions.