E. L. Boullée's predilection for monumental dimensions and his admiration for Newton's momentous definition of the mathematical basis of the form of the universe brought on a new stage in the interrelation of cosmology and architecture. Combining the new gigantic leap in scale with an architectural use of the mathematically pure geometric forms of the sphere and the pyramid, Boullée both echoed Palladio's injunction that our "piccioli tempii" ought to resemble the great one of the universe, and prefigured the totalitarian disregard for human scale and the individual human being. Thus, Boullée "landscaped" two centuries ago the emotional setting of Orwell's "1984." He also revealed the threat of an "unexamined" submission of the forces of representation, and of architecture, to the inhuman dictates of a totally mathematical science.
- Copyright 1984 The Society of Architectural Historians