‘… to build a light-house’ Benjamin Franklin

‘Were I a Roman Catholic, perhaps I should on this occasion vow to build a chapel to some saint, but as I am not, if I were to vow at all, it should be to build a light-house’. Benjamin Franklin wrote these words to his wife in 1757, after narrowly avoiding shipwreck. As the sun moves around the interior shell of the chapel currently under construction at the Abbey of Nový Dvůr in the Czech Republic, the character of the architecture as a house for light, as an essential aspect of its identity as a house for God, is abundantly clear. 


Stefan Dold