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Christopher Wren once said ‘Architecture aims at Eternity’. Have you heard the word eternity before? What does it make you think of? Eternity means forever. But what does forever mean? Some people give eternity rings to their partners because the circular shaped ring represents everlasting love. To others, eternity is about space and the idea of infinity. And to others, eternity is about God and Heaven. These are all big ideas.

  • What shapes, patterns and colours in a building might symbolise the idea of ‘eternity’?

Look carefully at the document. It shows one section of Christopher Wren’s new St Paul’s Cathedral. The Dome was the highest part of the building which stood at 111 metres. It dominated the London skyline for hundreds of years.
We know that Christopher Wren found it difficult to design the perfect dome for St Paul’s Cathedral. Domes are heavy and it is important to spread the weight of a dome evenly. This is no easy task.

  • Can you experiment with the idea of balancing something heavy on top of something light? You could use a heavy book and try balancing it on empty egg shells, balls of modelling clay or marshmallows!
  • What shapes and patterns do you notice on the building? How did Christopher Wren attempt to show eternity through his building?
  • Can you think of any buildings that inspire you to think big ideas?