Cornell University Eidlitz Travel Fellowship (2019)
Portal to the Prelates Court
Proposal: to document the site and sequence of space of Melk Abbey
Eidlitz Travel Fellowship ︎︎︎
Melk is a picturesque town nestled in the Danube River valley. Melk Abbey is the largest baroque building in the country outside of Vienna; it is like an ornate yellow ship anchored in the hillside. It is home to one of the most elaborate architectural choreographies I encountered on my travels.
I had the pleasure of staying in the cloister for a week as a guest of the monks to study the library and grounds. This is a small selection of the photographs taken during my stay.
The Prelates Court
After climbing up the hillside, the inhabitant encounters a pair of processional courts ordered in increasing size and grandeur. The main facade of the Prelates court serves as a bridge connecting the Abbot’s residence on one side with the Imperial Apartments on the other. This facade also masks the abbey church beyond; its dome visible above giving a hint of what is to come.
The abbey church is physically detached and sunken within a lower courtyard. The wings that flank it are symmetrical; one side is the Marble Hall for banquets, and the other is home to the beautiful library. The windows give a preview of the expansive views beyond. These two wings are connected by the climax of this dramatic sequence of space: a panoramic terrace overlooking the river and valley.