Boring Chartres: 1982 Debate Between Christopher Alexander and Peter Eisenman

by Christian Parreno

Christopher Alexander: […]  I would like to check out a couple of examples, buildings. Now, I will pick a building, let’s take Chartres for example. We probably don’t disagree that it’s a great building.

Peter Eisenman: Well, we do actually, I think it is a boring building. Chartres, for me, is one of the least interesting cathedrals. In fact, I have gone to Chartres a number of times to eat in the restaurant across the street – had a 1934 red Mersault wine, which was exquisite – I never went into the cathedral. The cathedral was done en passant. Once you’ve seen one Gothic cathedral, you have seen them all.

Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. November 17, 1982.

Full debate