These were the designs for a giant memorial to Sir Isaac Newton drawn in 1784 by French architect Etienne-Louis Boullee.

The ‘Cenotaph to Newton’ was a proposed resting place for the great scientist, planned 60 years after his death, although it was never made. Had it been built it would surely rank as a manmade wonder of the world.

At 500ft (150m), the cenotaph would have been the tallest built structure in the world, overshadowing the then tallest building – Strasbourg Cathedral at 466ft (142m) – and the Great Pyramids of Giza at 455ft (139m).

The beautiful ink and wash illustrations shown in the short video above are “a poetic homage” to Newton who “had become a revered symbol of Enlightenment ideals,” write Arch Daily in their description of the drawings.


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