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History - Wilson Hall

Beauvais Cathedral
A daring achievement of Gothic architecture, the Saint-Pierre Cathedral of Beauvais, France helped inspire the distinctive design of Wilson Hall.

The Cathedral (A.D. 1225-1568) was never completed westward of the choir and transepts, and the site of the proposed nave is partly occupied by the Romanesque church known as the "Basse oeuvre" ("low work"). The roof fell (A.D. 1284); the choir was reconstructed and strengthened by additional piers (A.D. 1337-47), and in the 16th century the transepts were built. The height of the vault (157 ft., 6 ins.) is the loftiest in Europe, and measures about three and a half times its span. One of the most daring achievements in Gothic architecture, the vault has been regarded as one of the wonders of Medieval France. The structure is held together internally only by a network of iron tie-rods, which suggests that these ambitious builders had attempted more than they could achieve.


Floor Plans

An Aside on the Fermilab Logo

The Fermilab Logo design arose from the shapes of two types of magnets commonly used in high energy particle beamlines today: quadrupoles and dipoles. The four-pronged shape represents a quadrupole, used for focusing (and defocusing) the beam of charged particles. Ideally, the shape of the magnetic field lines replicates the the four-pronged shape. The two intersecting straight lines represent the aperture of a dipole magnet, which steers the beam. Viewing Wilson Hall along with its image in the Reflecting Pond offers a stylized version of the Fermilab Logo.

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last modified 03/18/2011   email Fermilab