One of the great things about working in English literary studies is how this field allows scholars to work in so many other disciplines. As shown in this illustration, in an attempt to actualize Rapunzel’s castle through architectural care, literary studies does not stop with words and writing, and regardless the age of the intended reading audience. If you can think of another field—biology, business management, geometry, Joss Whedon studies—you can find a way to associate it with word choice, narrative theory, or an old-fashioned close reading.
How would an architect design houses from fairy tales? Let’s find out: Fairy tale author and editor Kate Bernheimer and architect Andrew Bernheimer collaborated to take a look at houses and structures from fairy tales, as seen through the lens of architecture.
What are the key elements of your architectural design and how is it sited?
As structural engineers we were instantly drawn to the “tower that stood in a forest and had neither a door nor a stairway, but only a tiny little window at the very top” featured in the Brothers Grimm version of “Rapunzel,” and we looked to our previous design for the Seven Stems Broadcast Tower for inspiration. We were able to meet the Grimms’ strict design requirements by employing a slender tower design of vertical cylindrical stems that are joined by intermittent outrigger beams with a reinforced space at the very top for Rapunzel’s long captivity.