Kuzari offers a novel explanation of the Mikdash's function:
Nature, as we know it, is composed of various elements which combine together to produce the world before us. As natural as the world seems to us, only God knows the quantity and quality of elements needed to create it. Only God knows why one combination of elements creates "vines" and another "living beings." So too with the Mikdash. God commanded certain dimensions and specific materials for the construction of the Mikdash. These, coupled with the Israelites' donation of the necessary materials, combined to breed a new spiritual force which led God to dwell among the Jewish people.