Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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@Praxiteles wrote:

The most obvious choice of architect for the restoration of St Mel’s is Duncan Stroik of the school of Archicture at Notre Dame Uniersity, South Bend, Indiana. Praxiteles will be glad to supply a telephone number.

@apelles wrote:

Agree that he’s definitely done some stunning work however, is there no one closer to home?

@Praxiteles wrote:

Who else has a perfect mastery of the theory of classical architecture and has actually put it into practice in large scale ecclesiastical projects?

@Praxiteles wrote:

The only other that I could think of is Quinlan Terry . . . .

@Praxiteles wrote:

Unfortunately, no Irish firm has dislayed any interest in the classical tradition of late and I am afraid that the rebuliding of St Mel’s will require someone used to building more than hay-sheds.

Let’s get one thing straight, . . . . the reinstatement of a building like St. Mel’s Cathedral, after fire damage, is a straight-forward conservation challenge that requires committed conservation professionals directing a competent building contractor employing a group of skilled craftsmen. There is nothing here that requires the particular input of a Quinlan Terry, or a Duncan Stroik, or even their spiritual mentor, Professor David Watkin.

Nothing raises the architectural hackles like one of these guys straying off campus and into the cross-hairs of a profession decimated by recession.

Architects who have made a career out of recycling the Modern Movement and, in the process, merrily made all the same mistakes again, typically fill up with moral indignation at the sight of these pastiche practitioners strutting their re-creationist stuff.

For the vast bulk of mainstream modernists, the purveyors of pastiche are the stereotypical architectural pariahs, whose continued prosperity is taken as an affront to every architect who struggles with the torment of trying to create work that is honest and representative of the contemporary moment. That’s the standard line anyway, how much torment is involved in producing most of the stuff we see around us is another question.

In my opinion, there is a gulf between what the historicists do and what mainstream modernist do, but it’s probably not anything like as wide as either side believes.

People will say that the one saving grace of practicing historicism, in the manner advocated by Terry, Stroik and Watkin, is that it keeps the crafts alive, but the truth is that there is more than enough demand for craftsmen skilled in conservation and repair [as required here at St. Mel’s on a grand scale] to keep an army of traditional craftsmen in work indefinitely, without letting architecture loose in the dressing-up box.

Prince Charles, and other patrons of historicist architecture, are right to lament the damage done to historical urban centres by ‘Modern Architecture’ . . . [”more damage than Bomber Harris”, or whatever the phrase was :)] . . . . but that’s a argument for re-addressing ‘Modern Architecture’, not an argument for reverting to a nostalgic past before modern architecture emerged, . . . . coincidentally also an era when royalty enjoyed a far higher status and when all the churches were teeming with flocks.

At best, the pastiche practitioners could probably be considered sad souls whose misguided love for the past has led them into practicing necrophilia. At worst, these people are cynical charlatans who have spotted a well feathered niche and who have duly occupied it and gone on to attempt to justify their comfortable existence by intellectualizing the practice of copying.

@grumpyjohn wrote:

Ah yes…the American professor with an impressive portfolio of work in Ireland….could those possibly be PVC windows?

We need to hear more from grumpyjohn

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