Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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Regarding the ‘Church of the Autostrada’, I think I might have said:

@gunter wrote:

The exterior is less successful, but the interior is powerful and evocative.

@Praxiteles wrote:

Allowing for the difference between “modernity” and “contemporary”, and suggesting that the connection with “tradition” is an essential, Praxiteles would agree that some fine churches have been built in the modern idiom. That point we have made several times (we have mentioned Plecnik; Wagner; Barry Byrne; Gaudi).

These gentlemen hail from the 19th century and their work is essentially pre-modernist, as well as being acknowledged to be utterly individualistic, I don’t think we can include any of them in a discussion on contemporary directions in church architecture, without slipping back into revivalism.

@Praxiteles wrote:

. . . . I do not think that much of what is around in Ireland is anything more than imitative and deficient dross.

@Praxiteles wrote:

. . . proposed new oratory in Oxford dedicated to Cardinal Newman

I think the point I would try to make is that Duncan Stroik and the ‘new classicists’ [I’m assuming Oxford is a Stroik?] in seeking to return church architecture to it’s classical tradition, misses the whole point about what the church’s tradition in architecture is.

Down the centuries, the church fostered the tradition of pioneering the most adventurous and innovative architecture ever contemplated, There was no guarantee that flying buttresses would work, or that Brunelleschi’s dome would stand up, and indeed there were numerous catastrophic collapses, but that didn’t stop the church from continuing to take enormous leaps of faith in creating the legacy of phenomenal buildings that came to symbolize medieval and renaissance Europe.

For the church to abandon that visionary role as patron and progenitor of great architecture and to slip to a retrospective comfort zone would not just dishonour all those who went before, but it would be powerfully symbolic that the church itself does not believe in the future.

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