Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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A little something from prof. Duncan Stroik:
The Roots of Modernist Church Architecture
As Ronald Reagan would say: . . . there you go again
For Father Couturier, the church building was no longer seen as a teacher, minister, or evangelist but rather as a functional space for assembly. Likewise, the architect was no longer an inspired co-creator; instead, his work became a conduit for his own personal expression and of the “spirit of the age”.
Stroik’s whole philosophy is to take church architecture out of context, which is actually the only way he can get away with flogging this reproduction service as a legitimate alternative to creating architecture.
If you look at the history of church architecture, in the context of it’s time, that statement ”Church building was no longer seen as a teacher, minister, or evangelist”, while true, is hugely misleading because thankfully [and in large part due to the educational contribution of the religious community] most people in the developed world were literate by the 20th century, and religious art and architecture no longer had to fulfil the role of teaching and preaching.
Yes it is true also that many, if not most, of the largest church projects produced under the liberated philosophy of the Modern Movement, were brutal in every sense, but I think that was down to a lack of sensitivity and probably a lack of inspiration on the part of the architect when faced with a blank page, a potential career making opportunity, virtually unlimited structural possibilities, and people to impress.
The fact that even Stroik concedes that there were modernist examples of church architecture of inspirational quality [ – I think he’s conceding that – ] should tell us that the philosophical basis to the Modern Movement is probably sound, provided we lose our arrogance and begin to re-learn the lessons that we’ll find in tradition.
If you’re happy to copy a past tradition and pass it off as a valid ‘revival’ because you feel let down by the state of contemporary architecture, as Stroik seems to be doing, you’re taking the soft option and no amount of retro-fitting a philosophical justification gets you out of that, but worse still, you’re not learning from the one thing that you claim to espouse, tradition.