Monday, February 16, 2015

The shift in church architecture

Our church has applied for permission to extend our premises. If it goes ahead (at much cost, I must add), it will provide a worthwhile facility for our congregation/s for many years to come, God willing.

I'm not averse to investing in good and useful facilities for churches, after having spent many years in makeshift rented accommodation in a couple of churches, the benefit of owning the right buildings is immense.

Our current plans are represented in the aerial sketch (done in Sketchup for those interested). It looks smart enough, but I wonder about the architectural language: its modern and 'sharp' in its imagery, but is more redolent of a rural council chambers than an ecclesiastical building. Lately it seems to me that architectural language for all types of buildings is converging on a uniform commercial idiom. I compare that to the work of, say Alvar Aalto, whose forms and spaces in my experience are of transcendent peace and beauty.

I wonder if we are today leaving markers of our joy in Christian life, and desire to do our best that will go the distance of some of the great works of medieval Christendom. I also wonder if the fabric of the quasi commercial language we are looking at will be durable over more than a century, as has been the old building on the right of the image.

I'm not in any way opposed to our plans, but am simply reflecting on the state of play in church building architecture.

Just ponder this as you look at the images of King's College Chapel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.