Friday, June 12, 2009

New ... Thumbs Up.

The above sketch illustrates the new St. Mark's Church in Huntersville, North Carolina, designed by ecclesiastical architect, Duncan Stroik. To me, Stroik's work can be used as a benchmark for what can be achieved in new ecclesiastical structures.  As Stroik's website states regarding the new St. Mark's Church ... "It is modeled on the broad tradition of CathoFont sizelic architecture in the United States as well as churches dedicated to St. Mark in Venice, Florence and Rome."

Key words ... "BROAD TRADITION".

If you check out the drawings of St. Mark's on Stroik's website, you can't deny the church feels both modern AND traditional. The design is an elegant marriage of modern and traditional aesthetics.

The next time you hear that a church committee is interested in hiring an architect to design their new church ... this is who you should call.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New ... Thumbs Down.

The above rendering is for the new catholic church of Our Lady of Peace in Grafton, OH. The estimated $3 million dollar, 450-seat sanctuary is scheduled to be finished in 2010. No easy feat considering the many church closings going on around the country.

I'm not digging the new church design. Granted, it's just a rendering. But, color me a traditionalist, it doesn't say catholic church to me. I am going to follow up this posting with another post titled "New ... Thumbs Up". The post will feature an american architect who designs NEW churches that ... well ... look like churches. Specifically, I mean new church designs that use historic forms but are modern in function. It can be done ... and, it can be done well!

I applaud the parishioners of Grafton's Our Lady of Peace for their sacrifice and dedication. I just wish they, and the architects, had borrowed more from the successful past of church architecture, rather than the (more-often-than-not) mediocre present. For some reason, when it comes to church architecture, traditional forms say "stable" to me ... whereas the newer ones seem so "temporary". 

Just my opinion.