The beginning of the twenty first century saw an architectural boom in synagogues, churches and memorials. a+u highlights a number of projects in Norway, Finland and Brazil which won the heart of parishioners, the general public and architects. Projects include the Parish Centre of St. Francis by Königs Architekten, the Synagogue IJG by SeARCH, the National September 11 Memorial by Peter Zumthor and the Viikki Church by JKMM Architects. An introduction by Karla Britton.
Often one is surprised by a feeling of peacefulness when visiting a church, shrine, or temple. Is this because these buildings receive all equally, whether those who come hoping for comfort or those who come there accidentally?
This issue features ‘Recent Sacred Space’. It is a collection of 15 built works ranging from chapels to synagogues and a memorial for the victims of witch trials. Geographically it ranges from Nordic countries such as Norway and Finland to South American countries such as Brazil and Chile. The materials used in these works include wood, reinforced concrete, tiles, and PTFE.
Karla Britton notes in her essay that there was a historical trajectory in the history of modern architecture which emphasized forms that gave expression to the spirit. She also explains how the religious building type has often been a locus for advancement and innovation in modern architectural design. On the other hand, today one also sees designs which, while remaining consciously sacred buildings, seek to avoid any form of representation or specific religious symbolic system. How do people experience sacred space in the twenty-first century? (a+u)
Contemporary Sacred Architecture and the Works of Master Architects of the 20th Century, Karla Britton
Avanto Architects, Chapel of St. Lawrence
Tabuenca & Leache Arquitectos, San Jorge Church
Karl Frey, Catholic Church in Dietenhofen
SeARCH, Synagogue LJG
Manuel Herz Architects, Jewish Community Center of Mainz
Königs Architekten, Parish Centre St. Francis
JKMM Architects, Viikki Church
Massimiliano Fuksas, Foligno Parish Complex
Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Our Lady of the Conception’s Chapel
JLCG Arquitectos, St. António Church
Vicens + Ramos, Parish Center in Rivas-Vaciamadrid
Undurraga Devés Arquitectos, Retreat Chapel
Handel Architects, National September 11 Memorial
Peter Zumthor, Steilneset, Memorial for the Victims of the Witch Trials