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Author Topic: Does floor plan of a church make a huge difference?  (Read 2960 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: July 30, 2009, 05:43:08 PM »

After having researched a lot into Orthodox church architecture, i've found two main floorplan layouts for the main church (that is, the nave). The most common two is a completely open square plan, with four columns in the center (supporting the dome/roof), the other most commong is a square plan, but that in the four corners is partitioned off by columns, creating a cruciform shape in the nave.

I was just curious, to those that participate in the Liturgy in churches of these types, does it make a huge difference whether one is celebrating the Liturgy in one or the other?

If one were to find the perfect marriage between the Slavic & Byzantine traditions, which could be the best option?

The cruciform type:


The open square type:



I also assume that the open type is better suited for chairs/pews than the cruciform. Though both seem to date back to Byzantine architecture. (as Hagia Sophia is more open, and other smaller churches are cross-shaped)
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 05:51:04 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2009, 08:12:12 PM »

Devin,

 I like aspects of each of the two color photos you've provided.  Overall, I think I prefer the cruciform type, though I would like to see the iconostasis and color scheme in the open square type used. 
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88Devin12
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2009, 08:48:22 PM »

Cool, yeah, the first church was built in 2007, so the photos are before any icons were painted onto the walls. Most cruciform churches I've seen are quickly covered in icons, however the open ones either aren't covered in them at all, or it takes a longer time (probably because of the surface area).

Cruciform churches:
http://saintseraphim.com/ (I think it was once cruciform, then the two side "chapels" on either side of the sanctuary were closed in)
http://www.newworldbyzantine.com/projects/churches/holy_asc/
http://www.newworldbyzantine.com/projects/churches/st_mary/
http://www.newworldbyzantine.com/projects/churches/st_jo/
http://www.newworldbyzantine.com/projects/churches/st_max/
http://www.newworldbyzantine.com/projects/churches/chapel/
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 09:09:22 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2009, 09:05:41 PM »

In addition, I should add that I do not like Protestant style seating that's taken over our churches like a kudzu vine.
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2009, 09:13:00 PM »

Anything open with central pillars is good. I like something to lean against and hide behind.
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2009, 11:43:54 PM »

How about the new Greek church in Indianapolis?  They claim it is a "new" form of orthodox architecture.  It draws from Hagia Sophia and is absolutely gorgeous.

http://www.holytrinityindy.org/OurParish/AboutourByzantineTemple/Newestbuildingphotos/tabid/736/language/en-US/Default.aspx#
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2009, 11:52:22 PM »

^^Glory to God, that is beautiful!  And it looks enormous too! 
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2009, 12:38:42 AM »

How about the new Greek church in Indianapolis?  They claim it is a "new" form of orthodox architecture.  It draws from Hagia Sophia and is absolutely gorgeous.

http://www.holytrinityindy.org/OurParish/AboutourByzantineTemple/Newestbuildingphotos/tabid/736/language/en-US/Default.aspx#

That church appears to have no iconstasis. Isn't that neccesary?
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2009, 02:35:11 AM »

Cool, yeah, the first church was built in 2007, so the photos are before any icons were painted onto the walls. Most cruciform churches I've seen are quickly covered in icons, however the open ones either aren't covered in them at all, or it takes a longer time (probably because of the surface area).

Cruciform churches:
http://saintseraphim.com/ (I think it was once cruciform, then the two side "chapels" on either side of the sanctuary were closed in)


Uh, no.  It has always been cruciform.  That's my parish, and I have been there since the St. Seraphim temple was just a foundation.

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88Devin12
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2009, 08:18:47 AM »

Ah ok, it was a little hard for me to tell from the pictures since it was being renovated.

Jason.Wike, it's probably having the iconostasis made. Most Orthodox Churches that don't have one yet usually have the icons stood up in place of the iconstasis until the iconstasis is made. Western Rite parishes do this and often don't have iconstasis in their churches.

http://www.annunciationwi.com/our_parish.php
Annunciation Orthodox Church in Milwaukee was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I think it's more of a circular plan.

Hagia Sophia's floor plan:


Other church layouts:
Athens info guide

I think I personally prefer the cruciform design more.

Removed the second image in favor of the url of the picture, since it appears the website used doesn't want their images reproduced on other sites.  --EofK
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 09:49:56 AM by EofK » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2009, 09:18:08 AM »

I don't like the way modern Orthodox temples look. Luckily enough, I haven't seen any in Greece.

I believe that the floor should be made of dark-coloured wood or casual marble (not-of-great-quality). This makes the church seem more humble and simple.
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2009, 10:59:46 AM »

I don't like the way modern Orthodox temples look.

I know what you mean. Some of the larger, more expensive ones are very impressive, but at the same time many of them do look a bit cold.
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88Devin12
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2009, 03:40:42 PM »

Quote
Some of the larger, more expensive ones are very impressive, but at the same time many of them do look a bit cold.
What do you mean by cold?
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2009, 04:24:12 PM »

How about the new Greek church in Indianapolis?  They claim it is a "new" form of orthodox architecture.  It draws from Hagia Sophia and is absolutely gorgeous.

http://www.holytrinityindy.org/OurParish/AboutourByzantineTemple/Newestbuildingphotos/tabid/736/language/en-US/Default.aspx#

That church appears to have no iconstasis. Isn't that neccesary?

Maybe they don't have the money for it right now or maybe it is in the works. The Romanian church in my city was around for a few years before they got an iconostasis.
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88Devin12
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2009, 07:20:41 PM »

Here is Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Overland Park, KS. It's an open floor plan w/o side-aisles (the dome is out of frame):



Here is St. George Orthodox Church in Lenexa, KS. It isn't in a cross shape save for the small transepts on either side, but it still is very beautiful and seems well suited to services. (though I haven't been to a Liturgy there, as it's mostly in Slavic)



And my home parish of St. Thomas the Apostle Orthodox Church in Springfield, MO. It is a pre-existing building (formerly Pentecostal i think) that was adapted for use. It is cross shaped, though still open. Hopefully some-day we can build a larger, traditional Orthodox Church (and keep this one for additional uses).

« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 07:27:04 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2009, 10:44:43 PM »

How about the new Greek church in Indianapolis?  They claim it is a "new" form of orthodox architecture.  It draws from Hagia Sophia and is absolutely gorgeous.

http://www.holytrinityindy.org/OurParish/AboutourByzantineTemple/Newestbuildingphotos/tabid/736/language/en-US/Default.aspx#

That church appears to have no iconstasis. Isn't that neccesary?


That's what i don't like about the new calendar Greek orthodox,and about these changes there slowly introducing ,,on day we will wake up and won't be able to tell a Greek church from a Latin one...They have pews and organs..what surprises are in store in the future,, no icons....
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2009, 11:22:30 PM »

88devin you said the you don't go to that church because it is mostly in Slavic.  What do you mean? 
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88Devin12
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2009, 08:03:22 AM »

The Liturgy is mostly in Church Slavonic (or some form of Slavonic), I've heard they recite the Creed in English, but the rest is in Slavonic.
(sorry, didn' mean Slavic as in ethnicity, meant as in language)

**Could a moderator change that in my other post please? It's too late for me to go back and change it, thank you! Smiley**
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 08:16:39 AM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2009, 08:47:11 AM »

That's what i don't like about the new calendar Greek orthodox,and about these changes there slowly introducing ,,on day we will wake up and won't be able to tell a Greek church from a Latin one...They have pews and organs..what surprises are in store in the future,, no icons....
I've only seen that in countries where Orthodoxy is supposed to be "new" (America etc.). Almost every country in the Balkans (and Russians) is still in the same way. I think hope.
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