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Author Topic: Should we codify traditional Orthodox architecture?  (Read 667 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: February 05, 2010, 02:14:54 PM »

Our university is today having an architect (non-Orthodox of course) come to give a lecture. I will not be attending this lecture.
The reason is this: This architect designed an Orthodox Church in his home state. The design he had for this Church (which is now built) is completely of modern/post-modern design. It is clear that he had no desire to reflect traditional Orthodox Church design. From the outside, the church looks just like thousands of Protestant Churches out there, without the sign designating it as Orthodox, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. (until you walk inside)

A week ago in a class I'm taking (or forced to take), called History of Modern Architecture. We had to watch a video on Le Corbusier's La Tourette monastery in France. (a Dominican monastery)
This building is clearly a travesty and it's appalling that the Roman Catholic Church would allow such an ugly thing to be built. After watching the video, it was clear that Corbusier (an athiest) clearly designed the monastery with the architecture being the subject, and not God. He didn't believe in God, but said he believed in architecture. (that is in place of religion)
Website on Le Corbusier's La Tourette monastery: http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/latourette/index.htm

It got me to thinking... With all the guides on how to design Orthodox Churches, and with our historical knowledge of the Church in various regions, should we codify traditional Orthodox architecture so as to stop the modernists/post-modernists from designing Orthodox Churches? (at least, if they designed them, they'd be forced to do it in traditional style)

So should we codify traditional Orthodox architecture to force the non-Orthodox to have to design our churches according to traditional styles or should we leave it alone and allow the non-Orthodox to design our churches as they see fit?

_______________

As an aside, I'm not meaning to sound harsh, or even militant. However, I've seen too many examples of Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches (even some Orthodox Churches) which have been designed according to modernist/post-modernist principals and they are completely disgusting, I just don't want to see the same mistakes occur in the Orthodox Church.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 02:24:45 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 02:23:10 PM »

I won't say I'm of the opinion that certain forms should be mandatory, but I'm also not going to say that the design given to us has no inherent meaning behind it.  Basically, I prefer the traditional layout in its various cultural manifestations, and I suppose anything that starts moving into spaceship territory should be seriously prayed over.
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88Devin12
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 02:31:03 PM »

I understand. I think for me, it's the knowledge that most non-Orthodox architects are going to design the way they know how. They are going to let the architecture & their theories dictate what the building is going to look like. Whereas Orthodox architects (that is, those who hold to tradition) will let the Church, it's functions, it's tradition, etc... Dictate what the building is going to look like.

I mean, the non-Orthodox are going to have no idea what our Churches look like unless they research (or unless the Church tells them). They are probably just going to assume we are just like the Protestants and Roman Catholics. That is what worries me.
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 03:29:22 PM »

I'm a huge fan of certain schools within modern architecture, though not brutalism, so I would really see no problem with a parish that looked like it was out of a sci-fi series or something.
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2010, 03:40:12 PM »

Architecture, as it should be obvious to anybody, has traditionally been the least codified field of orthodox liturgics. I'm not sure whether that should change. Better not.
The problem in  America is that probably most buildings previously belonged to some other church and were just (minimally) adapted towards their new function. Another problem is that buildings in America are generally built of cheep, pre-fab materials and are intended to be comfortable but not to last for centuries/millennia.
You cannot build a beautiful and lasting church the same way one builds the condo complex on the corner. That's the problem.

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