Materials and Methods: the Affect of Expression on the Twentieth Century Church

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Title: Materials and Methods: the Affect of Expression on the Twentieth Century Church
Creators: Wellman, Erin
Advisor: Dean, Penelope
Issue Date: 2006-03
Abstract: The typology of the church, being influenced by the mechanization of the modern spirit, experienced a decline in the quality of the mood and atmosphere of the space through the use of materials but can be redirected through those same materials by drawing on the rich history of knowledge of past and traditional materials and tectonics of the church typology. The architects of the latter twentieth century conducted an experiment on the typology of the church. It was to the work and influence of Le Corbusier that one turns to for the point at which the typology was modified. The production of architecture was likened to the production of cars, ocean liners and airplanes. The utilization of the materials and methods that industry produced was applied to the church, creating a machine for worship. Architects followed in Corbusier’s path; architects such as Phillip Johnson and Peter Zumthor. They produced churches which are machines for worship instead of houses for worship. One must then turn to history; in the ages of the Romanesque, the Gothic, the Baroque and the Classical, for the spirit that will lead a new experiment on the church typology. In this project, it was the detail of the gothic rib and how the structure really is the gothic church. It is in this repetition of the structure, instead of its magnification into scalelessness that creates the majestic and awe-inspiring space. It is not the intent of this project to proclaim one style over another. It is the intent of this project to utilize the modern materials and methods that industry and technology has made available to architects and from there, take up a new direction with them. A new ideology, one based on history and tradition will be formed with the design of this project.
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. Department of Architecture Honors Theses; 2006
Keywords: modern church
machine for worship
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