Texas Architect Nov/Dec 2007: Sacred Space
Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other editorial content largely written by AIA members in Texas. That collective participation was the basis of Texas Architect’s recognition by the national AIA with a 2010 Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement.
texas architect 11 / 1 2 2 0 07 23 Oakes : Transcendent space is honest in design, using authentic materials that reflect who the community is. fIscher: There’s an honesty and simplicity in the design that I think is essential. I don’t think churches or spaces that are extremely tricky or clever or held together in ways you can’t figure it out work as transcendent spaces. The authenticity is not just in the materials but in the honesty in which the building is built. So you can see how it is held together. heIMsath: If they know why they come together as a faith community, if they can articulate it, there’s something special that really comes together. MartOf: The materials need to represent who the church is, what is important to them -- and also they have thought about it, and that these materials weren’t just thrown together. Do these materials represent the church? fIscher: The saddest thing is when I go into a room that’s a church and it’s just a box, that you have no idea what holds it up. You see a drop ceiling, you see walls, and yet you know nothing about the building – I think that’s disheartening to the soul. Oakes: Transcendent spaces are filled with myth and mystery and the presence of those who wor- ship there. fIscher: I think when you make a connection with a transcendent space it’s almost as if the inter- change of your spirit and that place leaves your imprint on it. … I think it just gets richer and richer the more that takes place there. There’s a quality that can come to a sacred place that gets enriched by the quality of the people who have worshipped there. eLkIns: We all want photographs because they are beautiful. …Where are the places that can’t be captured on film? I think those are amazing places. It is more than just the visual. It’s the whole experience of the place. If you’re saying quietness, you can’t get that in a picture. p 22, L Iv e Oa k M ee t In ghOUse ( hOUs tO n ) By L esL Ie k . eL k Ins a rchIt ect, phOtOs By paUL hes t er ; p.23 tO p L ef t, W esL e y Bre t hren chUrch ( rOUn D tO p) , a rchIt ect Un k n OW n, phOtO By a n at ge va , phD ; BOt tO M L ef t, a n jUM a n - e- n a jMI IsL a MIc M OsqUe a nD schOOL ( IrvIn g ) , cOUrt esy OgL esBy green e a rchIt ect s ; BOt tO M rIgh t, s t. cat herIne Of sIen a cat hOL Ic chUrch ( aUs t In ) By L a n Dry & L a nDry a rchIt ect s & pL a n ners, phOtO By DUa ne L a n Dry, fa Ia continued on p.47