Church Architecture, History of
CHURCH ARCHITECTURE, HISTORY OF
Part 1: Introduction
A vast array of literature surrounds the study of church architecture, embracing a range of interests from archaeology, anthropology, sociology, and aesthetics, to the evolution of consciousness and theology. This entry presents in 11 parts systematic summaries of the history of church architecture from the early Christian period to the eve of Vatican II.
In the following section five concomitants of architectural development are presented as an introduction to the subject: (1) social and cultural considerations, (2) exigencies of liturgical ritual and function, (3) symbol and meaning in architectural conception, (4) technique and structural possibilities, and (5) concepts of form.
Social and cultural considerations. Church architecture services the worship of a community, and its construction depends on a patronage that utilizes the collective resources of the worshiping community. Consequently its artistic realization is not independent.
Social Aspect. Both the architect and church architecture in particular are bound to an immediate need of society. A church is not initiated by an architect's will to form but rather by a congregation's will to build. The creative act of the architect must recognize both the will and needs of his patrons. In modern times the most common social impediment to the production of a significant ecclesiastical structure occurs when a patron refuses to allow the architect to express the identity of the congregation in and through the architect's own will to form. Under such circumstances the architect is asked to relinquish his special abilities to create architectural form and instead act as a skillful transmitter of the congregation's collective will toward a form of established acceptability. This obstacle dominated 19th-century church architecture and was promoted by J. ruskin in his Lamp of Obedience: "We want no new style of architecture…. Itdoes not matter one marble splinter whether we have an old or new architecture…. The forms of architecturealready known to us are good enough and far better than any of us." The result of the 19th-century Gothic revival was a church architecture of questionable artistic value.
The effort to make the architect's vision that of society reduces the educated artistic sensibility of the architect to a position of servitude to the less-educated sensibility of the congregation or pastor. The proper relationship between socio-cultural determination and architectural formation is one of mutual specification. One of the aphorisms about architecture is that "as we shape our buildings, likewise do our buildings shape us." Among significant churches of the 20th century that have helped to restructure society's view of acceptable religious architecture are F. L. Wright's Unity Temple, A. perret's Le Raincy, Mies van der Rohe's Illinois Institute of Technology Chapel, and Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut (Ronchamp).
Cultural Aspect. This interdependency between architecture and society has led many to regard architecture as a mirror of a society's cultural progress. For V. Hugo, for example, "Architecture is the book of human history… the handwriting of humanity." Monuments of religious architecture (all but synonymous with the general development of architecture for thousands of years) are most useful in tracing the origins, growth, and decline of various cultures in history. The validity of this measure rests on the assumption that a given culture has interrelated parallels in the development of its art, architecture, literature, economics, politics, philosophy, and theology. The effort to document these interrelationships has promoted some excellent though sometimes controversial studies. Among these are E. Panofsky's Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism (Latrobe 1951), which sheds new light on the relationship between medieval scholasticism and the visual articulation of Gothic structures, and V. Scully's The Earth, the Temple and the Gods (1962), which explores the influence of mythical cult and belief upon the location, orientation, and nature of Minoan, Mycenaean, and Greek temples. Cultural-architectural monographs are rare, and a definitive study of the cultural evolution of church structures has not as yet been written.
Exigencies of liturgical ritual and function. The questions that arise from the relating of ritual to church architecture are to what extent and how architectural form is, and ought to be, determined by liturgical function. Different periods have varied in their attitude toward this issue; in certain periods one finds a relatively high degree of ritual specification of form, such as in the Romanesque and in the baroque, whereas other periods show a low degree of ritual specification, as in churches of the Renaissance and 19th-century revivalism. The architectural significance of ecclesiastical structures is not necessarily dependent upon the degree of ritual determination; the Renaissance preference for centralized form promoted an architecture of merit, but its primary concern was not liturgical function. In some circumstances preoccupation with formalism produced conflicts with ritual use; the transept seating arrangement of H. H. Richardson's Trinity Church is an example.
Church architecture in the 20th century has actively addressed itself to the problem of ritual determination of form. The majority of mid-20th-century liturgical conferences on sacred art have supported the thesis that an adequate analysis of function accompanied by a genuine insight into sacred purpose will aid in the production of a significant church architecture. The idea is a vestige of the functionalist revolution that occurred in architectural thinking after the turn of the century. It emerged as a reaction against lingering public affection for outmoded revivalist styles and against the construction of churches that engaged naïve symbolic "shape-isms." Contemporary ritual functionalism is an attempt to liberate church architecture from traditional misconceptions of what churches ought to look like, and, in theory, it seeks to distinguish itself from older concepts of functionalism. The difference between the traditional Vitruvian notion of utilitas and the new notion of utility appears in the thesis that ritual accommodation is a sufficient aesthetic criterion for the production of a church structure. G. Santayana states this position for architecture in general: "Architecture … has all its forms suggested by practical demands. Use requires all our buildings to assume certain determinate forms." This view demands study of liturgy in order to avoid an erroneous conception of ritually determined form. It assumes that the ritually specified form carries the religious meaning of the building and is in itself symbolic. Although church form has always reflected functional patterns, older church structures depended upon mosaic, sculpture, and stained glass to provide religious symbolism. A. Aalto's church at Vuoksenniska, Imarta, Finland (1956–58), a good example of ritual functionalism, does not. It is starkly white and devoid of traditional images; the uniqueness of its form is derived from a spatial interpretation of a sectioned seating arrangement in which each area forms a volume of its own by closure of folding doors. This church forsakes the traditional three-entry system common to the Latin-cross plan and provides five entry-ways, each giving access to a defined area; the front entry is used only when full congregational participation is intended, at which time the dynamics of the total space is experienced.
Ritual Functionalism and Typology. The seemingly permanent and immutable fundamental ways of organizing ritual action are the general concern of ecclesiastical typology, which offers two systems of ritual arrangement: one is the longitudinal plan in which the congregation forms a linear procession toward a terminally located sacred object; the second is the centripetal plan in which the congregation groups around a centrally located sacred object. Both types have conceptual value and have determined architectural form for centuries.
The temple of Khonsu at Karnak utilized an impeded processional way. Axial movement is suggested by symmetrical rows of columns, centrally placed doorways, and longitudinal arrangement of spaces. The processional way is impeded in its arrangement by the diminishment of size and light intensity of the chambers in the direction toward the sacred terminus. This arrangement was eminently suitable for the resident god Amon, who was physically unapproachable except by the most purified of mortals and for a caste system of worshipers who were restricted to their own specific areas. The basilica of St. Paul utilized a single spatial procession that was not impeded: the church is a nave opening directly onto the terminal sanctuary; longitudinal movement is accentuated by the symmetrical rows of columns, the decoration of the clerestory walls, and the perspective view natural to such an arrangement; axial movement is direct and only slightly modulated by the visually restricting action of the triumphal arch. The basilica arrangement ritually reflects the oneness of the ecclesia and the public nature of Christ. The climax of processional movement in both Khonsu and St. Paul's occurs at the end of the longitudinal axis and also at the end of the architectural space.
The mastaba of Queen Merneith of Egypt utilizes the centripetal arrangement: the central sarcophagus of the Queen was placed within a larger wooden chamber around which a brick chamber was constructed; outside were the subsidiary graves of the court, with the entire ensemble bounded by a wall. The design, best described as a "box-in-a-box," reflects the social-religious position of the queen as sole inheritor of an after-life that the court wished to share. The centripetal arrangement of S. Costanza in Rome has the altar centrally located in a domecovered chamber; an ambulatory forms a dark lower periphery of space, while the inner core explodes in light and in height, giving way to the arrangement a hierarchy of impressions natural to centripetal schemes. In contrast to the longitudinal plan, the space of centripetal arrangements does not end at the terminal object but continues around it.
Although early civilizations tended to keep these two systems separate, their merging did occur with increasing frequency beginning with the Roman Empire. The motivation for this was the desire to incorporate domical centripetal arrangements, which were regarded as symbolic of cosmic authority, with the traditional longitudinal temple plan. To combine the two disparate systems required ingenuity. The Pantheon clearly exemplifies the combination: the longitudinal processional movement began at a forecourt and terminated in the rear rotunda apse that was to receive the statue of the Emperor Hadrian; onto this central spine a great circular domed rotunda was imposed, which, by virtue of its geometric genesis and oculus as the sole light source, instituted a vertical climax at its central point; this vertical axis, if allowed to dominate, would make Hadrian's niche anticlimactic. But subordination was avoided through the use of a longitudinal series of marble roundels set into the portico pavement; these roundels reinforced the processional movement. Also, the use of an interior colonnade negated the centripetal action of the side niches, and the break in the entablature over Hadrian's niche gave visual emphasis to the termination of the longitudinal movement.
Summary of Christian Adaptation of Roman architecture. Christian architecture was the direct heir to these Roman architectural practices. Christianity favored a merging of the longitudinal and centripetal plans, which served the public nature of the Mass and complemented the concept of Christ as Pantokrator. While the West kept a predilection for the pure basilica plan, the East favored the domical-basilica plan. The architects of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul achieved a real fusion of the two systems by placing the side nave arcades directly in line with the face of the central dome supports; the visual force of the complete structural system of the dome could not then be seen in a way that would promote the dome as climax. Furthermore, with the lateral extension of the nave under the dome curtailed and two half-dome areas engaged with the central dome, a forced longitudinal movement toward the altar was successfully contrived. In St. Mark's, Venice, in order to modulate the cruciform plan and its obvious crossing climax (and also to reduce the overwhelming presence of the five domes), the architects resorted to a one-story arcade that directs visual and physical movement longitudinally past the central crossing and toward the altar.
In the church of St-Front, Périgueux, there is no modulation of the cruciform plan as at St. Mark's. As a result, it is the crossing that becomes a climax, and the altar area is an anticlimax. The architects of the Angoulême cathedral simply placed a series of domes in longitudinal arrangement, thus preserving the identity of both systems in a rather simple fashion.
Dispute over the processional plan versus the centripetal plan occurred during the Renaissance. The traditionalists advocated the Latin-cross or basilica plan and opposed the central plan, which could not satisfactorily situate the altar in terms of what they considered a proper ritual accommodation of clergy and laity. In spite of the deficiencies for ritual use presented by the centripetal plan, the Renaissance favored it. Architectural form as a geometric symbol of the nature of God and man took precedence over ritual considerations. Bramante's Tempietto and his design for St. Peter's are such symbolic exercises in pure centrality. Mannerism later merged the two systems by grafting a longitudinal plan onto a centripetal plan, as in St. Peter's.
The baroque achieved a mutation of longitudinal action and centripetal action through the use of elliptical forms, which are geometrically originated at two source points, thus giving axial extension to domical structures. Borromini's S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is conceived as a single spatial experience; here vault and walls are not kept distinct but are merged in one great undulating movement toward the altar. Probably the most extreme interpenetration of the systems occurred in B. Neumann's church of Vierzehnheiligen; the single dome was abolished altogether and replaced with three spatial ovals of different size disposed longitudinally. These ovals are engaged by two circular spaces at the transept; the plane arrangement is modulated by the ceiling arrangement of intersecting transverse ovals; each one provides a spatial forecourt immediately preceding the two altars. The transept crossing is not defined by a traditional dome but by a trough where the elliptical domes meet so that the transept crossing is not focal. The elliptical movement and counter movements are merged with the walls; when seen in conjunction with the lavish rococo decoration and natural light system that fractures precise visual division of objects, Vierzehnheiligen becomes a complex and sensual spatial totality. The 19th century returned to the longitudinal type in its imitated Gothic and Romanesque churches. Churches showed a succession of styles, beginning with the Egyptian restricted longitudinal plan and ending in a Renaissance central plan, whose succession may be viewed as a single great process. R. Schwarz considers this "sacred way" in the light of D. lenz's 19th-century efforts to recapitulate the history of salvation on the walls of the church (The Church Incarnate, 145–153).
The 20th century uses both the longitudinal and centripetal arrangements as equally valid ways to solve contemporary ritual needs. The desire to make churches communal and intimate in character has resulted in the use of opposing longitudinal movements (St. Clement's, Alexandria, Va.), elliptical-longitudinal movement (Church of Resurrection, St. Louis), partial centripetal-longitudinal movement (Church of Christ the King, Seattle), and full centripetal movement in various shaped containers from square (Chapel of St. James the Fisherman, Wellfleet, Mass.), to round (St. Louis Priory), or octagonal (Blessed Sacrament Church, Holyoke, Mass.).
Typology Theory. A theoretical approach to ecclesiastical typology emerged when Renaissance theorists attempted to categorize church plans in accordance with symbolic values. In 1547, for example, Serlio recorded nine basic variations of centripetal arrangements in the fifth of his Five Books on Architecture. Subsequent centuries produced commentaries debating the merits of the Renaissance system (central type) and the Early Christian–Gothic system (longitudinal type). In the 20th century, typology underwent major revitalization in the thought of the German architect R. Schwarz. His The Church Incarnate presents a typology based upon a symbolic interpretation of the physiological nature of man.
There are many contemporary critics who seek to banish typology as a valid method of architectural analysis; they see in it the inherent danger that architecture will become regarded as a kind of suprapersonal activity operating according to rigid laws derived from functional, constructional, or visual schemes. Bruno Zevi suggests that "functionalism is not a rigid inflexible and mathematically calculable norm…. Even in confronting what would appear to be the most restrictive practical problems, the architect is not the tool of the type of building; he interprets and represents its functions spatially." The accuracy of this view is demonstrated by the brief account of the longitudinal and the centripetal in history showing that neither system accounts for the variation of forms in which they are contained. Although typology is a factor that cannot be overlooked since it provides useful insight regarding basic configuration, it is of value only when constantly reinterpreted in the light of the architectural spirit of the times.
Strict ritual functionalism has not been endorsed by architects and critics as an adequate theory, since they see the essence of architecture elsewhere: for E. Lutyens architecture begins where function ends; for A. Gaudí it is the ordering of light; for A. Perret it is the sense of line and form; and for Le Corbusier it is the play of volumes in light. Functionalism alone does not satisfy the love for design. At best, liturgical use suggests a proper programmatic attitude that may result in an intelligent horizontal placement of elements; of itself it cannot specify a necessary vertical extension of these elements, that is to say, the very quality and quantity of the spatial container. For the realizing of this, the architect must resort to his creative propensity to form.
Symbol and meanings in architectural conception. The use of symbol or other modes of conceptualization may give to ritual utility visible form that is expressive of the supernatural. Symbolism, myth, analogies of proportion, light, number, or other factors might be employed in architectural conception. These influence the disposition of structure and are of particular importance in church architecture. Important modes of significative conceptualization that have influenced church architecture are presented here beginning with the pagan temple and briefly surveying influences up to the present day.
Symbol in Mythical Consciousness. The use of symbol is determined by the attitude that man's consciousness takes in response to reality. Various authors (E. cassirer, M. eliade, H. Frankfort, G. van der Leeuw) observe that ancient civilizations and primitive peoples made use of a form of mental activity, called mythical, in which consciousness was wholly specified in the moment of confrontation with things; in both experience as well as expression, myth is bound to the substantive (immediate impressions) and lacks the category of the abstract (mediate impressions). Mythical consciousness does not differentiate between concept and reality (the subjective and the objective), since things are accepted for what they are experienced as being. For mythical consciousness the sense of the sacred stems from the immediacy of object-enthrallment; things, whether animate or inanimate, that sufficiently stimulate the psyche of man beyond the normal experience of events might be regarded as having a life of their own and even as being sacred. The mythical mind does not separate what a thing is experienced as being from the place where it was experienced as being; both share in the same existential actuality. Thus space is not regarded abstractly but is comprehended by an emotional identification with it.
Sacred Place in Temple Architecture. For the mind of the primitive, the location-form-deity relationship is not arbitrary or referential but necessary and presentational. Mythical consciousness does not structure an architecture of mediate symbolism but structures the reality itself. Where the 20th-century mind sees representation, a myth tends to experience real identity; the architecture does not stand for sacredness but is identified with sacredness. C. Yavis's study of Greek altars documents the origins of certain cult localities as an evolution from immediate manifestation (momentary deification), to site deification, altar deification, and anthropomorphic image deification, until final enclosure by the temenos wall and construction of the temple. A similar evolution occurred in other civilizations: in Mesopotamia, as at Eridu, temples went through successive reconstructions layered on top of one another because that one specific locality was where the god was first revealed.
Myth does not determine space by objective measurement but by an emotional identification of a place with the sacred. H. Nissen observes that the Romans allocated space by divining the wills of the gods, and that once the lines were drawn, the space was immediately occupied by a god; not only was this true for the cosmos, but every articulated region, city, house, room, field, and vineyard had its own spirit, who consequently gained an individuality and a specific name by which man could invoke him. The word "temple" means a space cut or marked out. The god Terminus occupied the boundary stones of Rome, and, at the festival of Terminalia, thresholds were crowned with garlands and sprinkled with sacrificial blood. The Greek propylon (entry gate) assumed the typological form common to temples because it was conceived as an entrance to a temple inhabited by boundary gods. As locality participated in the location of the god, so too did architectural form. H. Frankfort observes that the Mesopotamian ziggurat is the cosmic mountain that connects earth to heaven and from which all life springs; R. Edwards discovers the pyramid form as being the primeval hill of creation upon which Atum-Ra sat when he made all things to appear out of the waters of chaos; V. Scully's and J. Lockyear's examinations of Greek and Egyptian temples, respectively, illustrate that the location-orientation of sacred structures is a necessary embodiment of a geophysical and astronomical identity of the deities.
Mythical consciousness regards architecture as an immediate symbol of the sacred; all things, from column to floor, have real identifications that go beyond utility. Architecture is not unique in this regard since myth constantly merges daily existence and ritual existence into a single homogeneous reality. The understanding of the full symbolic system of temple architecture requires a perception of myth's coalescence of all aspects of existence into a single mythical landscape or interconnected panorama. Immediate symbolism by nature is temporary and transitory and cannot be fully documented by history.
Myth does not exclude the rational but apparently precedes it. The growth of the rational (following the maturation of language, according to E. Cassirer) did not terminate myth; the mythical and the rational co-exist in the development of culture as two modes of dealing with reality. Reason's liberation from myth occurred with the advent of Greek scientific philosophy. The philosophic search for a first principle, in the Aristotelian system, resolved itself into the two non-imagery (abstract) concepts of "matter" and "form." With the Greek philosophers the intellect gained force over myth—things became subject to logic in an appeal to reason. Greek architecture was quick to respond to the process of reason: the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns underwent logical development according to a seemingly abstract idea or type; the temples reached an apogee in architectonics in their optical refinements and integral proportional systems. However, reason was unable to achieve a purely mediate symbolic architecture since the Greek religions were bound to myth.
The Christian Transformation. Christianity transformed the nature of sacred architecture for Western man. An important difference appears in the context of the Eucharistic celebration, which was not confined to a particular place. Mythical cult centers had been generally places of unique manifestations of the deity, and worship was bound to a specific locality. Christianity, however, has no one cult center restricted to locality (with the exception of certain shrines and fixed devotional places such as Lourdes). Unlike mythical sacredness, neither the locality nor the form of Christian architecture shares a real identity with Christ. Church architecture in Christianity was relatively free to develop a symbolic system of its own.
Medieval. Christian architecture did not immediately produce a system of meanings integrated with architectural form. In early centuries Christians adopted Roman forms of building, especially the basilica type, which was suitable for communal assembly; the celebration of the Eucharist and hearing the Gospels, wherever it might be, was in itself meaningful. Gradually painting, mosaic, and relief sculpture were employed as referential explicatives and signs of belief. These, however, did not radically affect the architectural conception. Elaborate philosophic and theological speculation eventually came to affect the very architectural conception in efforts to incorporate meanings into the structure.
Crucial for architecture was the Pythagorean-Platonic philosophy that saw number as immutable measure in all things. Pythagoras discovered that musical tones can be physically measured and that the musical consonances were determined by the ratios of small whole numbers. This occasioned the belief that audible-visual harmonics pervaded the cosmos. Plato added the clarification that cosmic order and harmony are contained in certain numbers (Timaeus ). St. Augustine found support for this thesis in the Solomonic text "thou hast ordered all things in measure, number and weight" (Wis 11.20). In his De Musica, Augustine proposed that numerical ratios are but the echoes of the perfection of God. In music these ratios are audible; in architecture they are visible. The most admirable ratio is 1:1 since here the unity of relationship is equal and perfect; then came 1:2, 2:3, 3:4. Through the contemplation of the visible configurations of architecture, the mind is led to proportion, from proportion to number, and from number to the idea of God. This thesis of perfect ratio became the first purely mediate religious symbol in Western church architecture. Boethius agreed with Augustine that the artist can do his best only if he follows number and not intuition.
It appears that number symbolism did not have extensive architectural influence until the Gothic period. During the 12th century, the school of Chartres fell heir to the Augustinian number system modified by the inclusion of Euclidian geometry through Arabic sources. Because thierry of chartres insisted upon a geometric interpretation of the nature of God, his contemporaries accused him of changing theology into geometry. Others of the school (william of conches, abelard) attributed a mathematical action to God: the Holy Spirit ordered matter and the cosmos was regulated by ratios, and these ratios were best incorporated by man in architecture. God was regarded as divine Architect and Musician who gave to the cosmos its laws of harmonic proportion.
Concomitant with the emergence of number symbolism was light symbolism. St. Augustine found numerous biblical references to light and proposed in the City of God that luminosity is the measure of the splendor of being. pseudo-dionysius saw the world as one created, animated, and unified by a supra-essential light. In his Celestial Hierarchy creation is described as an act of illumination; the beings (angels, men, rocks) emerge in a hierarchy corresponding to their amount of light. The notion of the cosmos as a procession of spheres leading to a luminous God was advanced by the 9th-and 10th-century Arabian philosophers Alkindi (al-kindĪ), alfarabi, and avicenna. In the 11th century, Alhazen discovered the laws of spherical light diffusion and optics. This led certain philosophers (e.g., avicebron) to attempt unification of a metaphysics of light-emanation with the physical laws of light-emanation. All these lines of thought came into the Western world along with the commentaries on Aristotle during the 11th and 12th centuries.
Meanwhile, western Europe had maintained an unbroken continuity in its preoccupation with light. The writings of Pseudo-Dionysius were popular and played a critical role in the thought of Abbot Suger, who was instrumental in the reconstruction of the chevet of the Abbey of Saint-Denis as a light source: "Once the new rear part is joined to the part in front, the church shines with its middle part brightened for bright is that which is brightly coupled with the bright and bright is the noble edifice which is pervaded by the new light." robert grosseteste (1175–1253), bishop of Lincoln, sought to combine number symbolism and light symbolism. He saw in light the vehicle by which the traditional Aristotelian concepts of matter and form are united. Form, an ally of light, is a perfect unity and is represented by the number one; matter by the number two; the accord of form and matter by the number three; the composite itself by the number four. These numbers give rise to proportions that describe a being's nature, namely, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 2:3, 3:4, and will be the source of structuring harmony. In architecture it is the division of planes into these proportions that reveals the nature of divinity; man may then contemplate God through these harmonies. A good documentation of medieval number and light symbolism may be found in G. Lesser, Gothic Cathedrals and Sacred Geometry, and O. von Simpson, The Gothic Cathedral. The best available commentary concerning the scholastic attitude toward number, light, and aspects of the beautiful in its theological relationships is E. de Bruyne, Études d'ésthétique médiévale.
Renaissance. The Renaissance no less than the High Middle Ages looked to traditional number symbolism; L.B. alberti, A. Palladio, and Serlio attempted to discover and express in mathematical ratios the visible-audible cosmic harmonics. For them the regulation of all parts of a church according to these ratios could manifest something of the nature of God. Man, made in the image of God, embodied the harmonies of the cosmos. This led to the use of the Vitruvian figure inscribed in a square and circle as the symbol of the geometric-mathematical proportion common to microcosm and macrocosm. The basilica plan was regarded as impure since its mathematical content did not correspond to ideal architectural form; instead, the Renaissance favored the circle (central plan) in which geometric pattern generates the form with all its parts; this provides a most lucid, absolute, and immutable architecture. By the dividing and relating of all parts through measure, an architectural frame of reference was instituted by which man could contemplate the idea of an absolute and immutable God. R. Wittkower in Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism explores in detail the Renaissance treatment of number symbolism.
Number symbolism is based on a rationalized ideal expressed in mathematical terms that transcends the subjective and transitory nature of man. This classical system was disrupted by the mannerists, who saw man as subject to the chaos of his emotions more than to divine harmonics. This occasioned a shift of emphasis in religious symbolic patterns from the ideal world of God to the personal subjective world of man. The results were seen in secular works more than in major church structures (e.g., Palazzo del Té). Mannerism is manifested in the illogical use of classical motifs as symbolic of earthly dissonance and opposed to divine consonance.
Baroque to Modern. The baroque merged classical geometry with the intense inner experience of man. Light and geometry were no longer the model for contemplating God; they became the experiential means of recognizing the existence of God and the reality of the Church through the activity of one's emotions. Architects forsook the purely architectonic symbolism of the Renaissance and depended more on the integration of iconography (in painting and sculpture) with architecture. This wedding of pictorial symbolism and architecture is well illustrated in Bernini's church of S. Andrea al Quirinale, Rome. The plan is worked out according to a series of intersecting circles of which the front courtyard segments extend outward; in the interior the geometric spaces are dynamic. The interior is divided into three distinct registers: the lower area, windowless, is executed in warm earth colors to symbolize the world of man; then the entablature separates earth from heaven and is the realm of sculptured angels who act as messengers of God; finally the dome, representing heaven, is executed in white and pervaded by light from the oculus in which the Holy Spirit (dove) floats. Man cannot contemplate this panorama disinterestedly. The way to heaven is by the purified flesh; the way is idealized in the white marble statue of St. Andrew that is placed so as to fracture the continuity of the entablature and thus join earth to heaven. The church is properly experienced only when the carefully calculated process of imagery and architecture are perceived. Baroque architecture in its classical phase employed a sophisticated literary type of representational symbolism in response to the teaching function of the reformed Church.
With the advent of the rococo, the engagement of subjective passions remained. With the exception of B. Neumann's brilliant geometric and psychological conception for the church of Vierzehnheiligen, few rococo churches illustrate an architectural symbolic system; meanings were carried by representational sculpture and painting.
The 17th and 18th centuries were periods of transition. With the rise of science, the classical attitude toward cosmic harmonics quickly lost public favor; the dissemination of Cartesian rationalism shifted emphasis from universally valid rules of order to the authority of the perceiving subject. Architecture witnessed this transition in the argument that ensued over the laws of harmonic proportion. Certain architects, such as H. Wotton, P. de l'Orme, F. Blondel, and O. Scamozzi, maintained the soundness of mathematical ratios in architecture. Others, such as C. Perrault, T. Temanza, and G. Guarini, defended the eye of man as the important judge of proportion. As the classical system of world order and aesthetics was abandoned, so too was the classical system of number symbolism; church architecture could no longer promote an immutable measure in order to present the ideal nature of God.
In 18th-century neoclassicism, church architecture became the vehicle of an applied aesthetics derived from sources other than religion. In the 19th-century revivalisms, church architecture became a sign of religious sentiment for the past. Symbolism was firmly bound to literary association, as expounded by J. M. Neale and B. Webb (see bibliog.): "We enter. The triple breadth of Nave and Aisles, the triple height of Pier arch, Triforium, and Clerestory; the triple length of Choir Transcepts and Nave, again set forth the Holy Trinity. And what besides is there which does not tell of our Blessed Saviour? And that does not point out 'Him First' in the two-fold Western Door, 'Him Last' in the distant Altar: 'Him Midst,' in the great Rood: 'Him Without End' in the monogram carved on boss and corbel, in the Holy Lamb, in the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, in the Mystic Fish?" A. pugin held that redemption by the sacrifice of the cross was the visual basis for the form of Christian architecture.
Twentieth Century. Symbolic determination of church architecture has been widely discussed in the 20th century. The postwar directives of the German bishops (1947) supported a literary architectural symbolism by suggesting that "the portals of the church, and especially the main portal, should by their impressive design suggest to the faithful the symbolism of church portals as representing the gates of heaven." This view has occasioned the construction of contemporary churches adopting a naïve type of symbolism (e.g., Harrison and Abramovitch's fish-shaped First Presbyterian Church at Stamford, Conn.) With the advent of technology, a church, more than any other type of building, offers the least programmatic restrictions and therefore the greatest opportunity for architects to explore pure forms. In order to temper the tendency toward whimsical symbolic forms, some architects have sought a guide to meaningful architectural symbolism in the nature of communal worship. S. Davis, for example, observes that "the church building is an image of the mystical body, and our churches should be fashioned in the likeness of the assembly and express its mystery." R. Schwarz, who greatly influenced postwar church building in Europe, noted: "Church architecture is not cosmic mythology—rather it is the representation of Christian life, a new embodiment of the spiritual. To build does not mean to solve mathematical problems nor to create pleasing spaces; it means to place great communal forms before God." The desire to give the church structure immediate symbolic expression by reference to the communal action of the mystical body has shifted the basis of church architecture away from programmed symbolism. Preprogrammed architectural symbolism becomes either referential (literary), as it did in the 19th century, or it becomes subject to rules of right making, as it did in the Renaissance. Today architects, artists, and theorists do not willingly accept a referential pictorial symbol or literary device in architectural conception in order to present some "content" (meanings). There has been a shift in artistic sensibility toward the immediate existential experience of the art image, which is seen in itself as symbol (e.g., the work of art that may not be representational). The symbol has become more an event than a representational form. This shift liberates symbolic context from the confinement of referential styles and allows the artist to exercise his creative intuition more fully. The quest for communal forms of architecture immediately significative of the mystical body of Christ and the search for aniconic (i.e., nonrepresentational) art forms suitably integrated in this architectural signification are signs of a new consciousness in the structuring of religious art.
Note on Multivalent Systems. Symbolism and meanings in architecture are usually multivalent. The Gothic style is a particularly fine example of a multiple meaning system in architecture; form followed symbol as much as function. Various studies have discovered the many symbolic modes at work. Besides the symbolism of number and light mentioned above, a number of other meanings are discoverable. É. Mâle, in A Study in Medieval Iconography and Its Sources of Inspiration, finds that symmetry was regarded as the expression of the mysterious inner harmony controlling the cosmos; he also explored the influence of the "Mirrors" of Vincent of Beauvais on the sculpture and stained-glass program of many churches. E. Panofsky, in Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism, relates the articulation of cathedrals to the scholastic working habit, which is founded on the belief that the world is a unified, ordered, and indivisible hierarchy. In a different manner, W. Worringer's Form in Gothic accounts for parallels between the sensual lucidity and the organic harmony of the Gothic "will to form" and scholastic transcendentalism. P. Fingesten's Topographical and Anatomical Aspects of the Gothic Cathedral traces the topography of Gothic cathedrals to ch. 21 of the Apocalypse and to the subsequent interpretation of the cathedral as a magic city upon a magic mountain; he also documents the commonly held view that the planar relationships of cathedrals are based upon the human body as observed in Vitruvius—"For without symmetry and proportion no temple can have a regular plan; that is, it must have an exact proportion worked out after the fashion of the members of a finely shaped body." He noted the recurrence of this concept in the observations of William Durandus (13th century): "The arrangement of a material church resembleth that of the human body: the chancel, or place where the altar is representeth the head: the transepts, the hands and arms, and the remainder, towards the west the rest of the body." He extended this notion to include the idea that the skeletal structure represents the womb and rib cage of Mary sheltering the Christ, a theory that he bases on the anatomical discoveries of the times. P. Frankl presents an exhaustive study of the referential writings related to the Gothic in his monumental Literary Sources of the Gothic. The symbolic meanings of a particular period can be known only through a complete survey of the theological, mystical, and popular beliefs of the day, and a careful analysis of the source writings connected with individual monuments. The observations presented in this section have suggested some of the important known meanings manifest in ecclesiastical architecture.
Technique and structural abilities. Knowledge of the precise workings of structure took centuries to develop. The ancient civilizations approximated structure through practical experimentation; the posts and beams of ancient temples were often oversized in relation to their minimal necessary strength. The approximation of structural proportion through building experience continued well into the Gothic period; the height of the Beauvais Cathedral was finally determined by the point at which the structural system could no longer support the addition of stones without their falling.
It is only since mid-19th century that a true science of structure has been developed. The determination of the precise nature of structural types through a theoretical analysis of their systems of stress critically transformed the character of church architecture. The contemporary architect has complete freedom in the creative planning of spatial containers that have not as yet been built but can be built with complete assurance of safety and stability. F. Candela's chapel of Las Lomas, Cuernavaca, Mexico, is a structurally derived shape whose form reflects its systems of stress; this type of structure was not possible c. 1850. Consequently the history of church architecture exhibits a polarity in the nature of its forms, which results principally from the cataclysmic emergence of scientific structures. The ancients exhibit a minimum number of forms with a maximum degree of refinements, whereas the moderns exhibit a maximum number of forms with a minimum degree of refinement. The evolution of church architecture has witnessed a change in attention from the detail of the form to that of the form itself.
Significance of Structure. Although structure is a major aspect in church architecture, it is not necessarily the vehicle of a church's significance. Building as a technique neither favors nor inhibits structural refinement; it is merely a means to enclosure. In certain periods technical inventiveness is integrally associated with the recognition of certain styles. This occurs in Roman, Gothic, late baroque, and the modern periods. In other periods architecture reached an apogee of development within preexisting structural techniques. This occurred in the Greek, Early Christian-Romanesque, Renaissance, and the classic baroque periods. Certain buildings gain a preeminence because of their structural avant-gardism. A partial list of examples would include the Great Pyramid, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, Durham, Chartres, and Reims cathedrals, King's College Chapel, Brunelleschi's dome of the cathedral of Florence, Guarini's S. Lorenzo, Gaudí's Colonia Guëll Chapel, A. Perret's Le Raincy, O. Bartning's Stahlkirche, M. Breuer's abbey church of St. John the Baptist, O. Niemeyer's church of St. Francis, and F. Candela's church of La Virgen Milagrosa. Others derive their historic significance from refinements of space, materials, and traditional structural systems. Typical examples are Luxor Temple, the Pantheon, S. Apollinare Nuovo, St. Michael's at Hildesheim, Pazzi Chapel, S. Lorenzo Sacristy, S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Vierzehnheiligen, Illinois Institute of Technology Chapel, church of Maria Königin, church of Santa Anna, and the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut.
Structural Determinism. The 20th century has been preoccupied with the nature of structure. The origin of this may be traced in part to the rationalism found in the writings of E. Viollet-le-Duc. His work formed the immediate heritage of many early 20th-century structural innovators. A. Perret maintained that "structure is the mother tongue of the architect …. Anyone who hidesstructure deprives himself of architecture's only legitimate and beautiful ornament. Anyone who hides a pilaster commits an error; anyone who puts up a false one commits a crime." Church architecture is especially susceptible to structural exhibitionism since it is physically more flexible and less inhibiting than other structures. The physical demands of liturgy are not as rigid as are the functional demands of laboratories, schools, etc.; the adaptation of structure to churches permits a greater freedom of structural expression. Consequently, structure is often given a leading role as expressive form. O. Niemeyer's, F. Candela's, and E. Torroja's imaginative use of thin-shell reinforced concrete has produced a rich vocabulary of forms that are of marked contrast to the traditional cubic shapes.
The forcefulness present in the unadorned pure structure has led many historians and critics to favor a technological viewpoint in the study of churches. Technical progress is viewed as artistic progress; technical significance, as artistic significance; technical history, as architectural history. Thus Gothic architecture is applauded for its general structural predilection, whereas the Renaissance loses favor for its lack of technical progress. This viewpoint is based on a misconception that identifies architectural significance with technical innovations. The science of structure contributes to technical methods of spatial qualification but of itself cannot determine the total reality of space. A. Raymond has pointed out that "the basis of design must be function and engineering; but function and engineering only is a brutality." The absolute insistence on macrostructure alone is bound to fail when faced with even the simplest nonstructural space-covering elements, such as doors and windows. This is apparent in E. Torroja's Pont de Suert Church and F. Candela's chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, which, although brilliantly conceived in regard to macrostructural purity, are naïve in their auxiliary attributes. Structural determinism achieves significance only when related to "the eternal and universal sense of line and form" (Perret). Moreover, the science of structures cannot of itself determine its forms or systems. Torroja, in Philosophy of Structures, declares that the birth of structural form is not rational but intuitive, and that mathematical calculations serve only to prove that what the creative intellect has imagined will, in fact, stand. Thus, engineering is architecture not according to a predetermination by immutable laws of statics but according to its service to the architect's creation of form.
Use of Structure in Churches. Structure has been used in church architecture in four distinct ways. The first three are concerned with a relationship between structure as support and wall as enclosure. (1) The structure is actualized by the wall, and, while it may manifest itself in projections and decorations, it is the wall that carries primacy of visual importance. Renaissance architects were especially fond of this idea, which has been used throughout the history of Christian building. The term "mural wall system" describes wall systems of this type, which have surfaces suitable for painting, fresco, mosaic, and sculpture; it is seen in Early Christian architecture. (2) The structure becomes a visible skeleton that assumes primacy, in which case the wall enclosure must find a suitable subsidiary means of expression. The Gothic and modern periods are especially characterized by this approach. The term "baldachino" has been frequently used to describe such structures, but the term is limited since it refers properly to vaulting systems. (3) The structure is freed of the enclosing wall and forms a visual pattern that modulates the visual impression of the wall. The column in front of the wall is a well-known example of this.(4) Finally, structure in church architecture may be an "all-over" distribution of the wall itself. Such a system is proper to the 20th century, deriving from the new structural ability of shell construction. A shell construction is a working membrane that provides both structural strength and total space enclosure. In E. Torroja's church of the Ascension and O. Niemeyer's chapel of Las Lomas, wall, roof, and structural strength is the form itself. Certain architects (e.g., R. Schwarz) have regarded this method of construction as the most perfect, since the whole structure is permeated by the same form.
Structure as Expression. Structure as a means of expression vacillates between the polarities of denial and assertion of supports. The denial of a sense of structure is evident in the solution of the ritual space of Hagia Sophia by way of a visual annihilation of the dome's structural supports. At times structural members become so excessively light that consciousness cannot grasp masssupport relationships; today this frequently occurs when baldachinos are hung with piano wire so that a great monolithic element appears to float without support, as in M. Breuer's abbey church of St. John. Excessive cantilever also appears to be denied; the concept of dynamic balance intensified by modern prestressing techniques may also serve to frustrate natural psycho-physiological responses.
The second pole is that of structural assertion. This tendency seeks to visually intensify the operation of structure as visual element in churches. The structure is often overdesigned; joints thicken; pins and bolts are made larger than calculations warrant or more visible than their importance demands; materials are left brutally in their natural constructional stage (e.g., concrete that displays its framework as a surface presence). The priory of St. Anselm (Tokyo), the church of St. Anthony the Abbot (Italy), the monastery of La Tourette (France), and a host of contemporary churches engage to some degree in constructional assertion; the emphasis is by far the most forceful in 20th-century church construction.
The contemporary search for positive structural expression is part of a general quest for technological honesty. The importance of this honesty in achieving genuine form has been stressed by many notable architects whose churches are witness to the force of their insights (e.g., A. Gaudí, A. Perret, O. Bartning, R. Schwarz).
Considerations on form. The criteria considered above are subsumed in a larger search for formal laws that will determine the disposition of architectural elements in order to create the beautiful. By far the most prevalent concept in Western thought has been that the beauty of architecture is found in order. This sensibility was applied to all the arts and is generally associated with the concept of God as a God of order. Classical theories of the beautiful in architecture are generally concerned with seeing the beautiful either in certain geometric forms or in numerical ratios; these fixed ratios and forms were considered eternally and absolutely beautiful. In classical architectural theory, beauty is a presentation to man's senses of a principle that is based on intellectual penetration rather than experiential response. In theories of architectural form from antiquity through the Renaissance, the tendency was to identify beauty of form with an abstract conceptualization of harmonic order that can be objectified in an art work. see aesthetics; art (philosophy).
Transition from Classical Theory to Modern Theory. Extensive opposition to the classical manner appeared in the latter part of the 17th century and in the 18th century in England. Beauty not found in order, or in certain geometric forms, emerged in English "Romantic" landscape architecture as a result of Europe's extended contact with the Orient. By 1720 the term "picturesque," meaning a roughness or sudden variation joined to irregularity, was accepted as an art principle. The desire for unexpected visual stimulation in the landscape led to the use of Greek, Gothic, and Chinese structures; especially appropriate were church forms. The English philosophers of the mid-18th century found the source of much delight in the inner senses of man, which operate without the aid of reason in comprehending the beautiful. The result of their enquiry assumed two directions: some rejected classical canons; others modulated classical canons in accord with the new sensibility. Burke argued against reason and disputed the importance of proportion and order in accounting for the beautiful; for him beauty was a social quality connected with man's response in beholding the world of life around him. In contrast, Hutcheson proposed that beauty is found in a compound relationship between unity (order) and variety; Hogarth found in a precise serpentine line the physical basis of the beautiful object, and in variety, the principal attribute of beauty. Variety itself, especially in its purest of forms in the serpentine line, is a kind of invariable and presents aspects of the classical sensibility.
The 18th-century interest in variety and the response of man's inner senses did not lead to a revolution in church architecture. The classical sensibility dominated because of the authority issuing from the French taste during Boileau's period. This influence is seen in England in the styles of Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. The practice of the arts, including architecture, was governed by the canons of correct taste (order, elegance, and grace). Sir J. Reynolds, head of the British Academy, was able to incorporate the new sensibility with the old. He defended classical canons and introduced the new-found human element by using Hume's association of ideas to give a firm basis for the picturesque; he explicitly counted among the principles of architecture "that of affecting the imagination by means of association of ideas—thus we have naturally a veneration for antiquity; whatever building brings to our remembrance ancient customs and manners, such as the Castles of the Barons of Chivalry, is sure to give delight." Revivalism of any past style became a formal law of building and had great impact on church architecture for two centuries. The only pure style of architecture that emerged concurrently with the appearance of the picturesque was the French rococo. This style combined the classical manner with novel curvilinear formations. The rococo represents an intense but brief excursion away from the laws of antiquity. M. A. Laugier's Essay on Greek Architecture, archeological expeditions of Stuart and Revert, and Winckelmann's dictum that Greek art represents noble simplicity and quiet grandeur were witnesses to a resurgence of the classical canons of right making in the second half of the 18th century.
The 18th century also introduced the philosophy of the beautiful as a discipline separate from philosophy in general; Baumgarten named the science of aesthetics in his Aesthetica (1750). During the next 100 years in Germany a succession of thinkers (lessing, Winckelmann, kant, goethe, Schiller, fichte, schelling, hegel, schleiermacher, schopenhauer, nietzsche) struggled with the problems of aesthetics; interest centered on the role of the senses and of the emotions, the role of reason, the nature of the aesthetic object, the validity of rules of art, the freedom inherent in the creative process, and the relationship of society and the aesthetic object. Speculative aesthetics attempted to fabricate an idea of architecture from what it seems or ought to be within the wider frame of a particular aesthetic system.
German speculative aesthetics, which spread internationally, placed architectural theory in a compromising position. Architecture was not considered in its own nature, but rather as a residue of a larger speculative system. Church architecture, except for the symbolic-emotive connotations of its past styles, was considered even less. The result of a century of intense aesthetic thought was the placement of architecture in a dependent position between the classical mode (represented by Greek and Renaissance styles) and the Romantic mode (represented by Gothic, rococo, and medieval styles).
A transformation occurred c. 1870; the speculative school of aesthetics gave way to the scientific empirical method. G. Fechner pioneered experimental aesthetics in 1876; rather than using a philosophic system to describe the facts, Fechner began with factual data in order to describe a system. In his researches and those that followed, the rise of the new sciences of physiology, psychiatry, psychology, biology, sociology, and ethnology furnished new material and diverse points of view from which facts could be compared and described. The empirical acceptance of reality influenced architectural theory. In the 20th century a number of formal considerations emerged as important in architectural developments; these provide a kind of phenomenology of architecture that greatly influenced church architecture in the postwar rebuilding.
Space. The concept of space as a primary attribute of architecture did not fully develop until the late 19th century. Renaissance theorists described architecture in terms of structure, form, and proportion. Certain authors, such as B. Zevi, have attempted to discover an implicit concept of space in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Vitruvius, Alberti, Serlio, Michelangelo, and others, but this seems to be an overzealous attempt to discover space as a primary element in past architecture theory. The majority of historians attribute spatial consciousness first to the German art critics and aestheticians. Hegel referred to buildings in general as "limiting and enclosing a defined space" and to the Gothic in particular as "the concentration of essential soul-life which thus encloses itself in spatial relations." In particular, the art studies of H. wÖlfflin were based upon spatial terminology, and it is probably through his followers that the idea became disseminated in the Western world. An awareness of the primacy of space became basic in the thought of many noted architects and critics soon after the turn of the century, and it has manifested itself consistently up to the present day in the thought of, e.g., G. Scott (1914), O. Spengler (1918), L. Moholy-Nagy (1928), J. Focillon (1934), R. Schwarz (1938), and B. Zevi (1964).
The practical emergence of a spatially predicated architecture occurred after the turn of the century. Even before the spatial emphasis achieved any usable kind of conception, F. L. Wright provided the first monumental work using it in the Unity Temple, Chicago, in 1906. Developed in complete isolation from the events of continental Europe, Wright's use of cantilevered balconies forming interpenetrating spaces made of him a native architectural prophet. Wright's observation that the interior space should be expressed on the exterior as the space enclosed, distinguishes him from such of his contemporaries as A. Perret, who followed a rationalistic logic of structures, or P. Behrens, who developed an expressionistic use of industrial materials characteristic of the new technology. Germany, the birthplace of spatial philosophy, was the first to acclaim the revolutionary significance of Wright. In 1908 H. Berlage said of Wright that "the art of the masterbuilder lies in this: the creation of space, not the sketching of façades." It was in Europe that Wright was received and it was there, between 1905 and 1930, that practical experiments in space continued. The cubists fractured objects in space; the futurists dynamically related objects in space; the purists placed geometric objects in space. Various artists probed architecture in their canvases: Mondrian painted a number of compositions called "façades" in a process of searching for equilibrium between horizontal and vertical; Malevich named several of his abstract rectangular works "architectonics"; the "Elementarists" or constructivists drew on the aesthetic potential inherent in building techniques. In 1910 a monograph on F. L. Wright, published in Holland, led some historians to see a real connection between the spatial concern of the de Stijl group and the American master, but without sufficient documentation. The members of de Stijl explored aspects of pure space; for Mondrian, "space determination, and not space expression, is the pure plastic way to express the universal reality." The de Stijl group considered architecture to be a series of intersecting and overlapping planes, which, in certain relationships, could determine an infinitely discontinuous space of complete resolution. Their theory was put into practice immediately in Rietveld's Schroeder House and Mies van der Rohe's brick country houses of the 1920s, especially in his Barcelona Pavilion of 1929. This last work greatly influenced the spatial consciousness of architects the world over.
Church architecture resisted the advancement of spatial determination during those eventful years, and the appearance of the International Style in the 1930s partially interrupted the development of spatial consciousness. But in 1941, with the publication of S. Giedion's Space, Time and Architecture and the postwar rebuilding, space sensibility widened to international acceptance. Since then it has affected radically both the production and interpretation of architecture. In regard to it, B. Zevi's Architecture as Space (1957) is very meaningful to a study of churches in history. Zevi's underlying theme is that the history of architecture is the history of the attending to the single space, and this particularly in relation to church structures, with the exception of the 20th century.
Time. Modern spatial awareness is radically different from that of antiquity since the dimension of time has become in the 20th century a conscious factor in architectural formation. Whereas Le Corbusier saw baroque space as theoretically fixed to a single position from which the spatial interpenetrations are best viewed, he found his own work making a new demand: movement in time is required to experience it since he observed that space is "the foot that walks, the eye that sees, the head that turns." According to S. Giedion, it is not relevant to view spatial structures such as ronchamp from a single viewpoint; the church is a hollowed out vessel in all directions so that no one cross-section or series of crosssections reveals the spatial interpenetrations of interior and of exterior except through an experiential movement in time. Giedion, a major proponent of space-time consciousness, further demands that time does not simply refer to movement of the observer, but means a mode of consciousness. The conscious apprehension of space in time heightens perception of the process of life much as does the sensible apprehension of light and sound. Church architecture alive to spatial consciousness is a suitable container for the action of the ecclesia since it provides greater occasion for man to discover himself.
Mass, Enclosure, and Form. At its outer limits, architectural space is bounded by mass, or material enclosure, which presents a total configuration called form. Form gives to man objects and relationships; space gives to man only relationships. The former is easier to comprehend than the latter. In antiquity thinking about architectural form was largely object-directed. The laws of measure or proportion and the immutable relationships of geometry were the great discovery that the ancients objectified in architecture. In time the canons of form became a sort of dogma in architecture, and architecture became its life-sustaining vehicle. For the medievalists and humanists, formal measure and geometric proportion had meaning in the total spirit of their times; by the 19th century their doctrines of form had lost their relation to the world and had become little more than stylistic historical motifs. In the 20th century, the power of form was regenerated by certain artists; meanings embodied in form were revitalized according to a new sensibility. Le Corbusier, who, along with A. Ozenfant, founded purism in 1918, advocated the reduction of all buildings to basic geometric shapes of cube, cylinder, square, etc., placed in space. For Le Corbusier, architecture was understood as "the wise, correct and magnificent play of volumes in light." His contemporary H. Luckhardt, echoing of Platonic formalism, said: "Pure form is that form which, detached from all that is decorative, is freely fashioned out of the basic elements of the straight line, curve and free form, and will serve the purpose of any expression—be it a religious building or a factory." These observations, made c. 1915 to 1925, were a reaction against the pseudoarchitecture of the revivalisms and an enthusiasm for the machined products of the new industrial age.
Purism. The emergence of the International Style marked the advent of 20th-century formalism. Although advocating volume as the first principle of architecture, its adherents conceived of architecture in terms of plane surfaces bounding a volume. Space was regarded as geometrically bounded. As a result, the integrity of the geometric surface was to be maintained at all costs; smooth-faced stucco, glass, and polished metals were advocated. The highly regarded volume was the simple box made as open as possible through extensive glazing. In Mies van der Rohe, whose later philosophy (c. 1930) was expressed in the dictum that "less is more," the International Style gained its greatest proponent. The governing principle of formal purism is that anything superfluous should be rejected from architecture, and that architectural expression should be sought in the fewest possible elements. Space became simply conceived as a cubic area bounded by glass walls articulated by a steel skeleton. Miesian philosophy is represented in his chapel at the Illinois Institute of Technology and in his adherents' works, e.g., R. Jones' St. Patrick's, Oklahoma City, and P. Schweikher's First Universalist Church, Chicago.
Formal purism is characterized by simplicity of volume, linear austerity of exterior and interior walls, and precision in construction. This kind of architecture held virtual sway in America from c. 1945 to 1955, but since then it has declined. The application of the Miesian "universal space" to houses, office buildings, and churches may provide interesting technical and artistic solutions, but it is often inadequate for human functions. Its lack of flexibility and the inability to accommodate the variety of human needs, which it subordinates to a rectilinear geometry and abstraction, accounts for the weakening of its influence as a major architectural philosophy.
Plasticism. While the International Style ran its course, another style was developing under the influence of Le Corbusier. He attempted to manipulate a variety of forms in space to create a rich interplay among all the elements of architecture (form, mass, function) in dynamic balance. By the 1950s he was able to construct mature works in what has subsequently been called "plasticism" in architecture. Plasticism is generally understood as a quality of three-dimensional or volumetric relationships in contrast to two-dimensional or linear relationships. Although all architecture is three-dimensional as a form, it is only when elements are so disposed to make apparent the three-dimensional relationships between the elements that the term plasticity can be properly applied. To a large degree plasticity in architecture represents a method of giving to volume-mass relationships greater richness, diversity, and flexibility than the method advocated by the purists. Plasticity in architecture is not the unique possession of Le Corbusier; it was manifest in the works of A. Gaudí. Although many architects were showing plastic sensibility concurrently with Le Corbusier, it was Le Corbusier who brought plasticity into the mainstream of modern architecture. Contemporary critics regard plasticity as potentially the most vital of all architectural tendencies and point to Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, as tangible proof of "the fitness of plastic architecture to create the great symbols of our civilization, real landmarks of our time."
The conflict between advocates of space consciousness and those of plastic formalism is centered on the difference in their concepts of the function of mass. Some say mass should act as the reciprocal agent of space. Accordingly, the architectural exterior immediately signifies the interior and, in a sense, acts as a membrane between inside and outside space. Shell construction presents the apogee of this achievement. However, some deny that the exterior alone specifies interior space, but rather that it signifies the potential inherent in mass and its configurations. Thus R. Schwarz observed that the decisive point is whether "the boundary [enclosing structure] is the correct 'behavior' of the inside when it reaches the outside."
The Status Today. Obviously form and space are not the only considerations involved in church architecture; others are light, texture, sound, detail, construction, etc., any one of which may become a major factor in production or interpretation. As an art and as a working method, architecture does not attribute to any single one of these elements absolute primacy. Architecture succeeds only when elements are presented in suitable relations. In this regard, E. Saarinen observed: "From an ashtray to a city plan everything is architecture. In working out a design you always keep thinking of the next largest thing; the ashtray in its relation to the table top; the chair in its relation to the room; the building in its relation to the city." This is the most meaningful formal consideration that can be applied to church architecture in the 20th century. Contemporary architecture theory does not recognize the existence of an autonomous manner of working that produces an independent style called "church architecture"; the architect's quest is to relate space, form, construction, function, and all other elements into meaningful patterns of relationships. The modern architect, schooled in space and form, structure and function, does not stress the object but relation. There is no law dictating suitable relationships except that found in the total configuration itself. He is hesitant to accept any law that claims to determine the suitability of relationships within a work before the fact of architectural creation.
Bibliography: For the history and theory of specific periods, see bibliog. following sections 2, 3, 4, etc. This bibliography presents a select guide to handbooks and dictionaries on the subject and history of architecture in general; select histories of modern architecture in general (specialized studies on modern church architecture follow sections 10, 11, and 12); select literature relevant to theory, form, and interpretation of architecture. General handbooks and dictionaries. For a useful guide to literature alphabetized by periods, see bibliog. in Encyclopedia of World Art (New York 1959) 1:693–710. e. e. viollet-le-duc, Dictionnaire raisonné de l'architecture française du XI e au XVI e siècle, 10 v. (Paris 1858–68), illus., includes applied arts. j. burckhardt and w. lÜbke, Geschichte der neueren Baukunst, 10 v. (Stuttgart 1882–1927), illus. g. dehio and g. bezold, Die kirchliche Baukunst des Abendlandes, 2 v. (Stuttgart 1887–1901, illus., atlas, bibliog. r. sturgis, ed., A Dictionary of Architecture and Building, Biographical, Historical, and Descriptive…, 3 v. (New York 1901–02), illus., line dwgs., bibliog. f. m. simpson, A History of Architectural Development, 5 v. (new ed. London 1954), a new rev. ed. based on method and technique of the orig. ed. (1905–11). f. benoit, L'Architecture…, 4 v. (Paris 1911–34), antiquity and the East and West up to Gothic, indexes. g. wasmuth, Lexikon der Baukunst, 5 v. (Berlin 1929–37), illus. with plates, portrs., maps, plans, diagr. b.f. fletcher, A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method (New York 1961) illus. d. ware and b. beatty, A Short Dictionary of Architecture (New York 1945). t. f. hamlin, Architecture through the Ages (rev. ed. New York 1953), useful 1v. hist. j. e. gloag, Guide to Western Architecture (New York 1958), useful summary guide. The Great Ages of World Architecture (New York 1961—), series of concise monographs, select bibliog., each v. well illus.: w. l. macdonald, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (1962), h. saalman, Medieval (1962), r. branner, Gothic (1961), h. a. millon, Baroque and Rococo (1961), v. j. scully, Modern (1961). n. pevsner, An Outline of European Architecture (7th ed. Baltimore, Md. 1963), illus., bibliog., useful concise history. h. r. hitchcock, World Architecture: An Illustrated History (New York 1964). e. short, A History of Religious Architecture (rev. ed. New York 1936). General histories of modern architecture. b. zevi, Storia dell' architettura moderna (2d ed. Turin 1953), covers U.S. and Europe, illus., bibliog., useful indexing. a. whittick, European Architecture in the Twentieth Century, 2 v. (London 1950–53), illus., bibliog. h. r. hitchcock, Architecture: 19th and 20th Centuries (2d ed. History of Art No. Z15; 1963). j. joedicke, A History of Modern Architecture (New York 1959). Encyclopedia of Modern Architecture, ed. g. hatje and w. pehnt, 1 v. illus. Theory, form, and interpretation. p. abraham, Viollet-le-Duc et le rationalisme médiéval (Paris 1934). r. l. ackoff, Aesthetics of the 20th-Century Architecture (Salt Lake City, Utah 1948). l. b. alberti, De re aedificatoria (Florence 1485), Eng. Ten Books on Architecture, tr. j. leoni (London 1955). g. bachelard, Poetics of Space, tr. m. jolas (New York 1964). r. banham, Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (London 1959). a. blunt, Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450–1600 (Oxford 1940; pa. 1950). c. f. bragdon, Organic Architecture and the Language of Form (Chicago 1917); A Primer of Higher Space, the Fourth Dimension, to Which is Added Man the Square, a Higher Space Parable (London 1939). e. de bruyne, Études d'esthétique médiéval, 3 v. (Bruges 1946). e. cassirer, The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, tr. r. manheim, 3 v. (New Haven, Conn. 1953–57), esp. v. 2 Mythical Thought. s. chermayeff, "Structure and Aesthetic Experience," Magazine of Art 39 (1946). a. chang ih tiao, The Existence of Intangible Content in Architectonic Form Based upon the Practicality of Lao tzu's Philosophy (Princeton, N.J. 1956). p. collins, Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture, 1750–1950 (London 1965); Concrete: The Vision of a New Architecture: A Study of A. Perret and His Precursors (New York 1959). r. a. cram, Architecture in Its Relation to Civilization (Boston, Mass. 1918). t. h. creighton, ed., Building for Modern Man (Princeton, N.J.1949). d. davidson and h. aldersmith, The Great Pyramid: Its Divine Message (London 1924; 1961). g. durandus, Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments (Leeds 1843), with an intro. essay by j. m. neale and b. webb. i. e. s. edwards, Pyramids of Egypt (London 1949). e. p. evans, Animal Symbolism in Ecclesiastical Architecture (London 1896). p. fingesten, "Topographical and Anatomical Aspects of the Gothic Cathedral," Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 20.1 (1961) 3–23. h. frankfort et al., The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man (Chicago, Ill. 1946). h. frankfort, Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature (Chicago, Ill. 1948). r. fry, Vision and Design (London 1920). s. giedion, The Eternal Present, v. 1 The Beginnings of Art (New York 1962), v. 2 The Beginnings of Architecture (1964); Space, Time and Architecture (3d ed. New York 1956). w. gropius, Scope of Total Architecture (London 1956). p. hammond, ed., Towards a Church Architecture (London 1962). l. hautecoeur, Mystique et architecture: Symbolisme du cercle et de la coupole (Paris 1954). j. hudnut Architecture and the Spirit of Man (Cambridge, Mass. 1949). e. o. james, From Cave to Cathedral (New York 1965). c. le corbusier, Le Modulor: Essai sur une mesure harmonique (Boulogne 1950); Vers une architecture (Paris 1924). g. lesser, Gothic Cathedrals and Sacred Geometry, 2 v. (London 1957). w. r. lethaby, Architecture, Nature and Magic (London 1956). É. mÂle, Religious Art in France, XIII Century: A Study in Mediaeval Iconography and Its Sources of Inspiration, tr. d. nussey (New York 1913); repr. as The Gothic Image (1958). r. d. martienssen, The Idea of Space in Greek Architecture (Johannesburg 1956). p. a. michÉlis, "Space-Time and Contemporary Architecture," Journal of Aesthetics 8 (1949–50). l. moholy-nagy, The New Vision, tr. d. m. hoffmann (4th ed. Documents of Modern Art 3; 1949). l. mumford, Art and Technics (London 1952). r. neutra, Survival through Design (New York 1954). h. nissen, Das Templum (Berlin 1869). n. pevsner, Pioneers of Modern Design (2d ed. New York 1949). s. prentice, The Heritage of the Cathedral (New York 1936). w. n. pugin, The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture (London 1841). f. r. s. ragland, The Temple and the House (London 1964). h. read, Icon and Idea (Cambridge, Mass. 1955). p. rudolf, "The Six Determinants of Architectural Form," Architectural Record 120 (Oct. 1956). j. ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture (London 1849), and later eds. a. b. saarinen, ed., Eero Saarinen on His Work (New Haven, Conn. 1962). e. saarinen, Search for Form (New York 1948). m. salvador and r. heller, Structure in Architecture (Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1963). p. h. scholfield, The Theory of Proportion in Architecture (Cambridge, Eng. 1958). r. schwarz, The Church Incarnate, tr. c. harris (Chicago, Ill. 1958). g. scott, The Architecture of Humanism: A Study in the History of Taste (2d ed. London 1924). v. j. scully, The Earth, The Temple
and the Gods (New Haven, Conn. 1962). r. k. seasoltz, The House of God (New York 1963). s. serlio, Regole generali di architettura sopra le cinque maniere degli edifici (Venice 1537–51). c. siegel, Structure and Form in Modern Architecture (New York 1962). e. b. smith, Architectural Symbolism of Imperial Rome and the Middle Ages (Princeton, N.J. 1956); The Dome: A Study in the History of Ideas (Princeton, N.J. 1950). l. h. sullivan, Kindergarten Chats (rev. ed. New York 1947). p. thiry et al., Churches and Temples (New York 1953). r. s. j. tyrwhitt, Christian Art and Symbolism (London 1872). h. wÖlfflin, Renaissance and Baroque, tr. k. simon, from orig. Ger. ed. of 1888 (London 1964). w. worringer, Form in Gothic, ed. and tr. h. read (London 1927; rev. ed. New York 1964). f. l. wright, The Future of Architecture (New York 1953). vitruvius pollio, De architectura libri decem (Leipzig 1899). c. g. yavis, Greek Altars, Origins and Typology (St. Louis 1949). b. zevi, Architecture as Space (New York 1957); Towards an Organic Architecture (London 1950).
[d. r. wall]
Part 2: Early Christian
Spanning long centuries and distant provinces, Early Christian architecture embraces a lively variety of building types and styles, which gave direction to church architecture far into the Middle Ages and even beyond. The term "Early Christian" includes the architecture of the Church across the entire breadth of the Roman Empire, from earliest times down to the 6th century in the East, where it was supplanted by Byzantine, and down to the 9th century in the West, where it gradually gave way to Carolingian and then Romanesque styles of architecture.
Efforts to trace the origins of Early Christian architecture have demonstrated its dependence on many forms of late Roman building; elements of domestic architecture, business buildings, classical heroa, and imperial palace architecture were all clearly borrowed by the Christian architect. The earliest known Christian church, that of dura-europos (c. 240), is no more than a traditional
Roman home converted to church purposes. After the emancipation of the Church by Constantine, however, Christians required a more spacious building of greater dignity, and the basilica, or Roman business hall, was the logical choice. To Constantine himself belongs the credit for setting the pace by the grand series of basilicas he erected in Rome, in his newly founded Constantinople, and in the Holy Land.
Basilica. The Constantinian basilica consisted of a succession of contrasting spatial units along a strong horizontal, east-west axis. Entering from the street, one passed first into a rectangular courtyard surrounded by porticoes, with a fountain for washing in the center. Beyond this one entered the Eucharistic hall of the basilica proper, a timber-roofed construction consisting of a nave flanked by aisles and lighted by a clerestory above. There the long succession of columns carried the eye strongly to the sanctuary at the end of the nave, beyond which lay the apse housing the bishop's throne and the presbytery. If the basic elements were old, their Christian intent shaped them into a distinctive new style of architecture.
Made of brick, the Early Christian basilica presented a plain appearance on the exterior, contrasting sharply with the fine colonnades that surrounded pagan temples. Unlike the temple, the church was designed for the sake of its interior spaces where it housed the assembly of the faithful. The interior was therefore often richly furnished. The 4th-century mosaic exposed beneath the present cathedral of Aquileia features a profusion of vine decorations, medallions of the seasons, birds feeding, and sea motifs. Marble columns, ornate marble sanctuary barriers, mosaics in the apse, and coffered ceilings created an effect of splendor that for Eusebius was the perfect image of "the great temple which the Word, the great Creator of the universe, built throughout the whole world beneath the sun, forming again the spiritual image on earth of those vaults beyond the vaults of heaven" (Ecclesiastical History 10.4.69).
The Early Christian basilica was primarily a house for the liturgy. The long sweep of its colonnades enhanced the beauty of the elaborate liturgical processions—the entrance and exit of bishop and clergy and the processions of the faithful for Offertory and Communion. Chancel barriers marked off in simple, functional fashion distinct areas reserved for the celebration of the Eucharist, for the lesser clergy and honor guards (soleaschola ), and for the offering of gifts and receiving of Communion (senatorium and matroneum ). Beyond the sanctuary lay the presbytery and throne, where the bishop presided at the fore-mass and where he stood to preach to his people. Add to this the lights, the banners, the vestments, the direct participation of the faithful in chant and procession,
and the vision of the Early Christian architect begins to come to life.
The geographical spread of Early Christian architecture demonstrated the wide adaptability of the basilica. In the Latin province of Africa (the basilica of St. Cyprian outside Carthage, for example) it was used much the same as at Rome. The remains of the church show the plan with great clarity: the apse, from which Augustine is known to have preached, and the altar almost in the center of the nave. In Syria, on the other hand, altar and presbytery were reversed, though still retaining the fundamental basilica plan. The throne for the bishop and the benches for his clergy were located on a raised dais in the center of the nave; there the readings and instructions of the fore-mass took place in the midst of the community. The altar stood at the head of the church in the apse. Only further east in Mesopotamia, never solidly part of the Roman Empire, did the architect abandon basilica forms in favor of native temple plans.
In style, too, the Syrian architect reworked basilica forms with great imagination. Building in heavy stone blocks, he designed massive churches with powerful, squat arches, deeply carved architraves, and towered façades strangely foreshadowing the Romanesque. Syria, one of the liveliest centers of the early Church, was the home of some of the first great monastic complexes as men gathered from all sides to receive the spiritual direction of famous ascetics. Thus the monastery of Qalat Se m'an (c. 480) grew up at the site of St. Simeon's famous column near Aleppo.
Other buildings. In addition to the basilica, the Church required other buildings of religious use, notably the martyrium and baptistery. The martyrium was a memorial shrine marking a holy site, whether it be the place of a martyr's burial (as at St. Peter's in Rome) or the place of some saving event (as at the holy places in Palestine). In distinction from the basilica, it was designed as a central-plan building, round, polygonal, or cruciform. Behind the basilica of Calvary, for example, stood the great rotunda of the Anastasis, centered on the spot of Our Lord's burial and Resurrection (see sepulcher, holy). Especially common at places of pilgrimage in the East, the martyrium was heir to the architectural traditions of pagan heroa and Jewish memorial shrines and became in turn the parent of the centralized vaulted designs of Byzantine architecture.
In the West, on the other hand, the central-plan structure was reserved generally for baptisteries or mortuary buildings. It is significant that the most famous martyrium in the West, the shrine of St. Peter, took the form rather of a transverse hall, or transept, at the end of the basilica, with an apse to mark the Apostle's grave. Thus, whereas in the East the architect turned more and more to exploit the possibilities of a vertical, domed space, in the West the horizontal basilica space remained standard.
Though Byzantine architecture was not without some impact on Early Christian architecture in the West, these effects were more in furnishings than in structure. The ciborium over the altar and the ambos for reading seem to have come from the East in the 7th century; and in the 8th century there was a notable increase in the use of images in reaction against iconoclasm. Other developments modified the chancel arrangement during the same centuries. Provision for the veneration of relics directly beneath the altar required the raising of the sanctuary for the installation of crypt and confessio; meanwhile, the increased sophistication of church music resulted in the augmenting of the choir space before the altar.
The enormous building activity of the 4th century all over the Mediterranean world was largely arrested, where not actually undone, in the West by the successive invasions of Visigoths and Vandals in the 5th century. And while the Eastern Empire proved stronger against the barbarian, it too suffered the destruction of the vast majority of its Early Christian monuments during the Arab invasions of the 7th century. Nevertheless, in the West, church architecture continued to follow Early Christian patterns far into the Middle Ages, and the churches of Rome proved especially influential in this respect. For it is to Rome that the pilgrim turned once Palestine had fallen to the Arabs, and in Rome he found a second Holy Land. In Rome stood the churches of SS. Peter and Paul, princes of the Apostles; St. Mary Major, with its shrine of the Nativity; Sta. Croce, with relics of the cross sent by St. Helena; and the Lateran, the pope's own basilica. Hence the architect's standard claim to fame in the Middle Ages is that he had built more Romano, after the pattern of the Early Christian churches of Rome.
See Also: art, early christian, 1, 2; st. peter's basilica; catacombs; basilica.
Bibliography: w. gerber, Altchristliche Kulturbauten Istriens und Dalmatiens (Dresden 1912). h. c. butler, Early Churches in Syria: Fourth to Seventh Centuries, ed. e. b. smith (Princeton, N.J. 1929). r. krautheimer, Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romae (Vatican City 1937—); "The Beginning of Early Christian Architecture," Review of Religion 3 (Jan. 1939) 127–148. j. w. crowfoot, Early Churches in Palestine (London 1941). m. armellini, Le chiese di Roma dal secolo IV al XIX, ed. c. cecchelli, 2 v. (new ed. Rome 1942). a. berthier et al., Les Vestiges du christianisme antique dans la Numidie centrale (Algiers 1943). k. j. conant, A Brief Commentary on Early Medieval Church Architecture (Baltimore, Md. 1942). a. grabar, Martyrium, 3 v. (Paris 1943–46). j. lassus, Sanctuairies chrétiens de Syrie (Paris 1947). w. l. macdonald, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (New York 1962). g. a. soteriou, "Hai palaiochristianikai basilikai tēs Hellados," Archaiologikē Ephēmeris (1929) 159–248. t. f. mathews, "An Early Roman Chancel Arrangement and Its Liturgical Functions," Rivista di archeologia cristiana 38(1962).
[t. f. mathews]
Part 3: Byzantine
Although the term "Byzantine" is sometimes extended to include all the architecture of the Christian East from earliest times, it is more proper to restrict the term to the architectural style born of Justinian's empire in the 6th century. A style of great permanence, Byzantine architecture enjoyed nearly a millennium of living continuity and had periods of conspicuous creativity in the 6th century and again from the 9th century to the 11th century. From its hub in the capital city of Constantinople, it radiated over a wide area, following the spread of the Byzantine liturgy, with rich variations, especially in Greece and Russia.
The complex history of Byzantine architecture revolves about a single architectural motif, the dome, and this principally in its religious use, though it had applications in civic and palace architecture as well. Once established, this motif was interpreted over and over in everchanging combinations. Precedent for the religious use of the dome was abundant in late Roman and Early Christian architecture. Particularly influential must have been the centrally planned baptisteries, martyria, and memorial buildings, such as S. Costanza in Rome, built as a tomb for Constantine's daughter, and the Anastasis Rotunda in Jerusalem. This latter circular building marked the site of Our Lord's Resurrection, the most important pilgrimage place in Christendom, and Emperor Justinian undertook its enlargement and restoration. But the Byzantine use of the dome quickly left all precedent behind and established a style that was quite new both in its aesthetic and in its technical accomplishment.
Early works. The first masterworks of Byzantine architecture appear in Ravenna, the main stronghold of Justinian's rule in Italy. In S. Vitale (526–547) the essential themes of the new aesthetic are clearly enunciated. Basically the church consists of a central octagonal dome surrounded by an aisle and a gallery. But the classical ordering of spaces yields to a new fluidity. Each face of the octagonal core expands into the aisle and gallery in a semicircular apse with triple arcades on both levels. The main entrance, which is not on the axis but oblique, presents one with a complex view of overlapping and interpenetrating volumes. The controlled lighting on three levels lends a sense of unsubstantiality to the building, a feeling that is augmented by the handling of wall surfaces, where varicolored marble, mosaic, and inlaid work mask the strength of the vaults and supporting members. Even the capitals are transformed, the classical plastic treatment of the acanthus giving way to a flat relief in which contrasts of light and shadow take precedence. The use of the elevated dome at S. Vitale represents only one of a wide variety of early Byzantine plans. At SS. Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople the octagonal central space was made to relate to a rectangular surrounding aisle, while at Hagia Eirene in the same city the central domed space was enlarged in an oval direction by large, major apses on the east and west. Elsewhere the dome unit itself might be multiplied, as at St. John of Ephesus, where a cross plan was crowned with a dome in the center and domes on each of the arms. In every case the architects of the 6th century strained the ancient Roman masonry techniques to accommodate a new spirit, a distinctive Byzantine aesthetic.
But in technique, too, the early Byzantine architect soon surpassed his Roman predecessor. Most important in this respect was the building of hagia sophia (532–537), where dome construction reached a triumph not approached again until the Renaissance. The architects not only chose to elevate a huge dome to unprecedented height (it spanned 103 feet, and its apex reached to about 163 feet), but they invented for its support the first large-scale use of pendentive vaults. The pendentive,
a spherical triangular segment of vault, made a graceful transition from the circle of the dome above to the square of the piers below, carrying the weight of the dome more securely at the same time. Used only timidly in antiquity, it was now exploited to the full. The influence of Hagia Sophia on subsequent Byzantine architecture was decisive. As the principal church of the capital city, it set a pattern for all the provinces. The central dome was thus established beyond question, and the Early Christian basilica type disappeared almost entirely from Byzantine architecture, except in Greece and Macedonia.
Later works. Upon the death of Justinian (565), his empire withered as fast as it had sprung up, and church architecture, always dependent on imperial patronage, likewise waned. To the east the empire faced the threat of Islam; within, it suffered the turmoil of the iconoclast wars that destroyed many of the monuments of the first golden age (see iconoclasm). With the restoration of stability in the middle of the 9th century, however, a second golden age began, and a new church type emerged that
was destined for a much more extensive diffusion than the earlier types. The new church type, pioneered in the now destroyed Nea Ecclesia (c. 860) and Pharos (c. 880) churches of Constantinople, was generally more modest in dimensions and monastic in orientation rather than imperial. It consisted of a barrel-vaulted cross inscribed in a rectangle, with a dome over the center generally elevated on a drum. Apses were multiplied on the eastern end, and minor domes multiplied in the angles between the arms of the cross. The overall effect was one of new elegance, with emphasis on the vertical line and the decorative detail.
On the exterior, the plain brick of the earlier style gave way to alternating bands of brick and stone and even tile, and the flat wall surfaces were enlivened with tall, narrow niches. On the interior, the victory of the orthodox acceptance of images over iconoclasm secured for the icon a role of great importance. The regula, or colonnade separating the sanctuary from the nave, was hung with icons and gradually transformed into an iconostasis (see icon). At this time too, the iconography of the interior took on a definitive system, arranging the divine hierarchy in descending importance from the image of Christ Pantocrator in the dome through choirs of angels, ranks of Patriarchs and Apostles, down to saints honored by feasts of the Church calendar in the lowest levels. Thus the entire fabric of the medieval church became a symbol of the whole supernatural cosmos. The church was "an earthly heaven in which the God of heaven lives and moves about, it contains in figure the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Christ" (Pseudo-Germanus of Constantinople; Patrologia Graeca.
Spread outside Byzantium. Although the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–58) terminated the second golden age of Byzantine architecture within the capital, the tradition had long since passed to the spiritual heirs of Constantinople. The nations of the Balkan peninsula and Russia were the principal beneficiaries, though nations farther east, such as Armenia, were sometimes indebted to the Byzantine. Greece preserved and enriched this architectural inheritance throughout the Middle Ages. The monastic centers of Daphni and Stiris in the 11th century, and later Athos and Mistra, built important original monuments. Characteristic of the Greek development, as seen in the church of the Convent of the Assumption, Daphni, is the alternation of squared stone and brick, the fine masonry details, and the almost classical concern for the external proportions of the building.
The Russians too, after their conversion, looked to Constantinople as the parent church. As the story goes, it was the beauty of the liturgy at Hagia Sophia that first attracted to the faith Vladimir of Kiev, first Christian king of Russia (980–1015). His ambassadors related to him that "there is no such splendor or beauty anywhere on earth; we cannot describe it to you. Only this we know, that God dwells there among men and that their liturgy surpasses the worship of all other places." Byzantine architecture in Russia carries this kind of emotional overtone. Where the Bulgarians had elevated their domes on slender drums, the Russians both elevated and expanded their domes, eventually developing the picturesque onion shapes usually associated with Russia. The church was conceived as a compact grouping of vertical volumes capped by a cluster of shining domes. Later translating these forms into wooden structures in brilliant colors, the Russians succeeded in combining the Byzantine with the northern spirit.
Even in the West, Byzantine architecture has had considerable impact. The Mediterranean islands as far as Sicily, the monastery towns of southern Italy, and the great trading center of Venice are all rich in the Byzantine tradition. In Sicily, Cefalù, Monreale, and Palermo are all important for their Byzantine mosaics. In Venice, the cathedral of St. Mark borrowed from St. John of Ephesus the arrangement of several major domes distributed in a cross, whence this plan becomes part of the 12th-century tradition of Romanesque architecture in southern France.
See Also: hagia sophia.
Bibliography: a. van millingen, Byzantine Churches in Constantinople (London 1912). g. millet, L'École grecque dans l'architecture byzantine (Paris 1916). o. m. dalton, East Christian Art (Oxford 1925). e. h. swift, Hagia Sophia (New York 1940). o. g. von simson, Sacred Fortress (Chicago, Ill. 1948). g. h. hamilton, The Art and Architecture of Russia (Pelican History of Art No. 26; New York 1954). j. a. hamilton, Byzantine Architecture and Decoration (2d ed. London 1956). g. downey, Constantinople in the Age of Justinian (Norman, Okla. 1960). w. l. macdonald, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (New York 1962). p. verzone, Encyclopedia of World Art (New York 1959) 2:758'785.
r. krautheimer, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (Pelican History of Art; New York 1965).
[t. f. mathews]
Part 4: Romanesque
Romanesque was the major medieval style in western European architecture from about 950 to 1150. Based on the principle of the Roman round arch, Romanesque architecture introduced to medieval church-building structural concepts of unprecedented monumental scale and originality. Its origins lay in the so-called proto-Romanesque structures of the preceding two centuries, notably in the imperial abbeys of the Carolingian renaissance and the Asturian and Mozarabic buildings of northern Spain. Since the most characteristic Romanesque monuments appeared between 1050 and 1150, the century from 950 to 1050 is generally regarded as a formative period.
From 950 to 1050. The adventuresome spirit that created the Romanesque style emerged in an atmosphere of general optimism in Western Christendom after the passing of the millennium. Within the newly stabilized framework of medieval culture, the character of Romanesque architecture was shaped by the pervasive influences
of feudalism and monasticism. The decentralization of Europe into independent feudal states led to such a variety of distinctive regional idioms that some scholars prefer to define Romanesque as a group of related styles rather than a single style. However, through the powerful unifying force of monasticism, Romanesque became an international style, whose dissemination throughout western Europe was guaranteed by the arteries of communication opened by the great pilgrimages and the early crusades.
The builders of the abbey churches of the 11th and 12th centuries created a basic architectural vocabulary of compact masses animated by the vertical thrusts of exterior towers and interior vaults. These fortresslike structures tended to be conceived as additive complexes of quasi-independent components in an expanded basilica plan with ambulatory and radiating chapels. During its two centuries of experimentation with problems of structural articulation and vaulting techniques, Romanesque architecture produced a wide range of local variants within the framework of one international style.
Lombard-Catalan architecture, extending from northern Italy to French Catalonia and northern Spain, was one of the first Romanesque styles to concentrate on the practical problems of vaulting. Dominated by a basically utilitarian approach, the architecture of the Lombard-Catalan region developed in simple vaulted structures based on a direct revival of Roman techniques. The earliest and best-preserved buildings of the formative period, St.-Martin-du-Canigou (1001–26) in the French Pyrenees and the Spanish pilgrimage church of Sta María at Ripoll (1020–38), are covered by heavy unribbed tunnel vaults carried on simple piers. Although their interior spaces were dark and crudely inarticulate, the exterior elevations were decorated with typical Lombard devices of delicate blind arcading. The mature phase of Lombard-Catalan architecture was reached with the introduction of domed-up, ribbed groin vaults in the nave of
San t'Ambrogio at Milan in the last quarter of the 11th century. These low, broad Milanese vaults, with their application of heavy ribs and alternating supports in compound piers, introduced a new structural articulation of the nave into double bays, but the cautious omission of clerestory windows resulted in a heavy, dark interior, characteristic of the Mediterranean area.
The later Romanesque architecture that developed in the wealthy Tuscan communes of central Italy was structurally more conservative, adopting only the decorative features of the northern Lombard style, while ignoring its innovations in vaulting. The 12th-century cathedral basilicas at Pisa and Lucca are distinguished chiefly by their ornate exterior overlay of marble veneers and decorative arcading.
In Germany the initial phase of Romanesque took the form of an ambitious Ottonian revival of carolingian architecture. The monastic foundations of Gernrode Abbey (c. 980) and St. Michael at Hildesheim (c. 1001–33) adopted the earlier double-ended plan with its western apse and multiple exterior towers. More concerned with aesthetic articulation than with technical problems, the builders of these early churches developed a system of alternating supports forming double bays in a nave still covered by a conservative, trussed timber ceiling. Under later Lombard influence, the 12th-century German cathedrals along the Rhine, e.g., Speyer, Mainz, and Worms, show groin vaulting applied to the nave and elaborate Lombard decorative motifs to the exterior walls.
From 1050 to 1150. The major developments of mature Romanesque architecture occurred in France. One of the most impressive and characteristic types appeared in the series of monumental abbey churches in Tours, Conques, Limoges, and Toulouse, along the pilgrimage roads to santiago de compostela in northwestern Spain. Modeled after the famous shrine of St. James (c.
1075–1150), the French pilgrimage church consisted of a huge Latin-cross plan, which included a spacious aisled transept and an elaborate ambulatory with radiating chapels to accommodate the cult of the relics. In its most typical example, St.-Sernin at Toulouse, the dark, windowless nave is covered by a series of barrel vaults articulated by heavy transverse ribs and dynamically buttressed by quadrant vaults over the triforium gallery.
Under the patronage of the powerful Cluniac Order, the Burgundian churches of eastern France created one of the most original and experimental developments in Romanesque architecture. In its sophisticated efforts to solve the problem of admitting light to a vaulted interior, Burgundian architecture evolved a complex style that incorporated both Lombard and Norman influences. The nave of St.-Philibert at Tournus (vaulted 1066–1120), which is covered by parallel, transverse barrel vaults carried by heavy cross walls springing directly from heavy masonry columns, is a typical example of the eccentric experimental direction of the Burgundian Romanesque style. At Vézelay, the church of La Madeleine (1104–32) illustrates the development of an equally radical vaulted nave in its application of ponderous, unribbed cross vaults over large oblong bays. The huge third abbey church at Cluny (1088–1130), with its double, towered transept, ambulatory with multiple radiating chapels and long covered narthex, was the masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. Cluny III incorporated the most pronounced "half-Gothic" features of Burgundian style in the remarkably tall proportions of its nave, its thin, light barrel vaults buttressed by transverse ribs carried down into compound piers, and its use of the stilted, double-centered arch in the nave arcade. Following the Burgundian tendency to push Roman vaulting methods beyond their structural limits, the architect of St.-Lazare at Autun (c. 1120–32) adopted the Cluniac stilted arch in a daring system of pointed barrel vaults over the nave.
Two distinctive types of Romanesque hall church were created in western France. In Poitou the barrel-vaulted churches of Notre-Dame-la-Grande at Poitiers (c. 1130–45) and St.-Savin-sur-Gartempe (c. 1060–1115) have aisles and nave of almost the same height, while in Aquitaine the hall church developed under Byzantine influence as a single-nave structure covered by a series of domes on pendentives, e.g., the cathedrals in Angoulême (c. 1105–25) and at Périgueux (c. 1120).
Most conservative were the French Romanesque buildings of the southern provinces. The isolated region of Auvergne developed a unique feature in its high tower-like transept, e.g., Notre-Dame-du-Port at Clermont-Ferrand; whereas the 12th-century churches of Provence, St.-Gilles-du-Gard and St.-Trophime at Arles, preserved late Roman elements in the fluted columns, the Corinthian capitals, and the flat architraves of their façades.
The energetic Norman style, with its predilection for severe monumentality, logical articulation, and dynamic vertical momentum, produced the most progressive structural innovations in Romanesque vaulting. The Norman churches of the 11th century, e.g., Jumièges (1040–67) and St.-Étienne at Caen (1066–77), adopted the conservative Ottonian timber-roofed nave divided into double bays by alternating piers with salient shafts rising through the whole height of the wall. With the application of low-sprung, sexpartite, ribbed vaults over the huge double bays in St.-Étienne and Ste.-Trinité at Caen (c. 1115), the structural function of the proto-Gothic rib was realized as a skeletal framework that could carry a lighter fabric of masonry in the vaults. Norman architecture was introduced in England by Edward the Confessor at Westminster and was established after the conquest (1066) as a more massive, squared-off version of French Romanesque. While such English cathedrals as Durham (1093; 1128–33) applied heavy ribbed vaults to the nave, other Norman churches, e.g., Ely and Peterborough, retained timber coverings.
In the royal domain of the île-de-France, the adoption and modification of the innovations of Norman proto-Gothic and the Burgundian "half-Gothic" Romanesque led to the creation of the first Gothic style in the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1137–44). Gothic then spread to the new town cathedrals of the later 12th century, while Romanesque survived in provincial examples well into the 13th century.
See Also: cistercians, art and architecture of; cluniac art and architecture.
Bibliography: k. j. conant, Carolingian and Romanesque Architecture, 800–1200 (Pelican History of Art No. Z13; New York 1959). h. saalman, Medieval Architecture: European Architecture, 600–1200 (New York 1962). a. w. clapham, Romanesque
Architecture in Western Europe (Oxford 1936). a. k. porter, Medieval Architecture: Its Origins and Development (New York 1909). r. c. de lasteyrie du saillant, L'Architecture religieuse en France à l'époque romane (2d ed. Paris 1929). p. frankl, Die frühmittelalterliche und romanische Baukunst (Potsdam 1926).
Part 5: Gothic
A transition and change in construction systems, predominantly in ecclesiastical building, originated in northern France in the first half of the 12th century and produced the Gothic style of architecture that dominated Europe well into the 15th century (in some areas it was continued in the 16th century and even later). The Gothic style, developed first in monastic churches and the great cathedrals of northern France, was also adopted in the structuring of less ambitious parish churches. Although not confined to church architecture alone, it flourished and found its best expression in ecclesiastical building; its verticality did not lend itself easily to domestic building and its openness was not suitable for military architecture.
Gothic architecture is characterized by its ribbed vaulting, buttressing, and high piers. The weight and
thrust of the vaulting is carried downward with the aid of extended (flying) buttresses, without needing heavy masonry walls (as in Romanesque). Hence the nave walls are an open skeletal frame free to receive large expanses of stained glass. The exaggerated elongation of rising supporting members, which culminate in pointed arches, and the brilliant surfaces of light elevate the experience within to an otherworldliness where gravity seems over-come and natural light seems transformed. The exterior of Gothic structure achieves a similar transformation by disguising horizontals with steeply pointed elements and by multiplying vertical terminals with subtle gradations that fuse with the atmosphere.
Theories on Gothic. Gothic ecclesiastical architecture has been viewed in many different and conflicting ways, none of them complete or perfectly accurate in itself. The French tend to be technical in their approach to the Gothic style (Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, Camile Enlart). Germanic thought categorizes Gothic as a mystical expression of religious symbolism (Hans Sedlmayr) or of Neoplatonism (Hans Jantzen). The English view Gothic as a social manifestation of their own national character (A. N. W. pugin, John ruskin). Americans have been inclined to concentrate on developments of style (A. K. Porter, Robert Branner). Other writers have, of course, presented different views, linking religious experience with construction (Henry adams) or seeing in the perfection of Gothic architecture a parallel with medieval scholastic thought (Erwin Panofsky). see scholasticism, 1, medieval. But no workable, satisfactory, and definitive statement of the Gothic style of architecture has yet been advanced. Nor have the causes of its formation been fully explained, and it seems clear that no single point of view will suffice.
Some of the older, more blatantly unsatisfactory notions about the origin and meaning of Gothic architecture have, fortunately, long been abandoned. It is no longer accepted that the style began in the overlapping branches of Teutonic forests (Pseudo-Raphael Letter, between 1503 and 1510) or that it was Saracen in origin (Christopher Wren, 1713). But the very name "Gothic" betrays the derogatory connotations the style had for those Renaissance writers who first named it.
The "why" of the origin of Gothic architecture is not easily explained. Although the single-mindedness of a purely functional approach must be avoided, it seems equally unavoidable that the Gothic style originated amidst technical considerations. Over a given span, a pointed arch is more stable than a round arch. More important, because a pointed arch can be readily stilted by varying the point from which the arcs are swung, irregular spaces could be vaulted at uniform heights. The îlede-France builders of the 1140s and 1150s were certainly aware of this. The rib vault, all too often seen simply as the fons et origo of the Gothic style, was unquestionably essential to it. The frankly insoluble problem is not whether the rib is a true supporting member whenever it appears in a vault, but what the medieval builder thought he was doing and why. And even if the Gothic style developed, as Paul Frankl maintains, from the vault downward, as designers attempted to give a visual unity from floor to keystone, it was a question of aesthetics no less than a question of construction.
But it must not be forgotten that aims, means, and results cannot be completely isolated one from another. The constructional means of voiding walls, however and for whatever reason achieved, made possible great areas of stained glass. The stories presented in these windows were exclusively nonstructural, ecclesiastical considerations, although the window plane itself formed a part of the wall. The mystical light of the Gothic church, so important at the very birth of the style, is perhaps more important to the character of the style than any number or combination of pointed arches. Because of the combined effect of the arches, the soaring shafts, the skeletal system of structure, the decorative moldings, the tracery screens, the finely cut sculpture, and the stained glass, one looking
at Gothic architecture cannot help but repeat with Abbot suger (after Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.5), materiam opusque superabat effectus.
Origin and development. Gothic architecture first appeared in the form of the chevet of Suger's benedictine abbey church at saint-denis, outside of Paris, between 1140 and 1144. It was the effect, especially that of light, that was new or "Gothic" at Saint-Denis. Certain of the arch profiles came from the north, from Normandy, as did the concept of the rib vault, which made possible uniformly vaulted irregular spaces. The idea of openness, of voiding the wall, probably came from Romanesque Normandy also (e.g., transept arms of Notre-Dame at Jumièges; La Trinité and Saint-Étienne at Caen). Pointed arches and a regular sequence of piers came from the south, from Romanesque Burgundy (e.g., Autun, cluny, Parayle-Monial). Thus it was the collocation of older Romanesque features in a new and ordered concept that gave rise to the Gothic style of architecture in the hitherto relatively barren île-de-France.
The degree to which the new chevet at Saint-Denis, with its regularity of plan, spacious chapels, and flood of light, satisfied the general religious needs of the time as opposed merely to manifesting Suger's overt interest in light (see his De Administratione ch. 28) is apparent in the number of "copies" of the plan during the following decade (e.g., the cathedrals of Noyon and Senlis, the abbey church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés). The problem of elevation was yet another matter, there being no readily available way to adapt older, heavier Romanesque schemes to meet the new desire for voided walls (light) and great height. During the second half of the 12th century, a great number of experiments took place in the architecture of northern France. The result was a variety of buildings related by colossal size and four-part interior elevations—main arcade, vaulted tribune, triforium passage, and small clerestory (e.g., Saint-Remi at Reims, 1170–80; south transept arm of Soissons, 1176–90). There were, nonetheless, obvious differences of effect and appearance among these buildings. For example, Paris and Laon both were begun c. 1160, but the decorative plasticity of the latter contrasts sharply with the planar quality of the former.
Classic Gothic plan. The solution of various problems, such as alternation of supports under six-part vaults and the logical codification of the desire for colossal buildings, came with the reconstruction of the cathedral of Chartres after a fire on June 9 and 10, 1194. Here the
first fully competent use of the flying buttress made possible an immense building with a simplified interior elevation of three stories, namely, main arcade, triforium passage, and gigantic clerestory. The regular vaulting system with one four-part nave bay vault for each four-part vault of the side aisle, the aisled transept arms, and the chevet with ambulatory and radiating chapels together formed what must be termed the "classic" Gothic plan, especially as it appeared completely regularized at Reims (begun after a fire, May 6, 1210). Space for pilgrims in great naves and five or more radiating chapels for altars and relics—the plan was adopted for monastic use, e.g., Cistercian abbey church at Longpont, consecrated 1227—large areas of stained glass with the legends of the Church and its saints, and complex exterior sculpture programs completed the High Gothic architectural ensemble.
Gothic outside France. Outside France before c. 1250, the Gothic style developed along individual, regional lines, and there seems to have been little interest in building strictly in more francigeno. England, despite the work of the Frenchman Guillaume de Sens at Canterbury in the 1170s, perfected a style emphasizing longitudinal rather than vertical fusion (e.g., Salisbury, begun 1220; and coloristic, decorative effects (e.g., chevet at Lincoln, begun 1192). The flat chevets in England indicate the strong monastic orientation of the cathedrals in that country as well as the impact of the Cistercians.
In Italy, the Gothic style grew along very non-French lines. The large, open volume of such a building as the Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence (begun c. 1278) reflects the acoustical needs of a preaching order. The Gothic quality or character of this church lies mainly in the use of pointed arches, for the piers are purely Romanesque.
Germany and Spain, however, were much more receptive to French ideas and forms. The cathedral of Cologne (begun 1248) was modeled after those of Amiens and Beauvais and is extraordinarily French in character. By c. 1260 both León and Toledo in Spain had been influenced from France, the former by Reims (in plan) and Amiens (in elevation), the latter by Le Mans (mainly in plan and chevet buttressing system). However, it is both misleading and inaccurate to attempt to reduce the development of Gothic architecture in Europe after 1250 to expressions of French architecture, save in those special cases where a French architect can be isolated (e.g., Étienne de Bonneuil at the cathedral of Uppsala, Sweden,
1287). The appearance of Hallenkirchen in Germany (e.g., St. Martin at Landshut, begun 1387) owes nothing to France, despite earlier similar constructions in Poitou (e.g., Poitiers, begun 1162) and Anjou (e.g., hospital of Saint-Jean, Angers, 1170s).
Indeed, after the middle of the 13th century, French influence on the architecture of western Europe began to be less precise, the occasional mention of a church being built in more francigeno notwithstanding (e.g., Bruckhard von Hall, c. 1280, in reference to the then decade-old church at Wimpfen im Tal). In short, a desire for decorative effects began to overshadow interest in construction. Whether one chooses Hans Jantzen's term "the diaphanous wall" or Paul Frankl's notion of "surface texture," the effect is the same. The collapse in 1284 of the 156-foot-tall vaults of the chevet at Beauvais (begun 1225) cannot be blamed for a return to less ambitious buildings. The main problem posed by the Gothic system of construction, that of maintaining great vaulted areas with external flying buttresses, had been essentially solved at Amiens by 1250 and presented no new challenge to the builder after that time. In Paris, during the decade from 1240 to 1250, the appearance of small, elegant buildings such as Ste.-Chapelle (consecrated 1248) and the nave of Saint-Denis (begun 1243) reflect the stylistic interests of louis ix (the Saint) and his court. The voided walls of such French buildings as Saint-Urbain at Troyes (begun c. 1262), with screens of delicate tracery, together with the widespread use of the glazed triforium (e.g., nave of Saint-Denis; the chevet of Amiens) mark a new age in medieval architecture.
Save in Italy, there seems to have been a general interest throughout Europe in openness, in lightness, and in decorative effect—in extending the concept of plasticity to its utmost. This interest manifests itself in such widely scattered buildings as the cathedral of Prague (begun 1344; triforium level and clerestory after 1374), Aachen Minster (begun 1355), La Trinité at Vendôme, France (in the nave, begun 1306), and the reconstructed and redecorated chevet of Gloucester (begun 1337).
Flamboyant Gothic. The fantastic vaulting patterns of the late Gothic, especially the fan vaults of England (e.g., King's College Chapel, Cambridge, begun 1446), spiral piers (e.g., chevet aisles, Brunswick, 1469), hanging keystones and pendent bosses (e.g., chapel of St. Catherine, Stephansdom, Vienna, begun 1340 or 1359), and complex tracery screens on façades (e.g., Saint-Maclou,
Rouen, built 1500–14) all deny the clarity of earlier Gothic. But whether these architectural forms are termed flamboyant in France, Sondergotik in Germany, or Perpendicular in England, each in its own way was the ultimate statement of an experiment carried on from the very onset of the Gothic style.
One should not depreciate these late Gothic structures as decadent. They are among the finest expressions of the fertile medieval imagination. Rather, it remains to explain their rich fantasy of forms and effects. This cannot be done simply, but a parallel can at least be suggested with the growing inquisitiveness of the 14th-and 15th-century European mind and the ever-increasing preoccupation with the bizarre, as can be seen in the widespread popularity of the danse macabre (see dance of death) and the ars moriendi.
Other Gothic Buildings. By comparison with the number of great cathedrals and abbey churches that have survived from the Gothic period, relatively few subsidiary structures such as cloisters, refectories, and hospitals (hôtel-Dieu ) remain. However, such buildings as the hospital of Saint-Jean at Angers (1170s), the archiepiscopal chapel at Reims (c. 1210–15), the Synodal Hall at Sens (between 1222 and 1241, but over-restored), and the Capitular Hall at Westminster Abbey (c. 1245–50) demonstrate at least palely the wide variety of building types needed by the medieval Church and the inventiveness of the Gothic designer-builder in meeting this need.
Bibliography: Theoretical Studies. p. frankl The Gothic: Literary Sources and Interpretations through Eight Centuries (Princeton, N.J. 1960), the most comprehensive study of the subject; contains analyses, esp. those of h. jantzen from Kunst der Gotik (Hamburg 1957) Eng. High Gothic, tr. j. palmes (New York 1962), h. sedlmayr from Die Entstehung der Kathedrale (Zurich 1950), e. panofsky from Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism (Latrobe, Pa. 1951). Surveys. r. branner, Gothic Architecture (New York 1961) short. e. lambert et al., Encyclopedia of World Art (New York 1959) 6:467–539, with extensive bibliog. 645–648. g. dehio and g. von bezold, Die kirchliche Baukunst des Abendlandes, 7 v. (Stuttgart 1897–1901), 2 v. text, 5 v. drawings. p. frankl, Gothic Architecture, tr. d. pevsner (Pelican History of Art No. Z19; New York 1963), emphasizes the period after 1300. Some fine writing and thought is to be found in h. focillon, Art d'Occident (Paris 1938), Eng. The Art of the West in the Middle Ages, ed. j. bony, tr. d. king, 2 v. (New York 1963). France. e. e. viollet-le-duc, Dictionnaire raisonné de l'architecture française du XI e au XVI e siècle, 10 v. (Paris 1854–68). r. c. de lasteyrie du saillant, L'Architecture religieuse en France à l'époque gothique, 2 v. (Paris 1926–27). e. gall, Die Vorstufen in Nordfrankreich, v. 1 of Die gotische Baukunst in Frankreich und Deutschland (2d ed. Braunschweig 1955). There exist some excellent monographs, e.g., c. seymour, Notre-Dame of Noyon in the Twelfth Century (New Haven, Conn. 1939), but the studies of the Societé française d'Archéologie since 1834 in the Congrès archéologique de France and in the Bulletin monumental form the best general source of monograph studies on Fr. medieval architecture. A model regional study is r. branner, Burgundian Gothic Architecture (London 1960). England. f. bond, Gothic Architecture in England (London 1905); An Introduction to English Church Architecture from the 11th to the 16th Century, 2 v. (London 1913). g. f. webb, Architecture in Britain: The Middle Ages (Pelican History of Art No. Z12; New York 1956). j. bony, "French Influences on the Origins of English Gothic Architecture," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 12 (1949) 1–15. Germany, Spain, and Italy. g. dehio, Geschichte der deutschen Kunst, 4 v. (Berlin 1923–34). l. torres balbÁs, Arquitectura gótica (Ars Hispaniae 7; Madrid 1952). É. lambert, L'Art gothique en Espagne aux XII e et XIII e siècles (Paris 1931). c. enlart, Origines françaises de l'architecture gothique en Italie (Paris 1894). Technical Studies. r. willis, "On the Construction of the Vaults of the Middle Ages," Transactions of the Royal Institute of British Architects 1.2 (1842) 1–69. j. fitchen, The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals (New York 1961). e. lefÈvre-pontalis, " L'Origine des arcsboutants," Congrès archéologique de France 82 (1919) 367–396. m. aubert, "Les Plus anciennes croisées d'ogives," Bulletin monumental 93 (1934) 5–67, 137–237; "La Construction au moyenâge," ibid. 119 (1961) 7–42. j. bilson, "The Beginnings of Gothic Architecture," Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, ser. 3, v. 6 (1898–99) 259–289, the Eng. viewpoint. The best studies of the architects themselves are l. f. salzman, Building in England, down to 1540 (New York 1952) 1–29; n. pevsner, "The Term Architect in the Middle Ages," Speculum 17 (1942) 549–562 and p. du colombier, Les Chantiers des cathédrales (Paris 1953).
[c. f. barnes, jr.]
Part 6. Renaissance
Renaissance architecture, so far as churches are concerned, began in Italy in the 1420s. It is generally accepted that a Renaissance church is not Gothic in style, but beyond this it is more difficult to establish agreement. Until recently, there tended to be a tacit assumption that the deliberate revival of the forms of imperial Roman architecture presupposed an abandonment of a specifically Christian architecture, which corresponded to Gothic forms. This argument was advanced, with great force, in the mid-19th century by pugin and ruskin. It is, however, demonstrably false.
Brunelleschi. The first systematic attempts at a renaissance of Roman forms in architecture were made by F. Brunelleschi and paralleled the revived interest in Latin letters displayed by his humanist contemporaries and predecessors. Brunelleschi's reputation was founded on the engineering feat of the dome of Florence Cathedral, which is a marriage between Gothic vaulting and Roman domical forms. This was a special case; but Brunelleschi's two churches in Florence, S. Lorenzo and Sto Spirito, both dating from the 1430s and 1440s, were deliberately imitated from such Early Christian basilicas as S. Paolo in rome. The proportional system of Brunelleschi's churches is based on simple mathematical relationships, but their actual shapes, as well as the decorative forms used, are those of basilicas built in the Christian Roman Empire. Brunelleschi also built S. Maria degli Angeli in Florence, left unfinished in 1437. The shape of this church is that known as a central plan, that is, a regular geometrical figure rather than a cruciform shape. Here the shape is an octagon with a chapel on each of the eight sides. These shapes clearly recall those of the so-called Temple of Minerva Medica in Rome, so that once more the reference to antiquity is quite explicit. Brunelleschi thus revived the two main types of Early Christian churches: the large, Latin-cross basilica type, suitable for parish churches, and the smaller, centrally planned type that, in early Christian times, was normally reserved for baptisteries and commemorative buildings known as martyria (see martyrium).
Brunelleschi did not, so far as is known, formulate his theories explicitly; nor is there any other information
about his views on church architecture. There is, however, a great deal of direct evidence in the form of writings by most of the major Italian architects of the 15th and 16th centuries, and their words make it quite clear that they regarded certain classical forms as specifically suited to the building of Christian temples (the use of templum for "church" is hardly evidence of paganism). It has been shown by Wittkower that the architectural forms employed between Brunelleschi's time and the Counter Reformation correspond to new, Platonic, theological ideas:
The belief in the correspondence of microcosm and macrocosm, in the harmonic structure of the universe, in the comprehension of God through the mathematical symbols of centre, circle and sphere—all these closely related ideas which had their roots in antiquity and belonged to the undisputed tenets of mediaeval philosophy and theology, acquired new life in the Renaissance, and found visual expression in the Renaissance church…. For the men of the Renaissance this architecture with its strict geometry, the equipoise of its harmonic order, its formal serenity and, above all, with the sphere of the dome, echoed and at the same time revealed the perfection, omnipotence, truth and goodness of God. (Wittkower, 29.)
Alberti and Bramante. These ideas can be traced in the work of L. B. alberti, both in his treatise on architecture (written c. 1443–52) and in his two churches in Mantua. The earlier of these, S. Sebastiano, was designed about 1460 and is the earliest example of a Greek-cross plan, although one side has a porch that gives it a directional axis. This type of central plan can be traced back to the time of Constantine and, beyond that, to Roman tombs. In his second Mantuan church, San t'Andrea, designed about 1470, Alberti repeated the Roman-basilica type used by Brunelleschi in Florence, but Alberti's forms are more classically Roman in spirit, and his church is covered by an enormous barrel vault of a purely antique type.
Leonardo da Vinci never built anything, but he made many drawings of churches of the centrally planned type. At least three churches were actually built in this form at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries: at Prato, where the church by Giuliano da Sangallo is a combination of Brunelleschi's forms with the plan of Alberti's S. Sebastiano; and two others, at Todi and Montepulciano. These latter, together with San t'Eligio in Rome, were all profoundly influenced by Bramante (who had already built two churches in Milan), and specifically by Bramante's projects for the rebuilding of St. Peter's. There seems little doubt that the foundation medal, struck in 1506, represents St. Peter's as a Greek-cross building with a vast dome over it; and although this project was repeatedly modified, it proved an ideal form for several other churches, of which the most beautiful is S. Biagio at Montepulciano, begun by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder in 1518.
Bramante is said to have written a treatise, but it is not extant. Some idea of his theories can be gained, however, from the projects for St. Peter's and from the writings of Serlio, who was the pupil of a pupil of Bramante. Several other treatises give a good idea of the practice of Renaissance architects and of their view that the form of a building should be suited to its purpose. Serlio, for example, said that several shapes are possible for churches, but the circular (rather than the cruciform) is the most perfect: "Many and diverse forms of ancient and modern Temples are to be seen in all parts of Christendom … but because the circular form is the most perfect of them all I will commence with it" (prologue to book 5). The idea that Renaissance architects equated the ideals of symmetry, clarity, and harmony in church building with the perfections of God was most clearly stated by Palladio in his Quattro Libri of 1570, even though both of his own churches in Venice were cruciform. In book four he said:
We read that the men of Antiquity, in the building of their temples, set themselves to observe Decorum, which is one of the most beautiful elements of Architecture. And we, who know not false gods, in order to observe Decorum in the form of temples, will choose the most perfect and excellent, which is the circle; for it alone is simple, uniform, equal, strong, and adapted to its purpose. Thus, we should make our temples circular … most apt to demonstrate the Unity, the infinite Essence, the Uniformity and Justice of God.
It should be noted, however, that Palladio was born in 1508 and was thus 62 years old when his treatise was published. This was after the Council of Trent, which issued
a decree on music in 1562 and on images in 1563, but made no special reference to architecture. The Counter Reformation ideals of church building were stated at length by Charles borromeo, in his Instructiones Fabricae Ecclesiasticae of 1577, in which he advocated the cruciform plan. Palladio's theories reflect the early 16th century, the period now called the High Renaissance, about 1510 to 1520, rather than the Counter Reformation. The architectural ideals changed in accordance with theology; and in the 16th century it did not occur to anyone to condemn Palladio's architecture as pagan, as Ruskin did 300 years later.
Only a small number of churches were built in accordance with these ideals, and what should have been the greatest of them all, Bramante's St. Peter's, was so profoundly modified that, in its present form, it is largely a baroque building (see st. peter's basilica). Apart from churches already mentioned, there are some others, mostly small, in various Italian cities. Vignola built San t'Andrea in Via Flaminia and, far more important for later generations, Il Gesù, as the mother church of the Society of Jesus. Both are in Rome, as is the most beautiful of all centrally planned churches, the tiny martyrium built in 1502 by Bramante himself in the courtyard of S. Pietro
in Montorio, on the spot that traditionally marks the place of St. Peter's martyrdom.
Bibliography: Sources. l. b. alberti, De re aedificatoria (Florence 1485), Eng. Ten Books on Architecture, tr. j. leoni (London 1955). s. serlio, Regole generali di architettura … (Venice 1537–51), and his later books, some pub. in France. Serlio was partly tr. into Eng. in 1611 but never completed. a. palladio, I quattro libri del l'architettura, 4 v. in 1 (Venice 1570), Eng. The Architecture of A. Palladio in Four Books, tr. n. dubois, 2 v. (3d ed. London 1742). All text translations are by P. Murray. Literature. p. murray, The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance (New York 1963), a general survey with bibliog. r. wittkower, Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism (3d ed. London 1962), most important modern work. g. scott, The Architecture of Humanism (2d ed. London 1924), and later reprints. h. wÖlfflin, Renaissance und Barock (4th ed. Munich 1926), Eng. Renaissance and Baroque, tr. k. simon from the original Ger. ed. of 1888 (London 1964).
Part 7: Baroque
The formation of the baroque in church architecture took place in Rome toward the end of the 16th century; the diffusion of the baroque style followed in Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries, and finally it spread to France, Flanders, Spain, and the countries of central Europe.
Church architecture in the 17th and 18th centuries in western Europe is characterized, in Roman Catholic countries, by an integration of urban planning, architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts to a degree rivaled only, perhaps, by the Gothic. Acting to counter the effects of the Protestant Reformation, the reformatory orders of the 16th century restored to the Church confidence in the self-regenerative forces within Catholicism.
Artists and architects presented mysteries of the Church through interrelated illusionistic sensual displays
that encouraged identification with the subject portrayed. The architect of the Renaissance, in contrast, because of the relation of the Renaissance to classical antiquity and Neoplatonic thought, approached the mysteries through mathematics and the intellect. As a result, the ideas and forms of Renaissance architects, and those of painters and sculptors as well, remained more abstract, isolated, discrete, and independent.
Development in Rome. The baroque began in Rome, where the Counter Reformation movements of the 16th century culminated in the building of a series of major longitudinal plan churches: the Gesù (1568) by the Jesuits; the Chiesa Nuova (1575) by followers of St. Philip Neri; and S. Andrea della Valle (1591) by the Theatines.
The plan of the Gesù with its wide nave, chapels but no side aisles, and short transepts provided an ideal preaching space. It was sufficiently successful for hundreds of churches with similar plans to be built in the succeeding century and a half and was probably responsible for the inclusion of a nave when St. Peter's was completed (1607–14) according to the designs of Carlo Maderno (1556–1629).
Maderno. Maderno drew heavily on the works of his predecessor Giacomo della Porta (1533–1602), who completed most of the projects Michelangelo left unfinished and was himself responsible for the façade of the Gesù and the plan and section of S. Andrea della Valle. Della Porta exploited both Michelangelo's emphasis on the vertical and his tendency to concentrate supporting members (in opposition to Renaissance horizontality and uniformly distributed supports). Della Porta, however, eliminated the conflicting elements that were the source of disturbing tensions and intriguing ambiguities in Michelangelo's work.
Maderno accepted Della Porta's interpretation of Michelangelo, but in addition he brought a richer play of
mass and light and shadow to the otherwise planal surfaces of Roman architects and conceived architecture as part of a larger context. In individual buildings he included more plastic elements—half and fully round columns, the giant order, and more varied decorative sculptural features—and within a complex included more of the surroundings.
Maderno's new ideas can be first seen in the façade of S. Susanna (1597–1603), where he achieved dramatic emphasis on the central portal through (1) pilasters and columns arranged in a rhythmical sequence, culminating at the central portal, (2) successive stepping forward of the wall surface toward the center, increasing thereby the impression of mass of the wall, and (3) successive increase in size and relief of decorative detail from extremities to the central opening. Maderno also designed the buildings on either side of the church to make the façade become part of a much larger scheme—a focal point in an intentionally neutral setting.
In terms of urban design, Maderno was the first to develop some of the ideas implied by Domenico Fontana (1543–1607) and sixtus v (1585–90) when they planned straight avenues linking the major pilgrimage centers and culminating in centrally placed obelisks. For Fontana and Sixtus V the buildings lining the avenues were secondary; the circulation route and the foci, as they represented the pilgrimage centers, were essential. Maderno likewise conceived the church as part of an environment that included the background against which the church façade would be seen. After the initial successes of the baroque, the city could no longer be thought of as a conglomerate of isolated churches, palaces, and other buildings, but only as a formally and visually related whole.
In the nave of St. Peter's (1607–14), Maderno also altered the traditional Renaissance way of conceiving of space and structure. In a Renaissance church (cf. S. Spirito, Florence, Brunelleschi; San t'Andrea, Mantua, Alberti), structure served to define spatial units as discrete cells that, added together, composed the whole. Maderno, on the other hand, by widening and heightening the nave, admitting light through the vault and through domes in the side aisles, reducing the mass and width of the nave piers, and enlarging openings between chapels, sought to emphasize spatial unity across the nave from outer wall to outer wall, as well as from narthex to crossing and diagonally.
Borromini, Cortona, and Bernini. Maderno's achievements in the rhythmical manipulation of mass and
spatial interaction for dramatic emphasis were continued by his pupil and successor, Francesco Borromini (1599–1667), the painter-architect Pietro da Cortona (1596–1669), and the sculptor, painter, and architect Giovanni Lorenzo bernini (1598–1680). These men initiated the full baroque. By 1640 each of the three had completed major works in Rome: Bernini—S. Bibiana reconstruction (1624–26), St. Peter's baldachino (1624–33); Cortona—SS. Martina and Luca (begun 1634); Borromini—S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1638–41). Their achievements from the 1640s through the 1660s influenced all architecture in Italy and Sicily, and much of the architecture in France, Spain, and Belgium for the remainder of the century.
In accord with the precepts laid down by St. Charles borromeo in his De fabrica ecclesiae, the large Roman churches of the late 16th and the early 17th century were longitudinal cross-shaped plans serving to focus attention on the main altar. To Charles Borromeo the central plan was "less used by Christians than the longitudinal plan."
In contrast, in the full baroque there is a decisive return to the central plan, which, however, by treating the wall as an active sculptural surface, maintained and heightened the dramatic focus on the main altar: SS. Martina and Luca; S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane; S. Ivo, Rome (Borromini, 1642–1650); S. Agnese, Rome (Borromini and Carlo Rainaldi, begun 1652); S. M. della Salute, Venice (Baldassare Longhena, begun 1631); S. M. Egiziaca, Naples (Cosimo Fanzago, 1651–1717); S. Tomaso di Villanova, Castel Gandolfo (Bernini, 1658–61);S. Andrea al Quirinale, Rome (Bernini, 1658–62); S. M. del l'Assunzione, Ariccia (Bernini, 1661–64); S. M. di Monte Santo, Rome (Rainaldi and Bernini, 1662–75); S.M. d e'Miracoli, Rome (Rainaldi, 1662–79).
Diffusion in Italy and other European countries. The temporal power of the papacy declined in the last half of the 17th century, and with it Rome's artistic rule. By the end of the century Venice, Genoa, the Piedmont, and Naples became major artistic centers.
Guarino Guarini (1624–83), a Theatine priest who was a follower of Borromini working in Turin in the Piedmont, made the most significant contribution of the last half of the century when, in the SS. Sindone (1667–92) and S. Lorenzo (1666–79), he designed domes that admitted light through spaces left open between intersecting and superimposed arches.
In the early 18th century in Italy in the major centers two separate currents may be discerned. One is a classicizing continuation of the late baroque developing out of late Bernini and the Bernini school (for example, Carlo Fontana, 1634–1714); the other, a freer new current (the rococo) developing most probably from Borromini, emphasizing skeletal structure, verticality, spatial unity, and abundance of light (for example, the late works of Filippo Juvarra [1678–1736] in Turin).
France. In France architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries has been labeled "classic" because of its greater dependence on both the principles of the High Renaissance and the architecture of Andrea Palladio. Baroque classicism is a rational, reserved, and specifically French phenomenon that influenced most north European countries. French architects were not, however, insensitive to the discoveries of the Italian baroque and in restrained and subtle ways capitalized on the dramatic culmination that in both countries was achieved through subordination of parts to the whole, interactions and interpenetration of spaces, and vertical continuity of both structure and mass.
The baroque first appears in France in church buildings that reflect Italian precedent, such as the church of the Sorbonne, Paris, begun in 1635 by Jacques Lemercier (1580 or 1585–1654), who studied in Rome from c. 1607 to 1614, and St. Paul–St. Louis, Paris, begun in 1627 by E. Martellange (1569–1641) and completed by François Derand (1588–1644). François Mansart (1598–1666) was the unquestioned master of the mid-17th century in France. From his earliest church (Ste. M. de la Visitation, begun 1632) to his unexecuted project for the Bourbon Mausoleum at Saint-Denis (1664), Mansart shows better than any of his contemporaries the spatial and structural unity of the baroque while both preserving and enhancing the scrupulous purity of the High Renaissance. Mansart's major church, the Val-de-Grâce (begun 1645 but completed later by Lemercier), best shows his cool, restrained, and precise interiors with crisp and finely detailed sculptural decoration executed completely in pale limestone.
The Dôme des Invalides, Paris (1680–91), by Jules Hardouin Mansart (c. 1646–1708), is perhaps the best late 17th-century example exhibiting both a continued dependence on the High Renaissance central plan and a sophisticated integration of the spaces of the arms with the domed central space culminating in a frescoed double dome that is illuminated from hidden sources.
Flanders and Spain. Flemish architecture, due to its political ties with Spain and thereby to Italy, was more positively fluid and sensuous than in France and less dependent on the High Renaissance–Palladian tradition. Jacques Francart (1577–1651; Béguinage church, Malines, 1629) and Peter Huyssens (1577–1637; St. Charles Borromeo, Antwerp, 1615), in collaboration with the painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), established an important center from which full baroque ideas were to flow in northern Europe. Notable mid-century examples include S. Michel, Louvain, 1650, by Willem Hesius and the Abbey of Averbode, 1662, by Jan van den Eynde.
In Spain, as in Italy, the late baroque developed in two major directions, one free and curvilinear (e.g., SS. Justo y Pastor, Madrid, by Bonavia, 1739–46), indebted to Borromini and Guarini (who built the Theatine church in Lisbon), and the other a rectilinear version (e.g., cathedral, Saragossa, begun 1680, later altered), growing out of both the late 16th-century tradition in Spain and the influence of Bernini. However, there was in Spain a greater emphasis on dramatic spatial and light culminations and on surface texture. José Churriguera (1665–1725) gave his name to an entire style characterized by heavily ornate stucco decoration (Granada, Charterhouse, sacristy interior, 1742–47).
Central Europe. The unstable political situation reflected in the Thirty Years' War was followed by the threat of the expanding Ottoman Empire, and it was not until the Turks were crushed at Vienna in 1683 that energies could be devoted to rebuilding the country. The full baroque with an Italianate flavor appeared in central Europe after 1680, but it was not until the 18th century that independent work was produced. Chief among the late 17th-century architects were Fischer von Erlach (1656–1723), Jakob Prandtauer (1660–1726), and Lukas von Hildebrandt (1668–1745). Fischer and Hildebrandt were court architects; Prandtauer's buildings were chiefly monastic. Particularly noteworthy are Fischer's Collegiate Church in Salzburg (1696) and the Karlskirche, Vienna (1716), Hildebrandt's Piaristen Church, Vienna (designed 1698), and Prandtauer's Abbey of melk (begun 1702).
Bibliography: General Histories. a. e. brinckmann, Die Baukunst des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts in den romanischen Ländern (Berlin 1915). v. golzio, Il seicento e il settecento (Turin 1950). s. f. kimball, Creation of the Rococo (Philadelphia, Pa.1943). h. a. millon, Baroque and Rococo Architecture (New York 1961). w. weisbach, Die Kunst des Barock (Berlin 1924). Italy. r. wittkower, Art and Architecture in Italy, 1600–1750 (Pelican History of Art No. Z16; New York 1958). a. blunt, Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450–1600 (Oxford 1940). c. borromeo, Arte sacra, ed. and tr. c. castiglioni and c. marcora (Milan 1952). g. delogu, L'architettura italiana del seicento e del settecento (Florence 1935). t. h. fokker, Roman Baroque Art … (London 1938). É. mÂle, L'Art religieux de la fin du XVI e siècle du XVII e siècle et du XVIII e siècle (2d ed. Paris 1951). l. pastor, The History of the Popes From the Close of the Middle Ages, v. 20–40. j. weingartner, Römische Barockkirchen (Munich 1930). France. r. t. blomfield, A History of French Architecture from the Reign of Charles VIII till the Death of Mazarin, 2 v. (London 1911); A History of French Architecture, 1661–1774, 2 v. (London 1921). a. blunt, Art and Architecture in France, 1500–1700 (Pelican History of Art No. Z4; New York 1953). l. hautecoeur, Histoire de l'architecture classique en France, 7 v. in 9 (Paris 1943–57). p. moisy, Les Églises des Jésuits de l'ancienne assistance de France, 2 v. (Rome 1958). Spain and Portugal. g. kubler and m. soria, Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and Their American Dominions, 1500–1800 (Pelican History of Art No. Z17; New York 1959). Central Europe. e. hempel, Baroque Art and Architecture in Central Europe (Baltimore, Md. 1965). j. bourke, Baroque Churches of Central Europe (London 1958). w. hager, Die Bauten des Deutschen Barocks (Jena 1942). w. hege and g. barthel, Barockkirchen in Altbayern und Schwaben (Munich 1938; 3d ed.1953). n. lieb, Barockkirchen zwischen Donau und Alpen (Munich 1953). n. powell, From Baroque to Rococo (New York 1959). h. sedlmayr, österreichische Barockarchitektur 1690–1740 (Vienna 1930). m. wackernagel, Die Baukunst des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts in den germanischen Ländern (Berlin 1919). Urban history. l. mumford, The City in History (New York 1961).
[h. a. millon]
Part 8: Eighteenth-Century Europe
European church building of the 18th century manifested those mutations of the classical theme, of both form and style, that had already been established in the high baroque of the 17th century. The dramatic, calculated manipulation of longitudinal and central church plans, the often daring disposition of interior space, the sweeping, formalized modeling of exterior form so characteristic of baroque construction formed a movement that flowed easily into the new century. Initially the unbaroque Palladianism of Italy continued strong in England, while France never quite deserted its formal classical structure. This century saw the mainstream of baroque merge into the extravagance of rococo, which, toward the end, was submerged by the rise of neoclassicism.
Although the 17th century had been one of much intellectual ferment and scientific inquiry, religion itself, despite those differences that disturbed its European community, had not been seriously challenged. In the new century, churches continued to be built—Palladian or Georgian in England, formally classical in France, and rococo in much of the rest of Europe, although there were exceptions to the general rule. The period of the Enlightenment in France preceded the antireligious storms of the end of the century.
Georgian. The life of Sir Christopher Wren, perhaps the last great architect of the Renaissance tradition, spanned the turn of the century. In st. paul's cathedral, London (1675–1710), and in his many smaller churches, he influenced the future development of the classical church in both England and America. These churches with their ingenious plans (often a combination of longitudinal and central types), their rich but simple detailing, and their superb towers and spires were eminently suitable to Protestant (Anglican) congregations of the Georgian era. Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661–1736), Thomas Archer (1668–1743), and James Gibbs (1682–1764) continued the Wren theme in a succession of churches remarkable for a restrained interplay of baroque form and space and native English classicality allied with Palladianism.
The standard Georgian church, of which Gibbs's St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London (1722–26), is a typical example, usually has a columnar portico with tower and spire above, and it is most often based on a longitudinal plan; a galleried interior also is not uncommon. A good American example of the type is St. Michael's, Charleston, S.C. (1752–61). The Georgian church has been favored so long by public taste that it is still being erected today.
Rococo. The rococo style induced a general lightening of baroque pomp. Church buildings became more light, airy, and decorative, fluid in form and ambiguous in plan; they are ornamental and buoyant to the point of theatricality or fantasy. In France, where the style originated, rococo art was secular rather than ecclesiastical; and it may be seen best in Germany and Austria, where the new monastery and town churches demonstrated the almost pyrotechnical abilities of such architects as the brothers Asam and J. B. Neumann (1687–1772). The latter's church of Vierzehnheiligen (1743–72) in Franconia, florid and sinuous as it is, is like a splendid sonata, its flowing calculated melody based on subtle oval configurations of a longitudinal plan.
The Protestant Frauenkirche (1726–40) at Dresden (now destroyed) with its oval dome and central plan was a rather more restrained but equally sculpturesque rococo composition.
The rococo also flourished strongly in Spain and Portugal, notably in the work of José de Churriguera (1650–1725) and his followers; the Churrigueresque manner is characterized by an omnipresent rich ornamentation, encrusting and hiding the structure beneath it. The sacristy of the Cartuja (1727–64) at Granada and the façade of the cathedral of santiago de compostela (1738–49) are good examples; here again construction is lost in thickets of florid ornament. The style was also popular in the New World, as in the sanctuary at Ocotlán, Mexico (c. 1745). Color is added to the polyphonic intricacy of the sculptured detail.
Italy had ceased to be an important architectural center, but the late baroque of that country was still vigorous enough to produce a fine domed church, the Superga (1717–31), near Turin, designed by Filippo Juvara (1676?–1736), which, although baroque in both composition and execution, has a certain grand simplicity of treatment that makes it one of the best of baroque churches. Although the Italian rococo is charming, as a rule its productions are in no way outstanding.
Neoclassicism. Contemporary with the Enlightenment, an architectural neoclassicism, characterized by a renewed interest in and a closer study of the arts of antiquity (especially those of ancient Greece), made its appearance in France. Even before 1750, the rather severe façade of St.-Sulpice in Paris, constructed (1733–49) after the design of J. N. Servandoni (1695–1766), prefigures the developing preoccupation with the past, while it graphically demonstrates the limited adherence of French architects to the baroque.
The church of Ste.-Geneviève (1755–92) in Paris, secularized at the time of the French Revolution and renamed the Panthéon, is perhaps the finest religious building of the century. Its designer J. G. Soufflot (1713–80) was influenced by the new cult of antiquity, which demanded an architectural sobriety that was the very antithesis of the rococo. The Panthéon with its logical central plan and monumental Roman detail manifests certainly the spirit of the new movement, if not the letter. Soufflot was also sympathetic to English work since his dome has obviously been influenced by that of St. Paul's by Wren.
Soufflot was also acquainted with Gothic architecture, as is evident in the general lightness of construction of the Panthéon. In this final noble religious structure of the century, one may note how various were the sources that fed the broad neoclassical development that continued into the next century. Its dome sums up the grandest phase of 18th-century church building and also provides its epitaph. For the French Revolution, which took from Ste.-Geneviève its ecclesiastical status, plunged all of Europe into a turmoil hardly conducive to church building.
In conclusion, the age of the rococo was not a period of great religious buildings despite the presence of some admirable productions. The 18th-century church gives pleasure; it entertains the aesthetic sensibilities, if not the soul, but it rarely edifies or induces profound religious feeling.
Bibliography: s. sitwell, Southern Baroque Art (London 1924). a. l. mayer, "Liturgie und Barock," Jahrbuch für Liturgiewissenschaft 15 (1941) 67–154. s. f. kimball, The Creation of the Rococo (Philadelphia, Pa. 1943). l. hautecoeur, Histoire de l'architecture classique en France, 5 v. in 7 (Paris 1943–57). m. whiffen, Stuart and Georgian Churches (London 1948). p. keleman, Baroque and Rococo in Latin America (New York 1951). s.p. dorsey, Early English Churches in America (New York 1952). h. s. morrison, Early American Architecture (New York 1952). j.n. summerson, Architecture in Britain 1530–1830 (4th ed. Pelican History of Art No. Z3; New York 1963). r. wittkower, Art and Architecture in Italy, 1600–1750 (Pelican History of Art No. Z16; New York 1958). g. kubler and m. soria, Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and Their American Dominions, 1500–1800 (ibid. Z17; New York 1959). j. bourke, Baroque Churches of Central Europe (2d ed. London 1962). n. powell, From Baroque to Rococo (New York 1959). h. a. millon, Baroque and Rococo Architecture (New York 1961).
[j. d. van trump]
Part 9: Nineteenth-Century Europe
The 19th century, which saw a series of profound changes in Western civilization, as well as its worldwide extension, was also a great church-building age. Many churches were erected to serve the needs of the new urban centers created by the industrial revolution. Contemporary scientific thought was often no friend of religion, but numerous religious revivals—notably the Anglican and Roman Catholic in England—occurred during the period. The century evolved many building types to serve a vast new democratic population and yet remained faithful to the Church.
European architecture at the dawn of the new century was still largely classical, but this final broad deposit of the Renaissance tradition contained within itself strong currents moving outward to form new styles; a complex intermingling of innovations and revivals created a maze of stylistic trends. It was a century of unbridled architectural eclecticism.
The cultural romanticism that historically accompanied the democratic age threatened the classical traditions and eventually weakened them. A preoccupation with the medieval past, already manifested in 18th-century thought, increasingly informed the art and literature of the new century. In architecture the Romanesque and particularly the Gothic revivals were the result of this ferment, but styles remote in time or place—Indian, Chinese, or Japanese—were also favored by the romantics.
Greek revival. The still-dominant classicism at the beginning of the century produced a full-fledged Greek revival that had generally run its course in Europe by 1830, although it did not lose favor in America until 1850. More Greco-Roman than Greek was the church of La Madeleine in Paris, built between 1806 and 1842, after the designs of Pierre Vignon (1763–1828). Originally intended to be a secular Temple de la Gloire, it was converted by Napoleon into a church—the Panthéon situation in reverse.
The severe temple form of La Madeleine also became fashionable for churches elsewhere in Europe and in America; a rigorous adherence to Greek orders— especially the Doric—was generally maintained. Possibly the best Greek revival church in England is W. and W. H. Inwood's St. Pancras in London (1819–22), which is a fine design based on the Erechtheion in Athens. In America, Greek temple forms also prevailed. Perhaps the most successful classical church of the new century in the United States was the domed Roman Catholic cathedral of the Assumption in Baltimore, which with the exception of the later added portico was built between 1805 and 1821 according to the design of B. H. Latrobe (1764–1820). It bears some relation to the work of Sir John Soane in England. As the Greek revival waned, the classicists largely shifted their interest to the Renaissance, but classicism assumed a minor role in the later 19th century as a revived church "style."
Gothic revival. The Gothic revival, unquestionably the most pervasive of the revival styles, had received considerable impetus in England from the Cambridge Camden (later the Ecclesiological) Society, founded in 1839. Of considerable influence also was the work of A. C. and A. W. N. pugin, a father and son with a passion for the medieval past and vast knowledge of its Gothic ornament. The classicists did not give up without a struggle, but after the new Houses of Parliament (1840–c. 1865) were detailed by A. W. N. Pugin in the late Gothic and Tudor manner, the Gothic, if it did not entirely win the day, became a potent force in Western architecture. Although much used, the revived Gothic was not quite as important on the Continent as it was in England.
It was naturally adaptable to the building of churches and firmly lodged itself in all English-speaking countries. Moreover, it had a strong literary cast, as can be seen in the influence wielded by the Ecclesiologist (founded 1841), the magazine of the Ecclesiological Society, and the books written by many revivalist architects. John ruskin (1819–1900) advanced his own Italianate version of the revival. The movement was aided in England by the revivals in both the Anglican and Roman Catholic religious bodies. As in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Gothic again became an international style.
The Gothic revival, through many mutations until its eventual disappearance about the time of World War II, interested a large number of architects. The Pugins reinforced their writing with their practice; they and the Ecclesiologists influenced a notable group of designers, of whom the most original was William Butterfield (1814–1900) and the most popular was Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811–78). The former's All Saints, Margaret Street, London (1849–59) manipulated the Gothic in a fresh if harsh manner, while the latter's Nicholaikirche in Hamburg (1845–63) was an impressive archeological project done with a contemporary flair.
Men of the century were devoted to the archeological restoration of medieval monuments. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814–79) and Sir G. G. Scott were famous for their activities in this field. During the course of the century, many Gothic cathedrals and churches throughout Europe were restored and completed, a notable instance being Cologne Cathedral (1824–80). Meanwhile, on the side of modern technology, cast iron began to be used in churches, as at Saint-Eugène in Paris (1854–55) by L. A. Boileau (1812–96).
Romanesque revival. A Romanesque revival paralleled the Gothic and produced a pre-Gothic style in which Byzantine and Renaissance elements were sometimes mixed. The new style was aptly christened by the Germans as the "Rundbogenstil." This round-arched style is to be found throughout much of Europe and in surprising vernacular manifestations in America. Later in the century, the American architect H. H. Richardson (1834–86) worked in a highly personal Romanesque manner; his best work is Trinity Church, Boston (1873–77), which recalls the Spanish lantern churches of the 12th century. Romanesque-Byzantine style characterized the Sacré-Coeur, Paris (begun in 1874 and largely finished by 1900), by Paul Abadie (1812–44), while Westminster Roman Catholic cathedral, London (1895–1903) by J. F. Bentley (1839–1902) is an impressive building in the Byzantine style.
In America, the two principal early practitioners in the Gothic style were Richard Upjohn (1802–78), whose Trinity Church, New York (1839–46), was inspired by English precedent, and James Renwick, Jr. (1818–95), whose St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York (1858–79) was derived from French sources. The work of both architects was influential on church building in the United States.
All the revival styles of the 19th century were continued well into the 20th century, until they were replaced by the modern ideas following World War II. Perhaps the fantastic, highly original Gothic-derived church of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona may be taken as the logical outcome of the Gothic revival. It was designed by Antonio Gaudí (1852–1926), who took over its construction in 1884. It is still unfinished; but it is probably, as H. R. Hitchcock has said, the grandest ecclesiastical monument that was produced in the late 19th century.
Bibliography: a. c. pugin, Examples of Gothic Architecture, 3 v. (2d ed. London 1838–40; repr. 1930–40). a. w. n. pugin, Contrasts: Or, a Parallel between the Noble Edifices of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, and Similar Buildings of the Present Day, Showing the Decay of Taste (London 1836); An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England (London 1843). j. ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture (London 1907; repr. 1932); Stones of Venice, ed. l. m. phillips, 3 v. (New York 1921–27). c. l. eastlake, A History of the Gothic Revival (London 1872). g.w. shinn, King's Handbook of Notable Episcopal Churches in the United States (Boston, Mass. 1889). k. m. clark, The Gothic Revival (3d ed. New York 1962). b. f. l. clarke, Church Builders of the Nineteenth Century (New York 1938). t. f. hamlin, Greek Revival Architecture in America (New York 1944). d. r. gwynn, Lord Shrewsbury, Pugin and the Catholic Revival (London 1946). g. w. o. addleshaw and f. etchells, The Architectural Setting of Anglican Worship (London 1948). h. m. casson, An Introduction to Victorian Architecture (New York 1948). j. n. summerson, Heavenly Mansions (New York 1950). r. turnor, Nineteenth-Century Architecture in Britain (London 1950). h. s. goodhart-rendel, English Architecture since the Regency (London 1953). h. r. hitchcock, Early Victorian Architecture in Britain, 2 v. (New Haven, Conn. 1954); Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (2d ed. Pelican History of Art; 1963). p. ferriday, ed., Victorian Architecture (Philadelphia, Pa. 1964).
[j. d. van trump]
Part 10: Twentieth-Century Europe (1900s–1960s)
Twentieth-century church architecture in Europe was caught in the process of development involving concepts of form, materials, and techniques, as well as cultural changes and growing liturgical awareness. Church architecture in 20th-century Europe was a product of a liturgical and secular renewal, which elaborated in various stages a fresh concept of the Church and of the church building as an ecclesiastical edifice. It employed the most advanced stylistic resources and building techniques. These made possible a new breadth and centripetal articulation of the church interior. A surge of vitality and unprecedented structural ability combined with a rejuvenation of the liturgy through the liturgical movement.
The new building materials (iron, concrete, glass) did not of themselves lead to a new church architecture: in France, Anatole de Baudot (1834–1915) had used reinforced concrete, but the new building materials remained at the outset simply a scaffolding for the traditional styles of architecture (St.-Eugène, Paris, 1854, done in cast iron; St.-Jean-de-Montmartre, 1894–1902, with moulded vaults). Open steel construction was used by Astruc in Notre-Dame du Travail in Paris (1899–1901), but it was not until the 1920–24 period that new stylistic use of these building materials was made. The advance occurred when Auguste perret designed Notre-Dame du Raincy near Paris, rightly termed the first stylistically modern church in Europe. The altar stands somewhat free on a raised stage, and steel columns support a concrete roof. The exterior walls have abstract light-absorbing ornamentation. Karl Moser, inspired by the Raincy church, created the church of St. Antonius in Basel as early as 1927.
Unfinished concrete was then introduced as a stylistic element and was adopted and developed, despite many difficulties, by Hans Herkommer and Dominikus Böhm in Germany. In 1928 Otto Bartning erected the first steel church (Evangelical) with stained glass in Cologne. The suitability of new building materials for sacred edifices remained a subject of controversy for a long time.
European architecture began to develop during the period immediately prior to World War II; despite many challenges, the Liturgical Movement gave birth to new growth, especially in Germany. Since the war and right up to Vatican II, church architecture has been given a deeper theological basis and has experienced a great renewal in every European country.
Liturgical Movement. Opportunely, the Liturgical Movement, whose initial impulse had been given in the 19th century, had gathered momentum. It had gained impetus with the new Missal of the Benedictine Anselm Schott, who was interested as early as 1884 in the participation of the laity in the Mass. With the additional influence of Pius X, fresh vitality appeared in the liturgy after World War I. Six million Schott Missals had been printed by 1955. A new attitude and liturgical worship service had sprung up in French and Belgian monasteries, and the awakening extended into Germany as well as in such places as Maria Laach and Beuron.
A liturgical trend in church architecture can be detected from about 1910 in the work of Böhm. Even before World War I he had planned chapels to house the often neglected and marginalized baptismal font, and he moved side altars as far from the principal sanctuary space as possible, to focus attention on the main altar. During World War I, together with the Benedictine-oriented architect Martin Weber, he drafted the first square church interior (1915). The church, which was to be built in Neu-Ulm, was to have apses for the side altars. The architects placed the baptismal font in the middle of the entrance hall, and brought the altar closer to the people on a raised, circular island. The bell tower on the side was incorporated into the design of the main structure.
Problems of transition. Architectural forms and designs were strongly influenced by ravenna but modified by contemporary trends. German and Austrian architects (e.g., Otto Wagner) had begun to show concern for more space and a gradual abandonment of overloading. The progress represented by their plans and projects can be properly appreciated only when one reflects on the state of affairs that existed: in central Europe, neo-Gothic was considered to be the one proper form of architecture for sacred edifices. Accordingly, the Catholic cathedral of Cologne, the tower of a Protestant cathedral at Ulm, and the basilicas in Lourdes and Lisieux had all been finished in neo-Gothic style. In 1912 the Cologne hierarchy allowed only neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic structures for ecclesiastical building. It was in 1927 that the Association for Christian Art in Cologne spoke out against the dominance of the old style, and even then it considered reinforced concrete a building material unsuitable for churches. As traditional styles lost popularity, new building materials developed their own potentialities and suggested new designs for churches. In the transitional period, Böhm developed the technique of laid-on hard wall plaster, especially in vaulting, and created the church of St. Engelbert, Cologne-Riehl (1930). Reinforced concrete, steel, iron, and glass became legitimate building materials between 1925 and 1927. They rendered new ceiling solutions possible and reduced the structural confusion between supporting and space-enclosing elements, between wall and ceiling, thrust and load. The new wide interior with modern design and glass walls began to prevail. A new transparency was added to the breadth of the interior, materializing what Otto Wagner of Vienna had advocated as early as 1895.
In the midst of this transition stood Böhm (1880–1955). His first important designs were executed in 1922 for churches in Dettingen and Vaals (Holland). The latter design, for a Benedictine abbey church, places the tabernacle for the first time in the choir wall; the altar had on it only a cross and candles and was placed in a central location to accommodate the circumstantes. He also designed the St. John Baptist church in Neu-Ulm (1926), with its distinct baptismal chapel that influenced later building. After creating the design for Mainz-Bischofsheim (1926), he entered the "Opfergang" competition for the Frauenfriedenskirche in Frankfurt am Main. In this, the largest church architecture competition of the 20th century, Böhm won first prize among 650 competitors, although his design was never realized. His plan called for an enclosed space "with sheer presence" in which the community is led to the impressive place of sacrifice, emphasized by the lighting arrangement. The concept of the altar as central to the Mass had triumphed.
Growth in Germany. New church architecture prevailed in Germany more extensively than in other European countries prior to World War II. Advanced stylistic elements were demonstrated in the Corpus Christi Church in Aachen (1929–30), designed by Rudolf Schwarz (1897–1961). He based his design on the ground plan of the Frankfurt design, on which he had worked as a collaborator with Böhm. The period from 1925 to 1927 was the moment of greatest innovation and stylistic power in German ecclesiastical architecture; churches were built in Bavaria with money that Cardinal Faulhaber had collected in the United States. Such fruitful results were made possible by the earlier work of J. van Acken, by the Liturgical Movement, and by the renewal thought of a portion of the Christians in Germany after World War I. In 1927 Der Verfall der kirchlichen Kunst had been published in Germany. This work, by the Swiss artist Alexandre Cingria, had been published in French in 1917 as La Decadence de l'art sacré. It had been welcomed by P. Claudel, who expressed the hope for an encounter between creative imagination, joyous sensuous appeal, and Christianity. Pertinent as his insight was, it was dimmed in the general preoccupation with industrial development and natural science.
In Germany the questions of theology, ideals, form, and material continued to be the subjects of lively discussion. Serious reflection and a new religious attitude influenced architects of many European countries and others in America. Protestants also made intensive efforts to find a genuine church architecture: Otto Bartning was a leader in both his writing and designs. New ideas were being tried by Hans Döllgast, Hans Herkommer, Clemens Holzmeister, J. Krahn, Michael Kurz, Otto-Orlando Kurz, Alfons Leitl, Rudolph Schwarz, Hans Schwippert, and Thomas Wechs.
Meanwhile the Liturgical Movement received impetus from the abbeys of Maria Laach and Beuron, the Quickborn Youth Movement, and such individuals as R. Guardini, J. Jungmann, K. Kramp, and Bishop Landersdorfer. However, it was not unified and gave few direct impulses to church architecture. One feature that resulted from it, however, was a Christocentric emphasis in church plans in which the altar was detached from the choir wall and set on a raised "stage." As early as 1919, Weber and Böhm had proposed, without success, that altars be erected without tabernacles. Frankfurt am Main developed many remarkable churches after 1925. In the church of the Holy Spirit by Weber (1930), the altar was moved toward the middle of the church, so that it could be surrounded by the faithful, and the tabernacle was put onto a pillar. The trend in religious life and preaching was to accent essentials and to eliminate superfluities and accretions. Thus more attention was given to the altar, the font, and the confessional; side altars and statues of the saints were eliminated. The Stations of the Cross were assigned a less conspicuous place. The church was conceived as the spatial envelope for the altar, on which the Eucharist is celebrated, and not any longer the static site of the tabernacle.
Between 1927 and 1933 an impressive series of church designs emerged, such as those by Böhm for Leverkusen-Küppersteg, Hindenburg in Upper Saxony, München-Gladbach, Norderney, and Dülmen. Böhm also transferred the site of the choir, hitherto far off to one side in the west, to the chancel. His leading successor was Schwarz, who defended Böhm's ideas in lectures and writings; he proceeded to design interiors of imposing breadth and height. From 1933, the beginning of the Nazi regime, church architecture declined, and was throttled completely during World War II.
There followed a complete change in the European picture. Between 1933 and 1950, churches were built in Switzerland (chiefly in Basel, Lucerne, and Zurich), designed by Hermann Baur of Basel and F. Metzger of Zurich. These were more centralized churches that brought the congregation closer to the altar. Switzerland became the leader for the whole of Europe.
Church architecture experienced a revival after 1950, since many churches had been destroyed and the many new communities needed churches. Between 1950 and 1965, about 8,000 churches, Catholic and Protestant, were either built or remodeled, and others that had been slightly damaged were renovated.
A Deeper Theological Basis. The oppression of Christians from 1933 to 1945 had chastened and ennobled some of the Christian communities. Not only did they pray the Mass along with the priest, as had been the goal of efforts prior to 1933, but in addition the laity became more conscious of their status (1 Pt 2.5, 9; Rev 1.6;5.10; 20.6), and their concept of the Church was deepened. The altar was moved even further into the middle of the church, as it had been in primitive Christian worship; the faithful were grouped around the altar on all four sides; and, in the mystery of the Eucharist, stress was laid upon the commemorative sacrifice and the Consecration. Renewed attention was directed to the Trinity and the entire economy of salvation embracing all of time to Judgment Day.
The long rectangular ground plan was almost completely supplanted by short rectangular, square, parabolic, rhomboidal, circular, polygonal, L-shaped, and T-shaped ground plans.
Unlike the basilicas of early Christian churches, 20th-century structures developed on the basis of theological rather than secular considerations. Concepts of the relationship of the assembly to the altar have helped determine the planning of sanctuary and congregational space; the attempt has been to realize liturgical worship within the framework of expanded artistic possibilities.
In the 1960s leading up to Vatican II and beyond, the character of the church building as a community assembly room began to be stressed. Since 1965 celebration of Mass facing the people became the universal norm; the tabernacle has come to be housed more frequently in a chapel; and an area with ambo has been created for the liturgy of the Word. Often a slightly elevated seat is placed behind the altar for the priest. This new attitude, derived from the 1965 decrees of vatican ii, was realized in the church of St. Helen, Munich, designed by Hansjakob Lill, the first church in this style since the council. Until about 1950 to 1955, a strictly architectonic cubic interior with large flat surfaces had dominated modern church architecture; but after a few years, perhaps following the precedent of ronchamp, a tendency toward organic forms of spatial articulation began to be manifested. Walls and ceiling assumed a flexibility in flowing contours and a great variety of form and combination of materials. The danger arose that church architecture might degenerate into industrial art, and it stimulated discussion of a crisis in church architecture (1963–65). On the other hand, the freedom of articulation enabled remarkable structures to be erected, with the result that Catholic church architecture has attracted and challenged architects and has come to play a leading part in architecture as a whole. It has also engaged the interest of the decorative arts.
Austria. Because of financial difficulties and the strong hold of tradition, the development of a new church architecture in Austria proceeded very slowly. Peter Behrens (1868–1940), summoned from Düsseldorf to Vienna, gave it its first impetus. Apart from a few churches by Holzmeister (b. 1886) and Robert Kramreiter (b.1905), a disciple of Böhm, examples of new church architecture were few. Innovations began on a large scale only around 1954, even though the Liturgical Movement had been promoted since 1922 by Canon Pius parsch (Klosterneuburg). Notable buildings that have been designed include: the church of Christ the King (Gloggnitz, 1963) by C. Holzmeister; Klagenfurt seminary church by K. Holey; structures in Salzburg (1955) and Vienna (1957) by the Group 4 architects; a parish church (Neu-Arzl, Innsbruck, 1961) by J. Lackner; a structural steel church (Donawitz, 1954) by K. Lebwohl and K. Weber; Fatima Church (Graz, 1954) by G. Lippert; Holy Family Church (Kapfenberg-Hafendorf, 1963) by K. Schwanzer; and the chapel of Catholic University (Vienna, 1963) by O. Uhl.
Italy. Italy was more tradition- bound than Austria, but new forces similar to those in Austria began to stir from 1954 onward. The Bologna National Church Architecture Congress was held in 1955 and presided over by Cardinal Lercaro, a promoter of liturgy and art. In 1956 the Centro di Studio e Informazione per l'Architettura Sacra was founded, and a journal was initiated. A study center was established in Milan, where Cardinal Montini (later Pope Paul VI) promoted church building. Consequently, new Italian church architecture flourished in the industrial centers around Bologna and Milan, while Rome remained traditional. The 1957 competition for design of the shrine of the "Weeping Madonna" in Syracuse attracted a large number of talented architects, some of whom produced impressive designs. Church architecture in Italy moved forward aggressively; representative of its progress was the "highway church" of S. Giovanni a Campi Bisenzio, near Florence, designed by G. Michelucci.
Spain. Twentieth-century Spain had in Miguel Fisac a leading architect, the first in Europe to promote "dynamic" church architecture, which was later carried forward in France by Le Corbusier and in Germany by Hans Schädel. The Dominican church of Alcobendas in Madrid, designed by Fisac, is impressive from the liturgical point of view. By the 1960s there had been erected about 30 new churches, mostly rectangular in plan. The university church in Córdoba and the church of St. Rita in Madrid were both erected on a centripetal plan.
France. A number of French painters toward the end of the 19th century (and more in the 20th century) were active leaders in Christian art: O. Redon, P. Puvis de Chavannes, M. Denis, G. Desvallières, and G. Rouault. Church edifices with new building materials were erected in the suburbs of Paris, but the real advancement came in 1922 with the Raincy church designed by A. Perret (see raincy, notre-dame du). Besides being revolutionary in concept, it included windows by Denis and sculpture by E. A. Bourdelle. Many new churches were built in France after World War I, though liturgical and architectural progress was slow. The architect Maurice Novarina designed the church of Notre-Dame de Toutes Graces at assy (1938–50). Though less aesthetic on the whole than the later chapel by H. Matisse at Vence, it is exceptional for its decorative elements; it was an effort, inspired by the Dominicans, especially P. couturier, to create a renaissance of sacred art. Jewish and other non-Catholic artists, including atheists and communists, were engaged to produce works along with the Catholic artist G. Rouault. The Assy church includes work by P. Bonnard, M. Chagall, F. Léger, J. Lipchitz, J. Lurçat, and H. Matisse (see W. Rubin, Modern Sacred Art and the Church of Assy, New York 1961). Among Novarina's other structures are the parish church at Le Fayet (1939), that at Vongy (1938), and the more significant Sacred Heart Church at Audincourt (1952), which includes a mosaic façade and baptistery stained glass by J. Bazaine, and both stained glass and a choir tapestry by Léger. The stained glass here and elsewhere represented an improvement in the ability of modern architecture to engage the decorative artist (see D. Grosman, in Das Münster 9 9–10). Architecture had been progressing toward a climax in France for several years in the works of P. bellot: Our Lady of Peace, Suresnes, 1934; Benedictine convent, Vauves, 1935; and Immaculate Conception Church, Audincourt, 1935.
After 1939, many circular churches were designed, especially by G. H. Pingusson, for the worker parishes in the "Zone"; the first such designs were realized in Bouts, Corny, and Orsay. A significant thrust forward occurred when Le Corbusier completed the pilgrimage church at ronchamp (Notre-Dame du Haut, 1953–55). An astonishing architectural and engineering accomplishment was the ovoid Pius X Basilica at Lourdes (1956–58), designed by Le Donné, P. Vago, and P. Pinsard.
Belgium and Holland. In Belgium, too, a new church architecture has made significant progress since the mid-1950s. Designs for liturgical appurtenances and sacred vessels in particular showed an interesting appropriateness, promoted by the Benedictine Abbey of St. Andrew, Bruges in its journal, Art d'Église. In Holland the various Christian confessions have exercised an influence on new church styles, though not to the same extent as in Germany.
Bibliography: h. schnell, Zur Situation der christlichen Kunst der Gegenwart (Munich 1962). x. von hornstein, St. Antonius, Basel (Munich 1936). a. hoff et al., Dominikus Böhm (Munich 1962). r. schwarz, The Church Incarnate: The Sacred Function of Christian Architecture, tr. c. harris (Chicago, Ill.1958); Von der Bebauung der Erde (Heidelberg 1949); Kirchenbau (Heidelberg 1960). j. van acken, Christozentrische Kirchenkunst (2d ed. Gladbeck i. W. 1923). o. bartning, Vom neuen Kirchbau (Berlin 1919); Vom Raum der Kirche (Bramsche bei Osnabrück 1958). h. baur et al., Kirchenbauten (Zurich 1956). For modern Swiss church architecture, see the periodicals Das Werk and Das Münster. r. hess, Neue kirchliche Kunst in der Schweiz (Zurich 1962). For current reports on German, European, and other church architecture, see Das Münster, ed. h. schnell, 6 issues yearly, well illus., the only German pub. in this field, with Eng., Fr., and Span. résumés. For up to 1937, see Die christliche Kunst (Munich 1904–37) and the yearbooks of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für christliche Kunst (Munich, to 1937, 1951–56). r. grosche, "überlegungen zur Theorie des Kirchenbaues," Das Münster 13 (1960) 344–349. h. schnell, "Der neue Kirchenbau und die Konzilsberatungen," Theologie und Glaube 53 (1963) 292–299; "Zur Konstitution des II. Vatikanischen Konzils über Liturgie und Kunst," Das Münster 17 (1964) 60–64. General surveys of German church architecture since 1948, in a. henze and t. filthaut, Contemporary Church Art, ed. m. lavanoux, tr. c. hastings (New York 1956), new ed. and illus. as Neue kirchliche Kunst (Recklinghausen 1958). r. jaspert, ed., Handbuch moderner Architektur (Berlin 1957), with contributions by w. weyres on Catholic church architecture, and by g. langmaack on Protestant. w. weyres, Neue Kirchen im Erzbistum Köln 1945–56 (Düsseldorf 1957). w. weyres and o. bartning, eds., Kirchen: Handbuch für den Kirchenbau (Munich 1959), most comprehensive survey next to Das Münster. Exhibition catalogs by h. schnell et al., Arte liturgica in Germania: 1945–55 (Munich 1956); Kirchenbau der Gegenwart in Deutschland (Munich 1960). c. holzmeister, Kirchenbau ewig neu (Innsbruck 1951). r. kramreiter and p. parsch, Neue Kirchendunst im Geist der Liturgie (Vienna 1939). e. widder, Zeichen des Heils: Kirchenkunst der Gegenwart in österreich (Linz 1963). Das Münster 8.3–4 (1955) 17.7–8 (1964), special issues. Der grosse Entschluss (1946—), monthly, each issue contains a brief contribution by h. muck on contemporary Christian art. Chiesa e quartiere (Bologna 1957—), quarterly, ed. g. gresleri, esp. on northern Italy. Dieci anni di archittetura sacra in Italia: 1945–1955, ed. l. gherardi (Bologna 1956). Fede e arte (Rome 1953—), ed. g. fallani. Cancelleria, Vatican art journal. f. morales, Arquitectura religiosa de Miguel Fisac (Madrid 1960). Survey in a. fernandez arenas, Iglesias nuevas en España (Barcelona 1963), illus. L'Art sacré (1935—), monthly. Art chrétien (1934—), quarterly, illus. surveys of new churches in individual dioceses, with bibliogs. p. rÉgamey, Religious Art in the Twentieth Century (New York 1963). Art d'Église (Bruges 1927—), trimestrally, on Belgian and European Christian art. U. Hård af Segerstad, Nya kyrkor i Skandinavien (Stockholm 1962). Surveys on European Churches in f. pfammater, Betonkirchen (Einsiedeln 1948). j. pichard, Modern Church Architecture, tr. e. callmann (New York 1960). g. e. kidder-smith, The New Churches of Europe (New York 1964). Christliche Kunst der Gegenwart (Salzburg 1956—), biennial.
Part 11: United States (Colonial to 1960s)
In this entry, the history of church architecture in the United States is discussed according to three main periods: colonial and missionary times, the 19th century, and the early the 20th century. Where appropriate, references are also made to historical developments in Canadian church architecture.
Colonial and missionary times. Church architecture in early America shows different influences in the three major areas of European settlement: Canada, which was settled by the French; the Southwest, colonized by the Spanish; and the Atlantic Coast, built up by the English. Gradually, in these sections, indigenous styles evolved.
Spanish Influence. The first Mass in the New World was celebrated in 1494; and as the colonists spread westward, missionary, priests also went, building churches over a period of 300 years in Mexico and regions now known as Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Kansas, and California. Influences in Mexico of Spanish baroque, Gothic, Aztec, and Miztec produced buildings of simple basilican form, with thick stone or adobe walls and rich interior decoration. The monastery church in Huejotzingo (1544–71) is an example, but by 1700 the mixture of indigenous styles had produced the flamboyant richness of churches such as Santo Domingo at San Cristobal las Casas, with domes, elaborately carved façade, and ornate interiors. In California, Arizona, and New Mexico, owing to the poverty of the people, the use of adobe for construction limited building to that of squat boxlike structures with low bell towers and roofs of thatch on poles, reflecting the building tradition of the Pueblo Indians. As Spanish baroque influence increased, forms became more elaborate and sanctuary walls more ornate; but there was no counterpart to the elaborate stone carving of Mexican churches. Thus began the mission styles whose later development included churches in California at Carmel, San Francisco (Mission Dolores), and San Juan Bautista; these are buildings with a long history of demolition and restoration, whose formal influence is still felt on the West Coast.
French Influence. Missionaries in New France built early churches of wood, stone, straw, and poles, from Quebec to the Great Lakes and southward; but by the 18th century they too had developed a style. It originated in the dependence on local materials and climate, in the building craft of Normandy, and in the architectural taste of the île-de-France. A typical example is the small church of St. Laurent, île d'Orleans (1708), with its Latin-cross plan, steeply pitched roof, low stone walls, roundheaded windows and doors, and a two-level wooden belfry. This development was attributable also to the efforts of the famed Bishop Laval of Quebec (1622–1708) and the architects Claude Baillief (1635–98) and Jean Baillargé (1726–1805). While New France was still a mission, Laval had many churches built, and from examples such as Lachenaie (1724) grew the restrained exteriors and exuberantly decorated interiors that became popular in 18th-and 19th-century Canada.
English Colonies along the Atlantic Coast. Catholics numbered few among the early settlers, most of whom were either Anglicans or members of dissenting Protestant sects seeking religious freedom. Their buildings reflected their differences in attitude and worship. The Anglicans, keeping a firm tie with the Eucharistic liturgy of the motherland, retained the English hierarchical plan with nave, rood-screen, chancel, choir, table, and lectern. The dissenters, on the other hand, gathered around the pulpit or lectern in an almost square space, emphasizing communal worship and the Word. Anglican churches, like those of England, were of stone or brick, with a bell tower as in St. Luke's, Smithfield, Va. (1682); but the meeting houses were usually clapboarded timber structures, such as the Old Ship Meeting House at Hingham, Mass. (1681), generating a style identified only with America. Later the styles overlapped; St. Paul's, Wick-ford, R.I., was an Anglican meeting house, and the Old South Meeting House in Boston had a very English (Gibbsian) spire. The establishment of Maryland by Lord Baltimore (a convert to Catholicism) gave immigrant Catholics a base in the colonies, but the successive enactment and repeal of tolerance laws, with alternating freedom and oppression, gave this minority little opportunity for substantial church building. Survival was more urgent, and their first real contribution had to wait 150 years. James Gibbs, in A Book of Architecture (1728), spread the formal ideas of English Georgian churches rapidly in North America. The carefully proportioned spires, classical portico, Palladian details, roundheaded windows, and ornate lightsome interiors inspired, among others, Christ Church, Philadelphia (Anglican, 1729–54); the First Baptist Meeting House, Providence, R.I. (1778); and the Anglican cathedral in Quebec (1804). The last mentioned was modeled on St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, London, a contrast with the French Gothic tendencies of Catholics in New France.
The Nineteenth Century. A wide range of stylistic directions flourished after the American Revolution. Presidents Washington and Jefferson advocated the use of classical Roman and Greek forms in architecture. Gibbs' Georgian flourished in New England with the advent of design manuals, such as carpenters' notebooks by Asher Benjamin and others. At mid-century the Gothic revival stimulated by the work of Augustus Welby pugin in England became the accepted ecclesiastical style. H.H. Richardson countered this with a short-lived eclectic Romanesque period in Victorian times. Meanwhile, the steel frame shaped Chicago's secular buildings away from the style of the church, and modern architecture and the skyscraper were born. Vast immigration increased the number of Catholics and the demand for churches. Great Catholic architects emerged.
In 1806 Bp. John Carroll consecrated Benjamin Latrobe's Catholic cathedral at Baltimore, a classical building modeled on the Pantheon, and described by historian Henry Russell Hitchcock as the first masterpiece of American architecture. Bishop Carroll, choosing the most talented architect available, departed from Georgian precedent to develop a liturgical solution in which the choir formed a crescent behind the altar and the great dome united the people spatially with the priest. Many Catholic cathedrals followed with the rapid growth of the Church, and the early ones were decidedly neoclassical with occasional Georgian exceptions. Plans compromised between the architecture of the Anglican Church and the meeting house. The altar, sometimes placed against an end wall lacking even an apse, but clearly visible, reflected, perhaps, the desire for lay participation voiced by Bp. A. marÉchal of Baltimore in 1822 and the earlier plea by John Carroll for use of the vernacular in the Mass (1778). Examples are at Bardstown, Ky., by John Rogers (1816); Old St. Louis Cathedral (1818) by Morton and Laveille; Letourneau's Old St. Peter's, Detroit (1841); and Henry Walters' St. Peter in Chains, Cincinnati (1845). But styles varied across the country, from Pedro Huizar's Mission San Jose in San Antonio, Tex. (1800; Spanish baroque), and the square wooden Russian church at Fort Ross, Calif. (1828), to the Egyptian revival of Minard Lafever's "Whalers' Church" at Sag Harbor, N.Y. (1844); from the "paste-board" Gothic of Notre Dame, Montreal, by James O'Donnell (1829) to the serene classical temple of the First Presbyterian Church at Princeton, N.J. (1836).
Maximilian Godefroy's neo-Gothic chapel for St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore (1806), contemporary with Latrobe's great cathedral, was the small beginning of a great and widespread stylistic development. In 1846 Richard Upjohn's Anglican Trinity Church, and James Renwick's Grace Church, both in New York, established Gothic as the ecclesiastical style of the day, thus following the English example of Pugin; Upjohn's "rural architecture" provided models for Gothic chapels as far west as California. Further, the Oxford Movement in 1833 and the Cambridge ecclesiologists in 1841 in England stimulated a new interest in the richness of medieval liturgy. The first Catholic response was in SS. Peter and Paul, Brooklyn, N.Y. (1848), by Patrick keely, who designed hundreds of churches, including Holy Cross Cathedral, Boston (1867). In 1858 James Renwick built St. Patrick's, New York. The ultimate leader of the movement was Ralph Adams Cram, whose churches from 1890 to 1936, including St. Thomas (Episcopal), New York (1907), the chapel at West Point Military Academy (1907), and the redesign of St. John the Divine Cathedral, New York, illustrated his faith in English Perpendicular Gothic as the perfect frame for the liturgy. The soaring pinnacles and vaults of Gothic, with its long narrow nave, rood-screen, and deep chancel with the choir before the altar, became the symbol of High-Church building in America. Its influence was felt even in such structures as the Jewish temple in Cincinnati (1866).
The great H. H. Richardson established a rival Victorian trend in his neo-Romanesque Trinity Church at Boston (1873), which returned to the semicircular choir around the altar, and his Albany cathedral project of 1882, a trend that Cram denounced as being Low-Church but that many Catholic architects later followed. Toward the century's end, Catholic churches tended in many stylistic directions, Renaissance, Italianate, colonial revival, etc., perhaps because of two factors: (1) the great influx (5 million between 1815 and 1860) of Catholic immigrants of diverse nationalities demanded many new buildings in which costs and expediency took precedence over liturgy or architecture; (2) the activities of nativist groups (the infamous Know-Nothings, etc.) in persecution of religious foreigners generated in the immigrants the desire to be accepted as established citizens and to conform, in architecture, to local fashion. Powerful architecture was readily seen as a status symbol.
The Twentieth century. Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple, Chicago (1906), can be considered America's first modern church, for it departed from axial planning and used nonderivative forms in poured concrete. The First Church of Christ Scientist, Berkeley, Calif.(1912), by Bernard Maybeck, despite Gothic elements, was avant-garde in its space arrangement, its hollow columns containing service ducts, and its creative use of industrial materials. Popular taste, however, had been affected by the neoclassical styles of the Chicago World's Fair (1893) and the plastic baroque of the San Diego exposition (1915), both of which added to the 19th-century stylistic heritage. Early 20th-century Catholic cathedrals were thus Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance, Byzantine, baroque, and eclectic, the range including Halifax, Nova Scotia, by Cram; Seattle, Wash., by Maginnis and Walsh; St. Louis, Mo., by Barnett, Haynes, and Barnett; St. Paul, Minn., by Masqueray; and Los Angeles, Calif., by Maginnis and Walsh. The early Christian basilica inspired McKim, Mead, and White's Madison Square Presbyterian Church in New York City (1906) and St. John's Catholic Church at North Cambridge, Mass., by Maginnis and Walsh (1905).
The Early Liturgical Movement. A major factor in rescuing church building from the expensive romance with the past was a rising consciousness of the role of liturgy in community worship. The 1903 and 1905 encyclical letters of Pope St. Pius X encouraging greater lay participation in the Mass received little architectural response in America, except in a few remodeled churches of the Paulist Fathers. The later recognition of liturgical study and reform as the key to a new church architecture owes much to the work of the Benedictines in Collegeville, Minn., beginning with Dom Virgil michel, who in 1925 had studied new directions in Europe. The liturgical arts society, New York, founded in 1928, and the annual liturgical weeks, begun in Chicago in 1940, also helped to develop architecture that recognized the pastoral nature of the liturgy. In addition, the Immigration Bill of 1921 curtailed the influx of European Catholics and allowed the Church more time to reexamine its social, liturgical and architectural situation.
Early response among architects emphasized the visual primacy and accessibility of the altar and the elimination of excessive ornament, as in Barry Byrne's church of Christ the King, Tulsa, Okla. (1927), where the sanctuary projects into a short but wide, column-free nave. This contrasted with the monumentality of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (1928–62) and the neo-Renaissance Trinity College chapel (1928), both by Maginnis and Walsh, in Washington, D.C.
Postwar Years. After World War II there was an urgent demand for churches. New techniques were tried, and experiments in form were launched by a host of talented young architects. Even in the war years, new directions emerged. The elimination of all touches of antiquarianism occurred in three new churches built in 1940 and 1941. Paul Thiry's church of Our Lady of the Lake, Seattle, Wash. (1941), and the Saarinens' Tabernacle Church of Christ, Columbus, Ind. (1941), relied on an austere organization of light and proportions in modern structural materials. Even more radical was Paul Schweikher's Third Unitarian Church in Chicago (1940), a brick box whose formal origins were more secular than ecclesiastical. The latter foreshadowed sophisticated developments of the "rectangular box" church in Mies van der Rohe's serene Episcopal Chapel of brick, steel, and glass at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago (1951); Schweikher's own First Universalist Church, Chicago (1956); and Ralph Rapson's Lutheran Chapel for the Deaf, St. Paul, Minn. (1961). Early attempts to enure maximum lay participation resulted in St. Mark's, Burlington, Vt. (1943), by Freeman, French, and Freeman, a Greek-cross plan with seats on three sides of the altar, the choir on the fourth. A similar early attempt was St. Clement's (Episcopal), Alexandria, Va. (1947), by Joseph Saunders, which has seats on two sides of an axis linking the entry, font, altar, and pulpit. Fan-shaped plans focusing on the sanctuary were used in Joseph Murphy's Church of the Resurrection, St. Louis, Mo., (1954), Maynard Lyndon's Christian Science Church, Los Angeles, Calif. (1956), and Paul Thiry's semicircular church of Christ the King, Seattle, Wash. (1957). All of these exploited the plasticity and freedom of concrete construction. The altar was completely surrounded by seats in Olaf Hammarstrom's square wooden church (Episcopal, 1954) at Wellfleet, Mass., and in C. F. Wright's octagonal church of the Blessed Sacrament at Holyoke, Mass.(1954). Finally, the church became a circular tent at St. Peter's, Linda del Mar, Calif. (1962), by Mario Ciampi, and at the Benedictine priory church, St. Louis, Mo.(1963), by Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum. The latter, a pyramid of parabolic shells, flooding the sanctuary with light, presents a new nonhistoricist symbolism, but poses visual and acoustic difficulties for preachers. New ways of enclosing worship space generated a new concern with formal symbolism. Frank Lloyd Wright's Unitarian church in Madison, Wis. (1951), had a roof modeled on "hands in the attitude of prayer." Barry Byrne's St. Francis Xavier Church in Kansas City, Mo. (1951), and the Stamford, Conn., Presbyterian Church by Max Abramovitz (1958) were shaped like the fish-symbol of the early Christians. Victor Lundy's church designs have been likened to "petals of a giant tropical wallflower" and a "bird about to take flight." Light, as a shaper of space, determined the sophisticated square geometry of Philip Johnson's synagogue in Port Chester, New York (1957), and Louis Kahn's magnificant Unitarian church in Rochester, N.Y. (1962). The desire for an atmosphere conducive to meditation produced Saarinen's small, cylindrical, brick chapel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1959). Form took precedence over liturgy in Walter Netsch's Air Force Academy chapel, Colo. (1962), where 150-foot spires of aluminum and stained glass enclose a long rectangular nave for Protestants, with Jewish and Catholic chapels beneath. In contrast to this, and earlier, was Max Abramovitz's Interfaith Center at Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass. (1959), where three concrete chapels almost similar in plan, grouped around a pool, emphasize at once the common and different aspects of three modes of worship.
Liturgical Renewal. The diverse forms of the 1950s gave way to more liturgy-conscious designs in the 1960s. A considerable amount of interdenominational study began, helped by the writings of Rudolf Schwarz (Germany), Peter Hammond (England), and Father H. A. Reinhold (U.S.). The 1957 liturgical directives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Superior, Wis., modeled on a 1947 publication by the bishops of Germany, raised new questions about liturgical planning in the light of modern theology and directly influenced the design of St. Anthony's Superior (1960), by Thorsov and Cerny. There the concrete nave was short and wide; the choir stood beside the sanctuary; the pulpit became a simple lectern near the altar; and the font, symbolic of entrance, stood in an ample narthex, which also contained confessionals.
Liturgy was the chief determinant in the planning also of St. Patrick's, Oklahoma City (1960), by Robert Jones, where the glass-walled nave extends visually into a high surrounding concrete-walled atrium providing for overflow congregations. The influence of liturgy in planning is noticeable also in Pietro Belluschi's Episcopal church of the Redeemer, Baltimore, Md. (1960), an elegant cruciform wood structure, whose modern form has vague echoes of the Gothic; Belluschi's Benedictine priory in Portsmouth, R.I. (1962); and Robert Olwell's shallow-domed, circular Greek Orthodox church in Oakland, Calif. (1962).
In Canada, the church of St. Maurice, Duvernay, Quebec (1963), by Roger d'Astons, and the church of the Canadian Martyrs, St. Boniface, Manitoba (1962), by J. Gaboury, show innovation: the celebrant of the Mass faces the people, the choir is near the sanctuary, and there is a separate altar of reservation. St. Rose of Lima Church, Ste. Rose du Lac, Manitoba (1962), by Green, Blankenstein, and Russell, groups people on three sides of the altar in a small square space, an arrangement that follows the new trend in Europe.
Marcel Breuer's Benedictine abbey church at St. John's, Collegeville, Minn., the first modern church to rival the scale and majesty of the 19th-century neo-Gothic cathedrals, grew from strictly liturgical considerations. Its vast folded-concrete structure encloses a sanctuary that visually unites the crescent choir with the congregation. The traditional communion rail is replaced by stations at the head of processional aisles; the ambos, central altar, and abbot's seat are all well positioned to symbolize their liturgical roles. Church architecture in the early 1960s included such widely contrasting types as the Episcopal and Catholic cathedrals in San Francisco. The neo-Norman Grace Cathedral (Episcopal), with its golden replica of Ghiberti's famous baptistery door in Florence and its altar now moved to a central position, was completed in 1964. Belluschi and Nervi's new Catholic cathedral has a diamond-shaped, column-free plan with central altar. Its great prestressed, marble-clad concrete roof-walls twist up to 180 feet in space to form a Greek-cross skylight. The San Francisco cathedral represents an approach far different from the long medieval plan (1954) for the new Baltimore Catholic cathedral by Maginnis and Walsh.
The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy issued by Vatican Council II has since become a prerequisite to the design of Catholic churches. The emphasis on the liturgy of the Word as a clearly defined part of the Mass, the clarification of the choir's role, the stress on the significance of Mass with the celebrant facing the people at Mass, and above all the pastoral and ecumenical overtones mark it as the single document that may ultimately lead to a clearly ordered 20th-century church architecture.
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[p. j. quinn/eds.]