Saturday, September 25, 2010

Revenge of the picturesque

Found on Found Objects: abandoned Scottish Catholic brutalist architecture. Don't say I never give you anything.

Why do the Catholics do this sort of thing? They build brilliant architecture and then lost interest in it. A case in point is John Scott's Chapel of Futuna - commissioned in 1959, built (literally) by the brothers of the Society of Mary, highly regarded as architecture, abandoned by the brothers, sold in 2000; until recently, gainfully employed to store builders' materials. It is still standing only because of the Wellington City Council and the Friends of Futuna.

Christian thinking since the 1970s has been dominated by men in Fair Isle sweaters whose constant drone is "the Church isn't about buildings; it's about people." This, of course, is rubbish. The Church is about power, privilege and great architecture.

And here is a commercial break to remind you that things may be today but they were rubbish back in 1982.

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