Subido por Esteban Fernández-Cobián

2010 - A Living Presence - draft

Cover Design: George J. Martin
Cover Art: Andrea Pacciani
Extending and Transforming
the Tradition of Catholic
Sacred Architecture
©2010 The Catholic University of America
Washington, DC
All Rights Reserved
A Living Presence: Proceedings of the Symposium
Table of Contents:
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Apostolic Blessing for the Symposium3
An Introduction by Michael Patrick 4
Information and Sponsorship 12
Symposium Prayer 26
Program of Events 27
A Living Presence: Presented Papers
Symposium Keynote Address:
An Exalted Mission: A Unique and Irreplaceable Role
Cardinal Justin Rigali 37
Originality and Tradition: The Presence of the Past in Contemporary
Church Architecture
Duncan G. Stroik
The Right Abstraction: A Balanced Expression of Divinity and Humanity in
Catholic Architecture
Michael F. Tamara 68
Depicting the Question as Well as the Answer: What Can Medieval Art
Teach us about the Architecture and Decoration of Churches?
Sarah Carrig Bond 88
Symmetria, Order & Complexity, Definiteness
Erik Bootsma
Looking for a New Tradition: Transformations of the Spanish Religious
Architecture on the 20th Century
Eduardo Delgado-Orusco & Esteban Fernández-Cobián 97
What Makes a Church Catholic?
Henry Hardinge Menzies 129
Abstraction and the Architectural Imagination
Joel Pidel 136
Quotidian Pilgrimage
Stephen P. Szutenbach 144
On the Edge of Turin (1965-1977): The Church is No Longer a Monument but
House among the Houses, “Poor” among the Poor
Carla Zito 160
Pedagogical Patronage: The Role of the Parish Saint in Sacred Architecture
Fr. Jamie Hottovy 171
Notes on Contemporary Architecture for Catholic Churches: Theological
Considerations for New Architectural Approaches
Luigi Bartolomei 181
The Doctrine of Imitation In Art and Faith
Andrea Pacciani 206
A Case for Diversity in the Design of Catholic Churches
David C. Kuhlman 210
Catholic Architecture Calls for a Common Language: Leon Battisti Alberti
and Ornament to Sacred Buildings
Thomas Stroka 224
Catholicism at the Eastern Border of Europe: Construction Works by the
Catholic Church in the Post-Communist Countries at the Turn of the Millennium
Zoran Vukoszavlyev 239
The Dual Dialectic of Incompleteness: Architectural Hermenuetic
of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia
George Joseph Martin 251
A Living Presence: Design Competition
Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church
ADW Architects 273
A Hypothetical New Seminary in the American Midwest
Matthew Alderman 280
Divine Exuberance in the Napa Valley
Michael Arellenas 284
Saint Peter’s Church, Lemoore CA
Jonathan Bodway 290
Reconciliation through Sign and Image: The Suburban Parish Church
Daniel DeGreve 296
City of Saint John the Evangelist
Thomas Deitz 301
Saint John the Evangelist Church
Thomas Deitz 304
The Oratory of Saint Joseph Guardian of the Redeemer, Diocese of LaCrosse
Thomas Dietz 307
Chiesa dello Spirito Santo
Carlo Fantacci 312
The Wheatfield (John 12:24)
Tobias Klodwig 319
Saint Thomas More Church Renovation
George Knight 323
Mar Thoma Shleeha Cathedral
David Kuhlman 327
Stella Maris, Our Lady Star of the Sea, New Orleans
Jude LeBlanc 334
New Saint Joseph Church of the Bayou Teche, Cecilia
Jude LeBlanc 342
A New Monastery, Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
Duncan McRoberts 346
Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Parish
David Meleca 348
Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish
David Meleca 352
Chapel of the Annunciation
Mercado 356
Andrea Pacciani 360
Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist Motherhouse Chapel
Constantine George Pappas 365
Saints Ann and Joachim Church
Steven Schloeder 372
A Living Presence: Slide Presentations
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
Steven Schloeder 378
The Law of the Church and the Design and Building of Churches:
Canon Law and Sacred Architecture
Rev. Donald J. Planty Jr. 413
Shrine of Our Mother of Fair Love
Thomas Stroka 381
The Need for Beauty, Catholic Art and the Church
Ami Badami 414
Hidden in Plain Sight - A Chapel
Ann Boyak 389
Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Citta’ del Vatican
Louis Astorino 420
A Model Church for the Third Millenium
Leslie Edwards 393
Sacred Design Now: Designing the Art of a Relationship
Marco Sammicheli 426
Instrument of Paraise
John Pergallo 397
Sacred Architecture: Thomas Gordon Smith Architects
Thomas Gordon Smith 429
Our Lady of Light Catholic Church
Dominic Spadafore 401
Catholic Parish Church Complexes in the Maryland Suburbs 1945-70
Isabelle Gournay and Mary Corbin Sies Illustrating Intrinsic: The Sacred Experience
Brian Spangler 405
A Living Presence: The Symposium
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Apostolic Blessing
Introduction: Michael Patrick
A Living Presence: The Symposium
A Living Presence: The Symposium
by Michael Patrick
“While the work of architects and artists is both a science and an art, it is first an exalted mission.”
“Beauty changes us.... It disposes us to the transformation of God. Everything related to the Eucharist should be
truly beautiful”.
— Cardinal Justin Rigali, Keynote Address
For the first time, two major Catholic universities, The Catholic University of America and The
University of Notre Dame, collaborated in presenting a symposium on Catholic church architecture. “A Living Presence: Extending and Transforming the Tradition of Catholic Sacred Architecture” was held at The Catholic University of America (CUA) School of Architecture and Planning
on April 30 and May 1.
Apostolic blessing for the Symposium
The event was organized by the Partnership for Catholic Sacred Architecture, whose four directors
are Professor George Martin of Catholic University, Professor Duncan Stroik of Notre Dame, and
Michael Patrick and Eric Anderson of Patrick and Anderson Partners in Architecture. The symposium was the vision of Professor Martin, whose desire was that these great universities would
work together for the good of the Church in the important mission of creating beautiful sacred
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Introduction: Michael Patrick
More than 125 people from around the world attended the symposium. The schedule was tightly
packed with presentations of academic papers and professional work, including a keynote address by Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali, workshops, and a tour of the Basilica of the National
Shrine of the Immaculate Conception hosted by Curator Dr. Geraldine Rohling.
More than fifty presenters from across the United States — and from Italy, Spain and Hungary
contributed, with a final panel discussion featuring presentations by Denis McNamara, Assistant
Director at The Liturgical Institute, Duncan Stroik of Notre Dame, and Craig Hartman, Design
Partner at Skidmore Owings and Merrill and designer in charge of the recently completed Oakland Cathedral of Christ the Light.
Nearly forty church designs were submitted for the design competition, and included entries from
as far afield as Mexico and China. The jury — comprised of Bishop Barry Knestout of the Archdiocese of Washington, Ed Keegan, editor of Architect Magazine, and James McCrery, architect
— deliberated on Thursday morning before the symposium to choose the winners, who were
announced at the Saturday evening closing reception.
Inspiration for the Symposium
The symposium was envisioned by the organizers as a response to Pope Benedict XVI’s call for
what he termed “organic growth” in the Church. His views of the importance of the role of art and
architecture in the nourishing of the faithful — as in his homily in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New
York City, and his recent meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel in Rome — was an inspiration
for the event. In addition, Pope John Paul II’s Letter to Artists provided ample assurance that the
artistic tradition of the Church remains of great importance to its leaders — to the successors of
Peter, the rock on which Christ founded the Church. The Partnership was very pleased that Pope
Benedict addressed a letter to Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, in which he extended “to
Introduction: Michael Patrick
A Living Presence: The Symposium
all taking part in the symposium” an “Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Risen
Lord”. In particular, it seemed to the Partnership that the development of Catholic church design
since the Second Vatican Council had become unmoored from the Church’s history and tradition
— a result almost certainly not envisioned or intended by the popes or the Second Vatican Council, as seems to be clear in its Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, for example,
in which liturgical development is assumed to be gradual and keeping in mind always a continuity
with what came before. The call for an
organic growth in church building design and construction therefore became the cornerstone for
development of the symposium, and would be its theme.
The event represented a growing wave of church design conferences around the country and an
increasingly articulate call by Catholics for improvement in Catholic church design. The potential
for the symposium to become a regular meeting and a known reference point for Catholic church
design and construction was recognized by many. We are beginning plans for the next Sacred
Architecture Symposium for 2012.
The Nature of the Symposium
It was essential to the organizers that the symposium be interdisciplinary in nature, including
among its contributors and participants artists, musicians, academics, practicing architects,
philosophers, theologians, liturgical consultants, and members of the clergy and religious life, to
bring together those with different gifts as well as with divergent views on tradition and modernity. Faithfulness to the Magisterium of the Church and to Church doctrine, and an understanding
of the existing guidelines for church building design, was held to be central to the design of Catholic church buildings by the Partnership, but the symposium proposed that a fruitful dialogue
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Introduction: Michael Patrick
could be held with those of differing views in the hope of creating a unified sense of mission and
service to the Church. The symposium sought to identify church design as a continuous response
to the living presence of Christ throughout history and today.
Speakers and Presenters
“Great churches, beautiful churches, both large and small, can offer a glimpse of a world to
come....(Churches) are the windows which remind us that there is something — something
beautiful — outside the town, the village, the city, the world in which we live”, said Dean Randall
Ott of the CUA School of Architecture, in his opening remarks in the Koubek Auditorium in the
Crough Center for Architectural Studies. The first symposium session, “Case Studies”, moderated
by Adnan Morshed of CUA, initiated a dynamic conversation about the nature of church design,
including the development of church design in Eastern Europe since Pope John Paul II and the
fall of the Soviet Union; understanding the varied development of church architecture in Spain;
and gaining a perspective on how to create new church architecture by looking at the unlikely
precedent of Calvinist church architecture in Venetian culture. This dynamic interplay of proposals characterized the entire symposium. Throughout the rest of Friday and Saturday sessions
such as “Beauty and Abstraction”, “Tradition and Sacred Architecture Post-Vatican II”, “Theology,
Philosophy and the Law”, “The Image, Representation and Sacred Art”, and “The Parish Church”
proposed fascinating analyses of and directions for Catholic sacred architecture. A full list of presenters may be found on the symposium web site and video of all sessions will soon be available.
Two workshops — “The Matter of Money — Fundraising and Capital at the Service of the City of
God”, and “The Making of Sacred Buildings, Design and Construction of the Eternal City” — established the precedent for the symposium to have working groups to address real issues involved
in the renovation and construction of churches. We encourage everyone to consider these as a
Introduction: Michael Patrick
A Living Presence: The Symposium
resource for the practical development of great church architecture in the United States. Principal
presentations at lunch on Friday and Saturday, by renowned sacred artist Anthony Visco and Dr.
Leo Nestor, Director of the Sacred Music program at CUA and advisor to the US Conference of
Catholic Bishops on sacred music, firmly established that church buildings are a collaborative effort of all the arts, and that great church architecture integrates itself with great art and music. The
speakers inspired symposium participants with their beautiful work, their practical knowledge
and their passion for the
liturgy and the Church. In his keynote address on Friday evening, Cardinal Justin Rigali established three principles for the architecture of Catholic churches: one, that “Sacred Scripture
testifies that the role and mission of architects and artists arise from the very nature of the plan of
God”, two, “The Second Vatican Council and the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI affirm that the
work of architecture and art takes place in and through dialogue with the Church”, and three, that
“The mission of the architect and artist which is based in Sacred Scripture, and conducted in dialogue with the Church authentically develops only along the path of true beauty”. Cardinal Rigali’s
presence underscored our intent to be faithful and of service to the Church in our exploration of
an architecture — or many kinds of architecture — that can serve the modern
world in continuity with all of our history.
The symposium culminated in the panel discussion between Denis McNamara, Duncan Stroik,
and Craig Hartman. This event purposely brought together Professor Stroik, with his unabashed
extension of the classical tradition in churches such as Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, All
Saints Church, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe; Mr. Hartman, whose commitment to
modern design is beautifully evident in his recently completed Cathedral of Christ the Light in
Oakland, California; and Dr. McNamara, whose depth of theological insight was a tremendous
foundation for the discussion.
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Introduction: Michael Patrick
Each of these principal speakers gave a short presentation, which was followed by a highly engaged discussion among the panelists and with symposium participants. Dr. McNamara shared
with us that “ … a church building allows us to see heaven with our eyes.… Art and architecture
can allow us to perceive otherwise invisible spiritual realities”, and Duncan Stroik proposed that
“Architecture is not about producing copies, but of producing children. [Architects should] learn
from the examples of the past.” Mr. Hartman explained the process of designing and building
a modern cathedral, and shared his design process and the exploration of light as a symbol of
Introduction: Michael Patrick
A Living Presence: The Symposium
The symposium was attended by many practitioners and theorists who have been among the
strongest voices in proposing a classical architectural language as an appropriate option for Catholic church design, notable among them Thomas Gordon Smith and Duncan Stroik and many
whom they educated in the architecture school at Notre Dame. Those with a desire or willingness
to use classical forms and principles of architecture are often marginalized in contemporary discussions of architecture — dismissed as promoting an architecture disconnected from contemporary life and outmoded.
However, the compelling presentations of classical forms that respond in an original way to
current problems of church architecture, along with the fundamental beauty of the work, were a
welcome and significant presence throughout the two days of the symposium. As these forms respond to many faithful American Catholics’ ideas of an architecture that well expresses the glory
and majesty of God, the reverence appropriate to the setting for the Holy Mass, and a hierarchy
appropriate to the life of the Church — as well as a sense of connection with the continuous history of the Church — they deserve a serious hearing.
Many who attended the symposium, however, objected to this view. They found this approach to
extending the architectural tradition too literal. In their view, modern life — including technology
and building techniques — is so profoundly different from the Renaissance and Baroque periods
that an equally profound transformation of the architectural idiom is necessary to reflect and
express the developments that have occurred over the centuries.
Luigi Bartolomei from Italy and a number of his European colleagues expressed vocal disagreement with the proposals of classical architecture as an architecture for today.
In fact, this view predominates in most discussions of architecture; where the assumed baseline
for appropriate architecture is using forms, materials, design principles and methods of construction drawn primarily from our contemporary world. In its more radical form, this perspective
may result in architectural forms that are unrelated to Catholic history, or so abstracted and simplified as to be unsatisfying to many Catholics. In some cases these new forms are also indicative
of a challenge to the way the Church itself has developed — that is to say, they sometimes embody
a proposal that the Church has become too hierarchical, the clergy too distant from the people,
church buildings imbued with too much significance and embellished too lavishly. In both the
presentations and the design competition entries, there were a significant number of symposium
participants who were clearly engaging in the challenge of defining a path that both engages the
tradition and makes something new, which not only extends what came before but transforms it
with full cognizance of the challenges and opportunities of contemporary culture. One example
is Steven Schloeder, whose writing and work exhibit a robust effort to create modern buildings
consonant with the tradition and theology of the Church. We wish to encourage those who attended this symposium with this task in mind, and to invite all those engaged in this endeavor to
attend the next symposium. We encourage those who are critical of the more literal extensions of
classical architecture to look seriously at the beauty and connection to the Communion of Saints
across time that these buildings provide. To those critical of new architecture we ask that they
A Forum for Discussion
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Introduction: Michael Patrick
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A Living Presence: The Symposium
take the time to understand the nature of the attempts being made, any one of which may be a
breakthrough for an architecture that expresses the beauty, truth and goodness of Christ in a way
uniquely consonant with contemporary life.
A Living Presence, Extending and Transforming the Tradition of Catholic Sacred
Architecture 2010 Symposium
Building for the Future
April 30th through May 1st, 2010
The Catholic University of America, School of Architecture and Planning
Washington, DC
The goal of this symposium and future ones is to be a dynamic meeting place in which a work of
discussion and collaboration can be undertaken, in which those who do beautiful classically
inspired churches can share their work and reconnect us to the tradition of the Catholic Church;
while those who are exploring ways for this tradition to be transformed by the facts of our own
historical moment are encouraged to explore how this transformation can best take place, and
for each to learn from the other. Many are working toward an architecture that is faithful to the
Church, connected to tradition, and located in the current culture in an expressive way. This is a
work with tremendous potential for fruitfulness and service to the Church.
The Partnership for Catholic Sacred Architecture planned this first symposium on sacred architecture in the hope of finding a path acknowledging — and building upon — what is good in
diverse approaches; unified by a love for God and a desire for service to the Church. Based on
comments by participants, it succeeded as a first small step in this large and profound task.
It is our hope that out of this symposium will emerge a stronger sense of where we have been, and
why, and a great enthusiasm for the possibilities that lie before us in making Catholic churches
that are worthy to take their place in the great architectural tradition of the Church.
We invite all architects, theologians, philosophers, teachers, artists, liturgical consultants, clergy,
and those from all walks of life with an interest in the beauty, educative capacity and inspiration of
Catholic churches to assemble for this event.
The title of our Symposium is intended to convey many things, chief among them the continuing presence of the sacred, of God, in the midst of us as a people, and in the buildings we erect to
worship Him. It is also meant to express an interest in Pope Benedict XVI’s continuing call for an
organic growth in every aspect of the life of the church, including its
Growth and change come, as is only proper and in the nature of earthly things, but that growth
flows most profoundly out of the living experience of Catholics as the people of God, and it
should not involve the wholesale destruction of what came before. The human experience is also
A Living Presence: The Symposium
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just that, a physical experience that demands a human scale, materiality that is beautiful, imagery that reminds us that we are part of a much larger family and a great unfolding story. In any
age, the church building must be built to reflect that it is a place for the unveiling of a love affair
between persons, God and Man.
It is our hope that out of this Symposium will emerge a stronger sense of where we have been, and
why, and a great enthusiasm for the possibilities that lie before us in making Catholic churches
that are worthy to take their place in the great architectural tradition of the
Church. We need your participation for this to occur: your vision, passion, wisdom, learning,
experience, and desire for what is good and beautiful and true are essential for this to be a success.
Please join us in April and play your part in making the world anew.
Michael Patrick, AIA
Associate Professor George Martin
Steering Committee Member
Information and Sponsorship
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Founding Sponsors
The early support of the following Founding Sponsors has made it possible to begin this undertaking.
The Catholic University of America School of Architecture
The Clarence Walton Fund for Catholic Architecture
The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture
The Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies
Keynote Speaker: Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali
The Catholic University of America and the Partnership for Catholic Sacred Architecture are honored that Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia will present the Keynote Address for the Living
Presence symposium. Cardinal Rigali feels deeply for the potential of sacred architecture to be a
living and integral part of the great prayer of the Church, and will speak to us about its importance and role in our lives.
Associate Professor Duncan Stroik, AIA
Steering Committee Member
The following brief biographical sketch is excerpted from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia web site.
Eric Anderson, RA
Steering Committee Member
Cardinal Rigali is the spiritual leader of almost 1.5 million Catholics in the City of Philadelphia
and surrounding counties. Two weeks after his installation as Archbishop of Philadelphia, he was
formally created a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in the Public Consistory in Saint Peter’s Square
on October 21, 2003. He was assigned the Titular Church of Saint Prisca in Rome . His Holiness
A Living Presence: The Symposium
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Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Rigali a member of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops
on September 26, 2007. He is also a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and a member of the Congregation’s Vox Clara Committee. In addition,
he is a member of the Administration of the
Patrimony of the Holy See.
Currently, Cardinal Rigali is currently the Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops Committee for Pro-Life Activities and is the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Aid
to the Catholic Church in Central and Eastern Europe . He is a member of the Committee on the
Liturgy, the Committee on the Relationship Between the Eastern and
Latin Catholic Churches , the Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Scripture Translations and is
a member of the Board of Directors of the Black and Indian Mission Office. He was elected by the
United States bishops in 2006 to serve as the national delegate to the Plenary
Assembly of the 49 th International Eucharistic Congress, and in 2005 as a delegate to the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which celebrated the theme “The
Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church.”
The Cardinal is on the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America. At the same time
he is Chair of the University Seminary Committee and member of the Administrative Committee. He is also on the Board of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate
Conception in Washington , D.C. and the Chair of the Iconography Committee. He is a member
of the Order of the Knights of Malta and the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. Cardinal
Rigali is also a member of the Papal Foundation. On June 5, 2004 he became a Knight of Peter
Claver. The Cardinal is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Bioethics Center and is Episcopal Advisor to Serra International.
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A Living Presence: The Symposium
Principal Speakers
Following our Keynote Address by Cardinal Rigali, the heart of our program is embodied in our
Principal Speakers. We have assembled a panel of leaders in the design and understanding of
Catholic sacred space, whose experience and inspiration will transform the building of
Catholic churches as we move firmly into the 21st Century and the Third Millennium.
Our Speakers represent different points of view and different disciplines, with the anticipation
that by entering into a vigorous and collegial conversation with them we may all as participants in
the symposium and in the design of sacred space across the country use this event to deepen our
understanding of what is important and what is possible in
creating truly beautiful and reverent places for Catholic worship.
Duncan G. Stroik, AIA
Professor, Notre Dame School of Architecture
Professor Stroik is simultaneously a key figure in architectural education as a professor at the
School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame; a practicing architect and founder of
Duncan G. Stroik, LLC, a firm responsible for a number of completed Catholic church buildings
in the United States; and editor and founder of the biannual journal Sacred Architecture. In his
work as an educator, begun in 1990 at the University of Notre Dame, Prof. Stroik has consistently
been an unapologetic proponent of tradition itself as a great teacher. His interest lies in the classical tradition, and the principles of classical architecture and urbanism lie at the foundation of his
pedagogy. Please visit his Faculty Profile to learn more about Prof. Stroik’s experience and goals as
a professor.
A Living Presence: The Symposium
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In 1993, Prof. Stroik began his own architectural practice, which focuses on work for the Catholic
Church. Prof. Stroik’s church designs are well known around the world or their beauty and reverential character. They are examples of the possibility in the modern age to worship God together
in a place that is dedicated to that purpose, that is beautiful, and that seeks to connect the present
with the past. Please visit to see the work of Duncan G. Stroik, LLC. The
Sacred Architecture Journal is “a magazine devoted exclusively to issues of church architecture
from a Catholic perspective …”. This journal is an invaluable resource for all interested in Catholic sacred architecture. You may learn more here
Craig Hartman, FAIA
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A Living Presence: The Symposium
click here to learn more about this, the newest Catholic Cathedral to be constructed in the United
Mr. Hartman joined SOM in 1973 and served as design partner in the firm’s Houston and Washington, D.C. offices before coming to San Francisco, where he has established the West Coast
architecture group as one of the region’s premier design practices. Mr. Hartman’s work has been
recognized with over 100 awards for design, which, in addition to 8 national AIA Honor Awards,
includes two Gold LEED® Certifications and AIA awards for environmental sustainability at Treasure Island and the University of California, Merced. He also received a Federal Design Achievement Award in the 2000 Presidential Design Awards Program.
Design Partner, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Mr. Hartman is a Design Partner based in the San Francisco office of the internationally renowned firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and is was in charge of the design of the newly
completed (2008) and much acclaimed Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland California,
which has received over 35 awards for design excellence nationally and internationally. Mr. Hartman’s work, in the United States, Europe, and Asia, covers a very broad range of project types, in
all of which he consistently adheres to a rigorous modern vocabulary that acknowledges issues of
place involving climate, physical and cultural landscape, and historic precedent.
The Cathedral of Christ the Light resonates as a place of worship and conveys an inclusive statement of welcome and openness as the community’s symbolic soul. The glass, wood, and concrete
structure ennobles and inspires through the use of light, material, and form. During the dedication ceremony for The Cathedral of Christ the Light in September 2008, the Vatican’s Knighthood
for Service to Society (St. Sylvester) was bestowed upon Hartman by Pope Benedictus XVI. Please
Denis McNamara, M.Arch.H., Ph.D.
Assistant Director, The Liturgical Institute
Dr. Denis McNamara is assistant director and faculty member at the Liturgical Institute of the
University of Saint Mary of the Lake, a graduate program in Liturgical Studies founded by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago in the year 2000. He holds a BA in the History of Art from Yale
University and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, where he concentrated his research on the study of ecclesiastical architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Dr. McNamara makes a specialty of bridging the gap between the Church’s great artistic tradition
and the documents of the Second Vatican Council by understanding today’s liturgical architecture
as sacramental buildings which shows the continuity of the Old Testament temple
tradition as well as a foretaste of the heavenly Jerusalem. He has also done groundbreaking re18
A Living Presence: The Symposium
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search on the sacramental meaning of the classical architectural tradition. He has served on the
Art and Architecture Commission of the Archdiocese of Chicago and works frequently with
architects and pastors in church renovations and new design. He has appeared on Catholic and
secular television and radio, and is a frequent presenter in academic as well as parish settings.
Dr. McNamara is the author of numerous articles on art and architecture in Communio, Rite,
Chicago Studies, Sacred Architecture, Environment and Art Letter, Assembly, The Priest, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Letter and Spirit, The Classicist and Arris: Journal of the Society of
Architectural Historians. His book Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago (Liturgy Training Publications, 2005) appeared on the Catholic Bestseller
List and won a Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Booksellers Association as well
as two first place awards from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. His book Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy (Hillenbrand Books), appeared
in late 2009, and he is currently working on a new title, How to Read Churches (Ivy Group, UK).
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A Living Presence: The Symposium
ber Choir and University Chorus, teaches undergraduate conducting and guides the formation
of graduate students in choral music and musica sacra. Dr. Nestor is among the four founding
members (1984) and serves as advisor (1996) to the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral
Musicians. In 2001, Dr. Nestor was appointed musical advisor to the Secretariat for Liturgy of the
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Dr. Nestor has taught at Mt. St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles; the University of Wisconsin, Madison; he has served as professor of conducting at St. John’s University, Collegeville MN. He has
served as artistic advisor, member of the international jury and Comitato d’Onore, conductor of
the Coro Internazionale of L’Associazione Internazionale Amici della Musica Sacra in Rome from
1991-1998. Dr. Nestor was music director at Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the
Immaculate Conception from January of 1984 through July of 2001.
Leo Nestor (B.A., Music-Composition, California State University, East Bay; M.M., D.M.A.,
Choral Music, University of Southern California), is the Justine Bayard Ward Professor of Music;
Director of Choral Activities, Director, Institute of Sacred Music; member of the conducting faculty, and co-operating member of the composition faculty at The Catholic University of America
Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, in Washington, DC. Dr. Nestor conducts the CUA Cham-
Performances of Professor Nestor’s works are frequent throughout the United States; he has been
fortunate to have works performed in London as well as Rome; commissions increasingly form
a significant part of his output. Larger works have been composed for The Catholic University of
America (In the Fullness of Time for chorus, soli and orchestra) and for the papal visits to Los
Angeles (People of God in the City of Our God) and St. Louis (Magnificat). Lord, You Give the
Great Commission for chorus, double brass quintet, organ and percussion was commissioned by
the Archdiocese of Washington for the April 2008 Apostolic Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Washington DC; Regina caeli, laetare for chorus, organ and trumpet for the Most Reverend Michael J.
Bransfield, Bishop of Wheeling- Charleston; I Sing of a Maiden (2008) for The Catholic University
of America Chorus and Symphony Orchestra’s 2008 Christmas concert; and a work for chorus
and organ to receive its première performance at the 2010 American Guild of Organists National
Leo Nestor, D.M.A.
Director, Institute of Sacred Music
Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, The Catholic University of America
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Call for Papers
This “Call for Papers” is an invitation to submit any material regarding the design of Catholic
church design that you would like to present or see addressed in this symposium. Academic
papers on a range of topics are warmly invited, as are presentations of built work or theoretical
Please keep in mind two guidelines: 1) the symposium takes as its starting point that we should
build in a organic extension and transformation of the tradition of Catholic church architecture
and Catholic ideas; 2) the symposium is about the design of Catholic churches, such that submitted papers and presentations should always bear directly upon the challenges of designing and
building great Catholic church architecture today.
All submissions will be reviewed by a committee of The Partnership for Catholic Sacred Architecture. Selected submissions will be edited into a post-program published work. Selected authors of
submissions will be invited to serve in a special role in the symposium, possibly delivering their
presentations, acting as members of panel discussions, or in some other fashion playing a special
role in the proceedings.
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A Living Presence: The Symposium
how the continuity of tradition ensures that truth resonates through the beauty that constitutes
Catholicism’s unique architectural patrimony. There is no detailed program or specific site for
this competition. However, projects submitted as competition entries must involve new Catholic
sacred buildings or spaces (examples: a new church building or a complete chapel interior). Submittals for both commissioned (i.e. “real”) buildings and un-commissioned (i.e. theoretical/academic) projects are welcome. Partial exterior and/or interior renovations are not eligible, though
a completely reconstructed interior space (such as a chapel interior) may be submitted. Provide
one or more images of the prior, “before”, condition for any complete interior renovation project.
Unbuilt projects that have been designed, and built works that have been completed, after January
1, 2000 are eligible for submittal. Projects will be judged on two primary criteria: 1) beauty; and 2)
the production of a coherent, compelling vision for how to extend and transform the tradition of
Catholic sacred architecture.
Winning design competition entries and other selected entries at the discretion of the Partnership
for Sacred Architecture will be displayed at The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center after the symposium is concluded.
Architectural students and professionals are invited to participate in an open design competition
that is being held in conjunction with the upcoming symposium, A Living Presence: Extending and Transforming the Tradition of Catholic Sacred Architecture. This Competition explores
Submittal presentations must include a narrative of no more than 250 words explaining the
project’s approach to the theme of the Competition. This narrative, along with all other images,
drawings, and photographs of the project, must be composed on two 30”x40” sheets mounted on
thick gator board (oriented vertically) without any text or logos that might identify the designer
or architect. A copy of the completed registration form must be enclosed in an envelope affixed
to the back of each board and labeled with the applicable category, “Student” or “Professional,” on
the outside of the envelope. A 300 dpi, full-size PDF of the presentation
in a CD-ROM must be labeled with the name of the primary registrant and included with the
submittal package.
Design Competition
A Living Presence: The Symposium
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First, Second and Third prizes will be awarded in the Student category. A single First prize will
be awarded in the Professional category. Winners will be announced at the closing session of the
Symposium and posted shortly thereafter on the A Living Presence website. Some or all of the entries may be included in report of the proceedings of the Symposium, on the associated website,
and/or in other associated publications. Submitted materials will not be
returned and become the property of the Competition organizers.
Competition Jury:
His Excellency Bishop Barry C. Knestout, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC
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Category A: $500 1st prize, $300 2nd prize, $200 3rd prize
Category B: $1000 1st prize
In addition, the jury may award Honorable Mentions to one or more additional projects in each
category at their discretion. Honorable Mentions do not carry monetary awards. The Competition
reserves the right not to name any prize winners if no entry is deemed worthy by the jury.
No partner, associate, family member or employee of any jury member may participate in this
competition, nor may jury members advise or assist a competitor in any way with the design or
submittal of any competition entry.
Mr. James McCrery, AIA, Principal, McCrery Architects
The Partnership for Catholic Sacred Architecture
Mr. Ed Keegan, Editor at Large, Architect Magazine
The 2010 Symposium: “A Living Presence: Extending and Transforming the Tradition of Catholic
Sacred Architecture” is presented by The Partnership for Catholic Sacred Architecture, a collaborative effort between the Schools of Architecture of The Catholic University of America and the
University of Notre Dame, led by Michael Patrick of
CUA and including architect Eric Anderson. The Partnership has formed because of the shared
belief of its members that the crisis in contemporary Catholic sacred architecture must be addressed vigorously, and must be addressed through a deeper understanding and
development of the tradition of the Church, especially as expressed by Pope Benedict XVI in his
writings on the organic development of liturgy. The Partnership also believes that the time for a
renewal of beauty and the sacred in Catholic churches has come, indeed is underway, and that the
Non-voting Competition Chairman: Mr. Eric Anderson, RA, Patrick and Anderson Partners in Architecture
The Competition reserves the right to substitute alternative Jurors should any of the above jurors not be able to participate.
Category A: Students with valid ID
Category B: Licensed and Intern Architects
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momentum generated by the hard work of a small number of theorists and practitioners over the
last few decades is beginning to resonate with the desire of Catholics across the United States of
America to worship in churches that speak to them of God and their relationship with Him. This
symposium is intended to be a great meeting of the minds, to explore the tradition of the Church
in the design of her buildings, and how this tradition can be extended and transformed in profound and appropriate ways today. The members of the Partnership firmly trust that in concrete
ways this symposium will improve the quality of Catholic sacred architecture across the country.
The members of the Partnership are:
Michael Patrick, AIA, LEED AP
Chairman of the Symposium Steering Committee
Visiting Lecturer in The Catholic University School of Architecture
Prof. George J. Martin
Symposium Steering Committee Member and Initiator of the Symposium
Associate Professor in The Catholic University School of Architecture
Symposium Prayer
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Heavenly Father, we ask you to bless and guide the 2010 Symposium “A Living Presence: Extending and Transforming the Tradition of Catholic Sacred Architecture.” It is for You that we do this
work and in You that we “live, and breathe, and have our being.” It is to honor the presence of
Your Son Jesus Christ here on earth and to make a place where in a special way we may come face
to face with You that we dedicate our resources to create churches in our cities and countryside.
We ask You to send Your Holy Spirit to set aflame the hearts of every person that participates in
this symposium. We thank You for the opportunity to love and serve You and each other in this
fashion, and we fervently hope that the work of this event will spread across our country a new
ability to see Your face in the beauty we see and fashion. We pray that You will help us discern
how best to extend and transform the tradition of Catholic sacred architecture in the United
States. We ask all these things through the one Your Son gave to us as our own mother, the Blessed
Virgin Mary.
Prof. Duncan Stroik, AIA
Symposium Steering Committee Member
Associate Professor in The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture
Founder, Duncan G. Stroik Architect LLC
Eric Anderson, RA, LEED AP
Symposium Steering Committee Member
Visiting Critic in The Catholic University School of Architecture
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Program of Events
Program of Events:
Program of Events
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Workshop 1: The Matter of Money - Fundraising and Capital at the Service of the City of God
Moderator: Michael Patrick
Friday, April 30th
Registration and Continental Breakfast - 8:00-9:30
David Gardiner – Partner, Gardiner Hall International, Fine Residential, Contract and
Ecclesiastical Interiors
Fr. Dennis Kleinmann – Pastor, St. Mary Catholic Church, Alexandria VA
Luke Driscoll – Regional Vice President, Community Counseling Services
Lunch - 12:00-1:15
Opening Remarks Plenary Session - 9:30-10:15
Randy Ott – Dean, CUA School of Architecture and Planning
Thomas Walton – The Clarence Walton Fund for Catholic Architecture
Michael Patrick – Chair of the Symposium
Lecture: Et Homo Factus Est
Moderator: Duncan Stroik
Anthony Visco – Director and Founder, Atelier for the Sacred Arts
Concurrent Sessions - 10:30-11:15
Concurrent Sessions - 1:30-3:15
Paper Session A: Case Studies
Moderator: Adnan Morshed
Tour 1: The Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Facilitator: Eric Anderson
Tour provided by: Dr. Geraldine Rohling - Archivist and Curator
Michel Dechert – Calvinist Religious Architecture and the Venetian Tradition
Esteban Fernandez Cobian and Eduardo Delgado Orusco – Looking for a New, Tradition, Spanish Religious Architecture Transformations during the 20th Century
Zoran Vukoszavlyey – Catholicism at the Eastern Border of Europe, Works in post-
Communist Countries
Paper Session B: Beauty and Abstraction
Moderator: Andreea Mihalache
Michael Tamara – The Right Abstraction: A Balanced Expression of Divinity and 28
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Program of Events
Humanity in Catholic Architecture
Joel Pidel – The Story at the Heart of Faith, Can Abstraction Call a Person into the Fullness of Faith?
Louis Astorino – The Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Vatican City
Erik Bootsma – Beauty and Harmony
Concurrent Sessions - 3:30-4:45
Paper Session C: Tradition and Sacred Architecture Post-Vatican II
Moderator: Michael Gick
Steven Schloeder – The Architecture of the Mystical Body
Thomas Gordon Smith - Reanimation of Classical and Romanesque Paradigms for New
Catholic Architecture
Thomas Stroka – Catholic Architecture Calls for a Common Language, Alberti and the
Ornament of Sacred Buildings
David Kuhlman – A Case for Diversity in the Design of Catholic Churches
Program of Events
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Keynote Address: 5:30-6:15
Moderator: Michael Patrick
Introductory Remarks:
Fr. David O’Connell, C.M., President, The Catholic University of America
James F. Brennan, Ph.D., Provost, The Catholic University of America
Randall Ott, AIA, Dean, School of Architecture and Planning, CUA
Keynote Address: Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali
Title: An Exalted Mission: A Unique and Irreplaceable Role
Reception - 6:30-8:30
Saturday, May 1st
Registration and Continental Breakfast - 8:00-9:00
Workshop 2: The Making of Sacred Buildings, Design and Construction of the Eternal City
Moderator: Michael Patrick
Michael Carrigan – President, Sacred Spaces
James McCrery – Founder and President, McCrery Architects, LLC
Concurrent Sessions - 9:00-10:15
Paper Session D: Theology, Philosophy and the Law
Moderator: George Martin
Donald Planty – The Law of the Church and the Design and Building of Churches
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Program of Events
Jamie Hottovy – Pedagogical Patronage, The Role of the Parish Saint in Sacred Architecture
John McCarthy – The Incarnation - Acoustics, Light and Material
Paper Session E: The Image, Representation and Sacred Art
Moderator: Jem Sullivan
Sarah Carrig Bond – Depicting the Question as well as the Answer: What Can Medieval Art Teach us about the Architecture and Decoration of Churches?
Andrea Pacciani – The Doctrine of Imitation in Art and in the Faith
Ami Badami - The Need for Beauty and Christian Art
Concurrent Sessions - 10:30-11:45
Paper Session F: Tradition and Sacred Architecture Post-Vatican II
Moderator: Michael Patrick
Marco Sammicheli – Sacred Design Now
Stephen Szutenbach – Quotidian Pilgrimage
Andreea Mihalache and Paul Emmons – On the Role of Materials in Sacred Architecture
Henry Menzies – What Makes a Church Catholic?
Program of Events
A Living Presence: The Symposium
Paper Session G: The Parish Church
Moderator: Eric Anderson
Milton Grenfell – The Parish Church as the Heart of a Community
Luigi Bartolomei – Contemporary Design for Catholic Churches, Between Tradition and New Architecture
Carla Zito – Turin’s Periphery (1965-1977) The Church is no Longer a Monument but a House among Houses
Isabelle Gournay and Mary Corbin Sies – New Catholic Parish Complexes in the Maryland Suburbs 1945-1970
Lunch - 12:00-1:15
Lecture: Sacred Music in the Liturgy
Moderator: George Martin
Leo Nestor, D.M.A. - Director, Institute of Sacred Music, Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, CUA
Principal Speaker Presentations - 1:30-3:00
Presentation: Heavenly Origins: Biblical and Theological Typologies for Church Builders
Denis McNamara, M.Arch.H., Ph.D. – Assistant Director, The Liturgical Institute
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Program of Events
Presentation: Originality and Tradition: The Presence of the Past in Comtemporary Church Architecture.
Duncan Stroik, AIA – Professor, Notre Dame School of Architecture
Presentation: Light and Shadow: The Cathedral of Christ the Light
Craig Hartman, FAIA - Design Partner, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Break for Preparation of Questions by Attendees - 3:00-3:30
Directed Questions to the Panel - 3:30-4:30
Moderator: Michael Patrick – Chair of the Symposium
Discussion among the Assembly and Closing Remarks - 4:30-6:00
Program of Events
A Living Presence: The Symposium
On Sunday, The Partnership for Sacred Architecture would like to offer the following activities for
symposium participants:
Tours - 1:30-2:15
The Pope John Paul Cultural Center
Facilitator: Eric Anderson
Tour Coordinated by: Dr. Hugh Dempsey - Director
Tour - 3:00-3:45
The Dominican House of Studies Chapel
Facilitator: Eric Anderson
Tour provided by: Fr. Giles Dimock, O.P. - Prior
Panel and Symposium Attendees are invited to participate in an open discussion about the future
of Catholic church architecture.
Closing Reception and Announcement of Design Competition Winners - 6:30-8:30
Sunday, May 2nd: Optional Tours and Events
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Delgado-Orusco & Fernández-Cobian
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Looking for a New Tradition: Transformations of the Spanish Religious Architecture on the 20th Century
Eduardo Delgado-Orusco & Esteban Fernández-Cobián
Entre el Dogma y el Espíritu de los Tiempos
No cabe duda de que toda arquitectura es una reflexión del hombre sobre sí mismo y sobre su
manera de estar en el mundo, y por lo tanto, un hecho cultural con unas consecuencias rastreables en la conciencia de los individuos y las sociedades. Por eso, cada sociedad se puede reconocer por su arquitectura. Pero las sociedades cambian y la arquitectura también.
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La idea de que los tiempos cambian arrastrándolo todo a su paso, es una idea típicamente romántica vinculada a sentimientos de fatalidad y de destino, que tiene difícil acomodo en la concepción cristiana del mundo. Y sin embargo, la invocación al ‘Zeitgeist’, al espíritu de los tiempos, ha
sido una constante en la justificación de la arquitectura religiosa del siglo XX.
Delgado-Orusco & Fernández-Cobian
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La Tendencia Española Hacia el Surrealismo
Juan Daniel Fullaondo ha sido uno de los críticos
que más ha utilizado el surrealismo —entendido
aquí genéricamente como lo absurdo, lo extraño, lo
insólito, lo ridículo o lo extravagante— como clave
hermenéutica para la comprensión de la arquitectura española de la Modernidad. La fascinación del
español por lo onírico —que podría ilustrarse con el
inacabado templo expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia
de Antoni Gaudí (Barcelona, 1886/ss)— es heredera
de la inmensidad de la meseta castellana y del sol
inmisericorde que cae sobre ella, provocando alucinaciones y espejismos; del sentimiento trágico de la
vida que se refleja en las corridas de toros, la fiesta
nacional; pero también de un catolicismo formalmente muy arraigado en la sociedad y a menudo mal
entendido, o simplemente no comprendido en absoluto. De hecho, el proverbial anticlericalismo español,
el gusto por el requiebro que intenta equilibrar con
el humor las amarguras de la vida, o la suplantación
provisional de la personalidad, tendrían su máxima
expresión en el carnaval.
La constitución apostólica ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’ se propuso establecer el marco adecuado
para «adaptar mejor a las necesidades de nuestro tiempo las instituciones que están sujetas a cambio —la arquitectura, por ejemplo— (...) y así unir nuestras voces al admirable concierto que los
grandes hombres entonaron a la fe católica en los siglos pasados» (§ 1 y 123).
El problema para la arquitectura religiosa surge cuando las corrientes de pensamiento cambian
demasiado rápido o son poco menos que gratuitas. Porque la arquitectura religiosa, más que cualquier otra, tiene una dimensión simbólica, alude a unas creencias, y en el límite, a unos dogmas.
Así pues, nos podríamos preguntar: ¿Cómo armonizar las distintas tendencias culturales con los
elementos permanentes del dogma católico sin desvirtuar los edificios de culto? Parece que esto es
lo que se quiere analizar en el presente congreso.
Sin duda el problema es complejo, pues abarca muchas disciplinas y sus ramificaciones nos llevarían demasiado lejos. Con esta comunicación sólo intentaremos explicar lo que ha sucedido en
España durante el siglo XX. Explicar cómo la aspiración a crear una nueva tradición que se adecuara al espíritu de los tiempos en el campo de la arquitectura religiosa, a menudo colisionó con la
terca realidad física de un territorio fuertemente determinado por la geografía y el clima, y con la
obstinada realidad psicológica y cultural de sus habitantes. Para ello nos apoyaremos en algunos
ejemplos que nos permitirán aludir a otros tantos temas que trufaron el debate: el intenso debate
sobre la construcción del espacio sagrado en la España del siglo XX. (1)
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Obsérvese, por ejemplo, el caso del Seminario Conciliar
de San Miguel (1931/36), construido por Víctor Eusa en
Pamplona en el momento de excepcional virulencia antirreligiosa que caracterizó la II República española. Ante
la prohibición de levantar cruces en los edificios, Eusa
diseñó toda la fachada en forma de cruz, haciéndose eco
de un proyecto anterior de Casto Fernández-Shaw, titulado Templo-rascacielos ‘La Cruz Soñada’ (1930).
Este surrealismo entendido como ‘modus vivendi’ se explicita en la literatura, en la pintura o en el
cine, desde Francisco de Goya a Salvador Dalí, (2) y también en la arquitectura religiosa.
El surrealismo nos va a permitir
conectar los intentos de encontrar
una nueva tradición, un camino
válido por donde acometer, sin demasiado esfuerzo, una arquitectura
religiosa correcta y generalizable,
adecuada al espíritu de los tiempos y que pudiera evolucionar con
aquél. En la España del siglo XX se
pueden rastrear al menos tres intentos: el recurso ideal a la arquitectura
eterna; el recurso al arcaísmo como
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nuevo punto de partida; y el recurso al contexto entendido como entorno natural y cultural. De
las tres tendencias, la primera es clásica, la segunda moderna y la tercera orgánica. Todas albergan
cierto grado de ruptura, y se podrían organizar mediante el esquema dialéctico hegeliano: tesis,
antítesis y síntesis. Comencemos por el principio.
Primera vía: Idealismo
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dotado, Moya reclamó durante toda su vida unas pautas claras para construir la casa de Dios, pero
no las encontró. Una arquitectura de ese tipo no podía estar al albur de las modas, de los movimientos artísticos —pensaba—, al menos de manera absoluta. Obviamente debería poder incorporar los avances tecnológicos, dar respuestas ajustadas a los mil problemas que la construcción
de los grandes espacios religiosos plantea en cada momento histórico, pero sin dejarse determinar
por ellos. Por ejemplo, Moya combatió la inmediatez constructiva —uno de los presupuestos
básicos de la Modernidad— contraponiéndola a la buena educación, a la cortesía, que lleva a la
arquitectura a ofrecer una cierta variedad de registros según sean las circunstancias.
Uno de los primeros proyectos de Luis Moya
—el llamado ‘Sueño arquitectónico para una
exaltación nacional’ (1939)— nació en las
trincheras de la guerra civil española. En él
se observa una iglesia dedicada a la memoria
del héroe desconocido, formalizada mediante
una arquitectura de difícil catalogación, tal
vez surgida de un sueño febril, que mezcla elementos egipcios y romanos con otros
absolutamente modernos, y que anticipa el
movimiento metafísico italiano. Esta línea de
trabajo no tendrá continuidad en su trayectoria, aunque sí se encontrarán retazos en su
producción religiosa posterior.
Arquitecto erudito y extraordinariamente
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El determinismo formal de la técnica moderna no le convencía, y menos aún para la
arquitectura religiosa. Por eso, en la que tal
vez sea su obra maestra, la iglesia de San
Agustín (Madrid, 1945/59), Moya buscará
en la forma elíptica una síntesis planimétrica
entre el espacio central perfecto y el espacio basilical direccional; y simultáneamente,
vestirá esa forma con una fachada complejísima, que presenta en sociedad el espacio que
se ha conseguido crear. Llega así a constituir
un corpus doctrinal ilustrado con siete u ocho
iglesias cada vez más depuradas, con el que
suplir aquél código que insistentemente reclamó a la Santa Sede y a los obispos españoles.
Pero Moya, a pesar de toda su influencia, no
consiguió equilibrar la fuerza del ‘espíritu de
los tiempos’ en España. Demasiado intelectual
para unos y demasiado aferrado a la tradición
para otros, su legado sólo sería recogido
muchos años después por un discípulo indirecto, Rafael Moneo.
La lectura que Moneo hace de la historia del
templo católico en la catedral de Nuestra
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Señora de los Ángeles (1996/2002), la docilidad con la que asume las indicaciones eclesiásticas,
la manera de ajustarse al programa y de hacerlo evolucionar sin apenas violentarlo, todo eso ha
sido aprendido de Moya. Pero simultáneamente, las huellas de la tradición surrealista se pueden
rastrear allí: una planta que superpone fachada y ábside; un aparcamiento y un cementerio bajo
la nave que escapan al control del arquitecto —lo mismo que los tres elementos litúrgicos principales, altar, ambón y sede—; y especialmente, la imagen que proyecta en la autopista, que remite
indudablemente a Fernández-Shaw.
Segunda vía: Arcaísmo
Claro que Moneo prefiere vincular su obra a la basílica de
Nuestra Señora de Arantzazu (Oñate, 1950/55), un edificio
que marcó, sin duda, el inicio de una nueva arquitectura española. La Modernidad se entendía entonces como
arcaísmo, como el grado cero de la cultura desde donde
podría fundamentar una nueva tradición. Dejando aparte
la dimensión política de corte independentista que en su
momento se le quiso dar, el encanto del sitio, la potencia
de las formas y los reparos de la Santa Sede para aceptar
un programa iconográfico ciertamente novedoso para la
época, convirtieron el proceso de reconstrucción de este
antiguo santuario mariano en una suerte de itinerario
iniciático para la arquitectura española, un largo e intenso
ejercicio lleno de dramatismo romántico donde las fuerzas
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de la naturaleza se fundían con las energías de la violencia artística
propias del informalismo abstracto. (3)
A través del dinamismo doble
o de luz en fuga de color -cuyo
único ejemplo fue la iglesia del
teologado de Alcobendas (Madrid, 1955/60), Fisac duplicó este
efecto añadiendo una gradación
cromática en la luz. Pero el programa de este templo era demasiado específico, y se necesitaba
una solución más generalizable.
Surgió así el concepto de ‘muro
dinámico’, es decir, la disposición
ininterrumpida y envolvente de
un muro curvo y liso que produce un deslizamiento instintivo
de la mirada hacia el altar. Este
efecto se equilibraba con el muro
opuesto, de textura rugosa. El
mejor ejemplo de este sistema fue
la iglesia parroquial de La Coronación de Nuestra Señora (Vitoria,
1957/60), sin duda, otra de las
obras maestras de la arquitectura
española contemporánea.
Aparentemente, la obra de Arantzazu no tuvo seguidores en
España. Decimos ‘aparentemente’ porque hay una costumbre
ridícula —pero muy arraigada— entre los arquitectos españoles
de no reconocer paternidad alguna. Miguel Fisac, por ejemplo,
nunca aludió a Arantzazu para referirse a su arquitectura religiosa.
Durante los años cincuenta, este arquitecto provocó una auténtica
Una revolución que consistió en prescindir de cualquier imposición formal preestablecida en la arquitectura
sagrada para empezar a reflexionar desde cero, de tal
manera que la forma de las iglesias sería una consecuencia directa del uso del espacio. Inventó así un
nuevo concepto, ‘el dinamismo’, que desarrolló con sus
tres variantes: la convergencia de muros, el dinamismo
doble por geometría y color, y el muro dinámico.
En la iglesia de Arcas Reales (Valladolid, 1952/54), el dinamismo se conseguía mediante la inclinación en planta
de los paramentos laterales desnudos, la elevación del
techo y del suelo hacia el altar, y un aumento gradual
de la intensidad lumínica hasta llegar a un presbiterio
inundado por la luz.
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Tercera vía: Contextualismo
La variante arcaica de Fisac también terminó en un relativo fracaso.
Durante muchos años su obra se
leyó como la obra de un creador
muy personal que había conseguido
interesantes hallazgos plásticos, pero
no como una vía de profundización
en la tradición arquitectónica cristiana. Sin embargo, últimamente han
comenzado a aparecer arquitecturas
cuya filiación parece clara y que prefiguran, si no una nueva tradición, al
menos una vía proyectual utilizada de
hecho, lo cual no es poco. Debido a la
popularidad que el arquitecto volvió a
disfrutar durante los últimos años de
su vida, la elementalidad de su obra
se ha convertido en un referente, y la
sencillez —casi ingenuidad— de su
planteamiento teórico vuelve a resultar muy atractiva para los arquitectos jóvenes, como Martín Lejárraga
y otros (Capilla de Los Camachos,
Cartagena, 1995/2002). (4)
Resulta incuestionable que tras el Concilio Vaticano II, los espacios de culto se hicieron en España
más modernos y polivalentes. Las relaciones entre los asistentes y el celebrante cambiaron, o al
menos así se quiso ver. El propio Fisac, después de estudiar el tema con diversos liturgistas, sentenciaría: «Se acabó el dinamismo: ahora
lo que hay que hacer es un corro». (5) Pero
también conviene señalar que, al desaparecer el modelo tradicional de iglesia por
considerarse anticuado, comenzaron a
surgir arquitecturas gratuitas y grotescas,
de dudosa adecuación litúrgica. Además,
brotó rápidamente un sentimiento de
euforia y un afán renovador global, que
se tradujo en el convencimiento de que
cualquier cosa era susceptible de ser cambiada. Por eso, en poco tiempo la renovación de la arquitectura religiosa perdió
gran parte de su interés, y los esfuerzos
de modernización se aplicaron a campos
relacionados con la sociología o la pastoral social, cuando no al propio dogma.
A Living Presence: Presented Papers
Delgado-Orusco & Fernández-Cobian
Delgado-Orusco & Fernández-Cobian
A Living Presence: Presented Papers
Pero Torreciudad es ante todo, una iglesia tradicional, en el mejor sentido de la palabra. Su interior es una gruta, un espacio románico, pero también un alarde estructural casi gótico. Y su retablo, puro barroco. El programa chocó frontal e intencionadamente con muchos aspectos de una
renovación litúrgica convertida en moda: el sagrario situado en el centro del retablo, el presbiterio
muy elevado con respecto a la nave, la disposición lineal de los fieles, el comulgatorio corrido...
Ante la incomprensión manifiesta de la Iglesia española, los promotores tuvieron que explicar la
disposición interior como una evolución de la arquitectura tradicional aragonesa. Pero durante
muchos años Torreciudad fue una rareza, una excentricidad, un ejemplo extemporáneo e impublicable, incluso en el ámbito eclesiástico. Hasta tal punto, que en algunas guías turísticas se llegó a
decir que la presa de la central hidroeléctrica que se había construido a sus pies, se había alicatado
en azul para realzar el paisaje, por otra parte, verdaderamente magnífico.
La imagen de Torreciudad volvió
a aparecer veinticinco años más
tarde en la iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Caná (Pozuelo de Alarcón,
1997/2000). Construida por Fernando Higueras Díaz, un polémico
arquitecto de la misma generación
que Dols, tal vez sea el ejemplo más
consistente de lo que debería ser
hoy un nuevo templo, si se ha de
juzgar por la afluencia dominical
de fieles que registra. Aquí la voluntad inicial del arquitecto se sometió
El santuario de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles de Torreciudad (Heliodoro Dols Morell, El Grado, 1963/75), tal vez el último templo moderno de cierta importancia realizado en España, se
construyó en ese momento. En una primera aproximación, su característica más relevante parece
ser el notable eclecticismo del lenguaje empleado. En efecto, el patronato promotor se negaba a
asumir los excesos de la confusión formal imperante tras la crisis del Movimiento Moderno, pero
tampoco se deseaba una postal turístico-folklórica, sino una arquitectura nacida de la tierra, de la
cultura y de las costumbres locales. Por expreso deseo de Josemaría Escrivá, fundador del Opus
Dei e impulsor de la iniciativa, (6) Dols se dejó empapar por la arquitectura popular de esta zona
montañosa, para posteriormente filtrarla en el característico tamiz wrightiano-expresionista de
su generación. Se trataba de materializar, a través de una arquitectura moderna no excesivamente
datada, ese deseo de armonía, de orden y de tradición que poco después, Kenneth Frampton popularizaría bajo el título de ‘regionalismo crítico’, pero que algunos años antes ya se había intuido
en diversas iglesias construidas para los Poblados de Colonización.
A Living Presence: Presented Papers
Delgado-Orusco & Fernández-Cobian
a la del párroco, su sobrino, que le pidió una arquitectura que fuera claramente reconocible como
religiosa, poniendo expresamente a Torreciudad como referencia. Y así lo hizo. Sin embargo, se
podría objetar que en este caso el lenguaje no responde en absoluto al contexto —Pozuelo es una
ciudad-dormitorio de la periferia de Madrid—, sino que se persigue construir un monumento,
una imagen. ¿Dónde está la lógica de todo ello? ¿Estamos ante un nuevo caso del proverbial surrealismo español o asistiendo al nacimiento de una nueva tradición constructiva?
Delgado-Orusco & Fernández-Cobian
A Living Presence: Presented Papers
Y por otro, la denominada ‘catedral’ de la Virgen del Pilar en
Mejorada del Campo (Madrid), autoconstruída con material de
deshecho desde hace más de cuarenta años por el agricultor y
ex-monje Justo Gallego, y famosa, entre otras razones, por haber
protagonizado un spot de la bebida refrescante Aquarius. (7)
Todo ello se nos antoja poco menos que absurdo. Pero lo más sorprendente del caso es que estas dos obras han sido las únicas piezas
de arquitectura religiosa española que se han expuesto últimamente en el MoMA neoyorkino. (8)
Por eso, pensamos que es necesario que en España, la Iglesia
católica vuelva a plantearse con rigor y seriedad el fomento de una nueva tradición arquitectónica.
¿Debería ser la arquitectura religiosa, entonces, una arquitectura más de promotores que de arquitectos, como reivindicaba hace algunos años el cardenal de Milán, Carlo María Martini? (9) Tal vez.
Quisiéramos terminar nuestra intervención citando dos arquitecturas insólitas que pondremos
como ejemplo de la desorientación general de nuestro país en la actualidad. Por un lado, la capilla
construida en su casa de campo por Manolo Sanchís, jugador de fútbol del Real Madrid (Juan
Carlos Sancho y Sol Madridejos, Valdeacerón, 1997/2000), el espacio religioso español más publicado durante los últimos años.
Porque no podemos olvidar que la arquitectura es
un medio fundamental de evangelización en todos
sus niveles —de uso, cultural y mediático—, y que
su modernidad o su arqueologismo, su calidad o su
desidia constructiva, su proyección hacia el futuro
o su nostalgia del pasado, constituirán las señas de
identidad de cada comunidad de creyentes.
A Living Presence: Presented Papers
Delgado-Orusco & Fernández-Cobian
Delgado-Orusco & Fernández-Cobian
A Living Presence: Presented Papers
Pies de foto:
Fig. 01. Antoni Gaudí, Templo expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, 1883 ss.
Fig. 02. Gustave Doré, Don Quijote de La Mancha, 1863.
Fig. 03. Salvador Dalí, La Última Cena, National Gallery (Washington DC, USA), 1955.
Fig. 04. Víctor Eúsa, Seminario Conciliar de San Miguel, Pamplona, 1931/36.
Fig. 05. Casto Fernández-Shaw, Templo-rascacielos La Cruz Soñada, 1930. Proyecto.
Fig. 06. Luis Moya, Sueño arquitectónico para una exaltación nacional, 1939. Proyecto.
Fig. 07 y 08. Luis Moya, San Agustín, Madrid, 1945/59.
Fig. 09. Rafael Moneo, Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles, Los Angeles (EEUU), 1995/2002.
Fig. 10 y 11. Luis Laorga y Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza, Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Arantzazu, Oñate,
Fig. 12. Miguel Fisac, Los tres estadios del dinamismo espacial, 1952/60.
Fig. 13. Miguel Fisac, Capilla del Colegio Apostólico de los PP. Dominicos, Valladolid, 1952/54.
Fig. 14. Miguel Fisac, Iglesia del Teologado de los PP. Dominicos, Alcobendas, 1955/60.
Fig. 15. Miguel Fisac, La Coronación de Nuestra Señora, Vitoria, 1957/60.
Fig. 16. Martín Lejárraga, Capilla de Los Camachos, Cartagena, 1995/2002.
Fig. 17 y 18. Heliodoro Dols, Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles, Torreciudad, 1963/75.
Fig. 19. Fernando Higueras, Nuestra Señora de Caná, Pozuelo de Alarcón, 1997/2000.
Fig. 20. Juan Carlos Sancho y Soledad Madridejos, Capilla privada, Valdeacerón, 1997/2000.
Fig. 21. Justo Gallego, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, Mejorada del Campo, 1961/ss.
Todas las imágenes están libres de derechos de autor.
1. La arquitectura religiosa española del siglo XX ha sido insuficientemente difundida más allá de nuestras fronteras,
a pesar de su riqueza y su variedad. Arquitectos tan cruciales como Luis Moya o Miguel Fisac apenas son conocidos
fuera de nuestro país. Ni tampoco personajes como fray José Manuel Aguilar o como Mons. Luis Almarcha. Los textos básicos apenas citan nuestro país, y las revistas L’Art Sacrè, Chiesa e Quartiere o Das Münster hacen lo propio.
2. Precisamente, el cuadro de Salvador Dalí «La última cena» (1955) se encuentra en la National Gallery de Washington DC.
3. «Llovía la primera y hasta hoy última vez que fui a Arantzazu (…) El paisaje se mostraba de un tono verde clásico
y la lluvia producía veladuras grises (…) Después aparece en mi memoria la iglesia, brillante en un mundo húmedo,
mineralizada (…) Recordando hoy aquella experiencia y viendo las fotografías del edificio, se comprende que la arquitectura alcanza en ciertas ocasiones la categoría de la intemporalidad y se desprende de los patrones del estilo o las
posibles taxinomias». Salvador Pérez Arroyo, «Los arquetipos de Sáenz de Oíza», El Croquis, 32/33 (1988), pág. 203.
4. También se podría citar a Antonio y Javier Ruiz Barbarín (capilla para de los padres jesuitas en Navas del Marqués,
1998/2000) y a Andrés Perea (iglesia parroquial de Santa Teresa de Jesús, Tres Cantos, 1981/90), si bien en este último
caso el primitivismo ya ha mutado hacia una cierta sofisticación.
5. Miguel Fisac Serna, «Mi arquitectura religiosa», Conferencia inédita pronunciada en la Escuela Técnica Superior de
Arquitectura de la Universidad de La Coruña el 13 de enero de 1996, y transcrita por Esteban Fernández Cobián.
6. Para agradecer a la Virgen su sorprendente y repentina curación, una vez desahuciado por los médicos cuando tan
sólo contaba con dos años de edad, desde 1956, promovería la restauración de esa ermita perdida en las montañas.
Sin embargo, la idea inicial fue adquiriendo con el tiempo la forma de un amplio santuario, cuyo programa quedó integrado por una iglesia, un centro cultural, un centro de formación para la mujer, varias casas de formación espiritual
y otros servicios complementarios.
7. Cf. Video subtitulado en inglés.
8. Cf. «On–Site: New Architecture in Spain» (2006). Exposición comisariada por Terence Riley (
9. Cf. Giuseppe Arosio, «Chiese nuove verso il terzo millenio. Diocesi di Milano 1985-2000», Electa, Milano, 2000;
pág. 152.