A Look at Contemporary Religious Structures Around the World

More

After Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut set the pace, religious buildings in many places were designed to resemble galleries or museums

OB-Religious-Post.jpg

Deeply rooted in tradition, the religious buildings of the past were dominant, didactic figures -- in social life but also in architecture, as made clear by Ludwig Wittgenstein's claim that architecture "compels and glorifies ... where there is nothing to glorify there can be no architecture."

A new point of view emerged in 1920s New York City, setting of The Fountainhead, with Howard Roark's Temple Dedicated to the Human Spirit. It seemed both religious buildings specifically and architecture generally were on the threshold of being democratized. Outside of literary fiction, though, the actual process of change didn't take off until a couple of decades later. Even today, it's still limited to certain areas of the world. Elsewhere, religious buildings remain patronizing, designed to intimidate.

Ever since Le Corbusier's masterpiece Notre Dame du Haut set the pace, the religious structures of the immediate present for many of us have been very much on the neutral artistic side -- more akin to museums, galleries, or centers than to institutional buildings. Aesthetics, inventive lighting, and distinctive looks are all of great importance in making today's structures immediately recognizable, easy to embrace and identify with, more related to their audience and surroundings.

View the complete OpenBuildings collection: Contemporary Religious Buildings.

Image: Milo Keller.

Jump to comments
Presented by

OpenBuildings is a community-driven encyclopedia of buildings from around the world. It is a database of historic, contemporary, and conceptual architecture that exists as a website and applications for iPhone and Android.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In