Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Tale of Two Cathedrals

Nikos Salingaros' article in Crisis comparing the Oakland Cathedral of Christ the Light to the Houston Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral is worth reading - he is a very perceptive critic with a deep understanding of human nature, faith, and science.
Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland by SOM San Francisco (left) vs. Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Houston, by Ziegler-Cooper Architects
I think Nikos is a bit too kind with the Houston Cathedral -- it is as stripped down, chunky, and boring as any of the neighboring slabsided office buildings built in the 60s, 70s or 80s.

Nave view of Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral, Houston TX
The interior has all the warmth and humanity of a 1950s train station, with the obligatory and liturgically fashionable baptistry font in the middle of the main aisle that every entrance procession, bridal party, and funeral must clumsily navigate about. The appeal to fine materials and crisp detailing betray the standard details befitting the grand lobbies and executive toilet rooms of the skyscrapers built for the local oil, gas, and cattle barons.

Still, a worthy read as usual.

No comments:

Post a Comment