Bezalel's Compass

July 20, 2013

Liturgy, Architecture and Theology

“Liturgy is a splendid NT word that carries a wealth of meaning, all of which is bound up with the idea of service to God. It is applied to the priests, the offerings, the vessels of the temple used in the service of God (Luke 1:23, Heb. 9:21),  the “sacrificial service” (Phil 2:17), and the service of officers of the Church. That this evensongword liturgy should come to be used of worship indicates the importance with which worship was rightly held as service! But the service of worship must be governed not by tradition, let alone by aesthetics, but by theology. Thus Conrad H. Massa has well said that for the Reformers “the liturgy of the Church was the working out of its theology in the activity of corporate worship.” Thus, there is a propriety in speaking, as does Hammond, of “liturgy and architecture,” and meaning very much the same as “theology and architecture.” Architecture, however, must be liturgy (i.e., service to God) in working out the theology of a church [building] in its physical structure. Just as liturgy is theology in action, so architecture is theology in material structure. Thus liturgy seems a word more appropriate to describe the role of architecture, rather than its underlying basis. Both architecture and liturgy must be determined by theology”. -Bruggink and Droppers, Christ and Architecture

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March 2, 2013

St. Francis Xavier

Filed under: Architecture, Art — Tags: , , , — Eric G. Ivers @ 3:01 am

St Francis, Stillwater OKThis is a recent collaborative project between Hord Architects, Franck & Loshen for a new church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. With 45,000 square feet housing a sanctuary, chapel, parish hall, school and administration while perched upon a high rising bluff, it literally is a city set upon a hill for the local community to comprehend and appreciate. Kudos to my associate Matthew Lee for an great rendering. This will be an eventful week!

February 26, 2013

John Calvin, Decorum and Church Architecture

John Calvin wrote, “Decorum ought to be observed in the sacred assemblies” (Commentary on I Corinthians). According to Calvin, the chief principle governing public worship is decorum, a concept that describes how we are to behave, dress, and, I would add, build. For Calvin, decorum is a general principle that includes qualities such as propriety, gracefulness, dignity and, yes, beauty. Indeed, these are the qualities that should be sought in church architecture…

…The dignity, decorum, and beauty that we seek in designing places for public worship should extend also to the external witness of the church. We must not forget that, besides being a gathered body of believers, the local church is also an earthly institution. Like all civic and commercial institutions, when churches construct buildings, they are building public statements about their identity. In other words, all buildings—whether art museums, gas stations, big-box retailers, or churches—bear witness to the institutions they serve. – Reforming Church Architecture, David Gobel

January 7, 2013

Essence of Christian Architecture

How we worship effects and shapes how we live. What then should we expect of christian architecture to support our thanksgiving? Some basic principles should guide how we think churches ought to be (and look like) churches…and enunciate the testimony of Christ’s kingdom on earth and as it is in heaven.

1) A church should have verticality – it reorientates our vision towards Christ enthroned and His majesty over the horizon of our earthly being.
2) A church should be durable – it proclaims that Christ’s kingdom is established, is meaningful and here for the long haul.
3) A church should be objectively beautiful – it’s a glorious thing He has done. The re-creation of our fallen world inaugurated at the cross and its final eskaton is provided as a glimpse during the act of corporate worship.

If your or your church is striving toward this end…lets talk. Its a conversation I’m passionate about. Art is fundamentally a creation in community and ultimately a reflection of our theology. More on this in near future posts.

December 7, 2012

Advent: Waiting on the LORD

Filed under: Art, Drawing on Life, In Other's Words — Tags: , , — Eric G. Ivers @ 2:34 am

Meissonier_Jean-Louis-Ernest-IsaiahIsaiah by Meissonier: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”. Isaiah 40:31

September 19, 2012

What is Classical Architecture?

Filed under: Architecture, Education of an architect — Tags: , , — Eric G. Ivers @ 1:58 am

Definitions are known to be ambiguous and are often tied to usage in particular group settings. For example, what is classical architecture? The term “classical” can be used in a variety of ways. As an example, one might say, “I like classical architecture”. Does this suggest an analogous relationship to classical literature and classical philosophy, and accordingly denote a specific historical and geographic context, namely the high period of academia of both Greece and Rome? Or is all architecture throughout time subsequent to the Greco-Roman period that makes specific reference to those precedents what we mean by classical? Or lastly, do we mean, apart from its historic and geographic grounding, the underlying and formal principles that make up a specific canon of architecture of which Greco-Roman architecture participated in. All three uses are common parlance and in need of more refined clarity.

September 18, 2012

THE POETICS OF CHRISTENDOM: The Trinity, the Incarnation and the Origin of Architectural Creation

INTRODUCTION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

My many heartfelt thanks to Thomas Gordon Smith who taught me that an architect’s vocation is fundamentally one of servant-hood – who taught me that the origin of the work of great architecture exists in that space between a patron and his servant. It is here that the virtuous architect mediates the Christ-like role as both teacher and servant. Wisdom determines when the architect is which, but architecture is still always a communal event. This, in the end, is the Christian’s lifelong walk along the road that has just begun. Soli Deo Gloria.

March 26, 2012

Process Drawings for a Presbyterian Church

Design for a Library in Rome in Monochrome

February 24, 2012

Schematic Drawings for a Kentucky Monestary

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