Friday, February 1, 2013

Capturing The Drama Of Postwar Concrete Churches

You Won’t Find Any Steeples Here:


Architectural ingenuity was, for a long time, literally wedded to the Church, its great sponsor. This patronage continued into the modern period, and the works that came from that seemingly anachronistic marriage—the antagonism between concrete futures and traditional stone and brick, between boisterous forms and contemplative ceremony—are nothing short of dazzling, especially when photographed by Fabrice Fouillet. “Corus Cristi”, Fouillet’s photo series of soaring postwar houses of worship, captures the lyrical potency when concrete, wood, brick, and stained glass come together. Click through for more photos.

Fouillet travelled throughout Europe cataloging the modernist churches he came across. Each of the structures, which include Gottfried Böhn’s beautiful Brutalist St. Ludwig and Christie Auferstehung cathedrals, was photographed from the same vantage point, i.e. from halfway down the nave looking in the direction of the altar.

Fouillet’s lens takes in the vertiginous climb of the sidewalls that stretch toward ecclesiastical heights. Arches, vaults, and piers converge overheard, symmetrically splitting the image in half.

He manages to summon up all the architecture’s raw textures, colors, and patterns in high-fidelity, lending the photos a sumptuousness that is, at first at least, at odds with the geometrically simple, stripped-back forms.

Church by Menis in Spain

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