TEXTURE, STRUCTURE , & FIGURE: HOW CATHOLIC SACRED ARCHITECTURE FORMS MEANING THAT ENDURES by STEPHEN J. BAKER B.S. Colorado State University, 1993 M. Arch. University of Colorado, Denver, 1996 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Design and Planning Program 2018
ii 2018 STEPHEN J. BAKER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
iii This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Stephen J. Baker has been approved for the Design and Planning Program by Hans Morgenthaler , Chair Mark Gelernter, Advisor Joel Barstad Tom Noel Date: July 2 8, 2018
iv Baker, Stephen (PhD. Design and Planning Program) Texture, Structure, Figure: How Catholic Sacred Architecture Forms Meaning that Endures Thesis directed by Professor Mark Gelernter ABSTRACT This study analyzes the role of the Catholic imagination in the formation of enduring meaning in Catholic sacred ar chitecture. This study explores how the dynamic interplay of textural, structural, and figural architectural languages form architectural meaning. It finds that the dynamic mix between these three architectural languages creates meaning that endures in Cat holic sacred architecture. Enduring meaning stems from the Catholic imagination which primarily uses an analogical form of reasoning to figure oneâ€™s view of the world. Likewise, it finds that the primary analogy used to form meaning in Catholic sacred arch itecture is : Catholic sacred architecture is like the Incarnation . Through analogical reasoning , the human body, mind, and soul are images of God. This figural view is an extension of the Genesis story in which God deems all of creation as good. This edifi cation and signification of the whole human figure is highly apparent in the architectural expression of Catholic churches; it is the enduring pattern. With this worldview , material things can be signs and symbol of heavenly realities , and certain material things become sacramentals . The Incarnational pattern endures in Catholic sacred architecture through the dynamic interplay of textural, structural , and figural architectural languages. This claim is explored through several specific examples which devel op into a phenomenological interpretative framework for understanding the role of the Catholic imagination in the unique expression of Catholic sacred architecture.
v Finally, this study applies these findings and interpretive framework to an in depth casestudy to help for m newer understanding for why some Catholic churches express the Catholic imagination and Incarnational worldview better than others. The form and the content of this abstract are approved. I recommend this for publication. Approved: Mark Gelernter
vi A CKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to those many people who have assisted and guided me to work involved to produce this dissertation . It was Professor Mark Gelernter w ho, even though extremely busy in his role as Dean of the architecture school, was willing to partake in the journey with me to help find an answer to the question explored in this dissertation . His wise advice on the subject provided valuable guidance along the way, and his wisdom as a teacher allowed me to explore the vastness of what we call architecture, but he always brought me back to the task at hand. I also wish to thank Professor Joel Barstad for his insightful and rigorous critique of the Catholic t hinking that I explored in my research. I wish to thank Professor Hans Morgenthaler for being open to this topic, identifying the novelty of this research, and empathizing with me as I work to connect abstract ideas to the tangible realm of architecture. Finally, I wish the thank Professor Tom Noel for introducing me to the fascinating realm of historical research and narrative. Above all, I am most dee ply grateful to my wife , Martha. She demonstrated unending support and offered assistance in many ways : from putting up with the long discussions about Catholic church architecture, to her sensible advice, but , most of all, for always being there.
vii TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................1 Preface ....................................................................................................................... 1 The Problem .............................................................................................................. 3 The Need to Answer this Problem ............................................................................ 4 An Answer to the Problem ........................................................................................ 7 Definition of Terms ................................................................................................. 11 Textural Language of Architecture Defined ....................................................... 13 Structural Language of Architecture Defined ..................................................... 14 Figural Language of Architecture Defined ......................................................... 17 Methodology ........................................................................................................... 20 Mix Methods Research Approach .......................................................................... 23 ..........................................................................................25 .........................37 Where Are We Now? .............................................................................................. 41 Contemporary Architectural Theory ....................................................................... 51 The Ornamental Crisis ........................................................................................ 67 Post modern Questioning.................................................................................... 74 Modern/Post modern/Deconstruction Unfolded Textural Language ............... 75 ..................................................................................84
viii The Catholic Imagination Defined .......................................................................... 87 Perspectives on the Catholic Imagination ............................................................... 91 Greeley ................................................................................................................ 93 Murphy ................................................................................................................ 96 Tracy ................................................................................................................... 98 Lynch ................................................................................................................ 101 Flannery O'Connor ............................................................................................ 104 .........................108 A Sheet of White Paper ......................................................................................... 115 The Unfolded Textural and Enfolded Structural Aspects of a Cube .................... 123 Unfolding and Enfolding Chartres Cathedral ....................................................... 134 Both Sides of a Tapestry ....................................................................................... 140 Three Windows ..................................................................................................... 154 ..................................................................................................157 The Geometry of the Textural Language of Architecture (Texture expressed) ... 158 The Geometry of the Structural language of Architecture (Structureexpressed) 166 The Geometry of the Figural Language of Architecture (Figure expressed) ....... 172 Ornament in Incarnational Terms ..................................................................... 177 Microscopic dust ............................................................................................... 180 The Presence of Fractals in Catholic Sacred Architecture ................................ 183
i x ................................................................................................................212 St. Catherine Chapel â€“ Allenspark, CO ................................................................ 228 Stability as One Aspect of the Structural language of Architecture ................. 243 ...................................................................250 Ornamentâ€™s Role in Catholic Sacred Arch itecture ........................................... 252 Ornament Defined ............................................................................................. 254 Transitional Space ............................................................................................. 258 Ritual Process .................................................................................................... 259 Embodied Architectural Metaphor ................................................................... 261 .................................................................................................................266 The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels â€“ Los Angeles, CA ............................. 266 .................................................................................................................296 REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................301
x LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1 â€“ Diagram of the thesis statement. ......................................................................................... 8 2 â€“ The dynamic interplay of the thesis . ................................................................................... 9 3 â€“ Chart of terms defined. ..................................................................................................... 12 4 â€“ Sameness and difference in the textural language of architecture. .................................. 14 5 â€“ Structural lines inferred from the textural stimulus . ......................................................... 15 6 â€“ The structural fold lines of a stave church. ....................................................................... 16 7 â€“ Crucifix and cross . Photo & illustration, Stephen Baker. ................................................. 25 8 â€“ A white sheet of paper with two black lines . .................................................................... 30 9 â€“ The crucifix as texture, figure, and structure . Photo & illustration, Stephen Baker . ....... 38 10 â€“ Before and after the renovation of St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 2014, Toledo, OH. Photograph, Evergreen Studios, 2014. ........................................................................ 42 11 â€“ Richard Meier, Exterior and interior of the Church of the Jubilee, 19962002, Rome, Italy. Photo, Scott Frances. March 3, 2018. ................................................................ 44 12 â€“ Richard Meier, Exterior of the Jubilee Church (left), 2003, Rome, Italy. The exterior of Chartres Cathedral (right), c1220, Chartres, France. ................................................. 46 13 â€“ Richard Meier, Interior of the Church of the Jubilee, 2003, Rome, Italy. Interior of Chartres Cathedral , c. 1220, Chartres, France. .......................................................... 47 14 â€“ Jules Jacques Benois Benedict, Interior of the Church of the Holy Ghost , Denver, CO, 1943. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ............................................................................. 48 15 â€“ James Sudler, Interior of the Church of the Risen Christ , 1969, Denver, CO. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2017. .................................................................................................. 48 16 â€“ James Sudler, Church of the Risen Christ â€œSki Slope Church,â€ 1936, Denver, CO. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2017. ....................................................................................... 50 17 â€“ Efficient cause only in the contemporary view vs. the final cause symmetrical view which â€œpullsâ€ with in tention . ...................................................................................... 52 18 â€“ Fr. Reinholdâ€™s schematic diagram depicting the structural language of the Catholic mass ............................................................................................................................. 55
xi 19 â€“ Hoover Berg Desmond, Interior of Light of the World Catholic Church, 1984, Littleton, CO. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2012. ............................................................................... 56 20 â€“ Modern, enduring, & post modern design patterns ........................................................ 59 21 â€“ The first two pages from Zum Nachzeichnen fr Kinder . ............................................... 65 22 â€“ Le Corbusierâ€™s s tructure expressed as piloti (left) and Berniniâ€™s figure expressed as pillar (right) . Illustration, Stephen Baker. .................................................................. 68 23 â€“ Ornamental manipulations of the building in the plan. .................................................. 70 24 â€“ Zaha Hadid, Marsa Dubai Residential Tower , 2005. ..................................................... 72 25 â€“ Light of the World interior (left). Church of the Risen Christ interior (right) . Photos, Stephen Baker, 2017. .................................................................................................. 73 26 â€“ Robert Venturi & Denise Scott Brown, Duck vs. Decorated Shed . ................................ 74 27 â€“ The letter "W" as texture, structure, & figure . ................................................................ 82 28 â€“ The analogical vs. dialectic approach to knowledge of God. ....................................... 102 29 â€“ Figural language of architecture as a transitional element . ........................................ 108 30 â€“ Paradigmatic diagram of the thesis statement.............................................................. 110 31 â€“ 2D optical array generated by travel on a straight path. ............................................ 111 32 â€“ The2 D textural surfaces and parts (vertices) of a cube . .............................................. 111 33 â€“ The 3 D wireframe of a cube illustrating the structural relationship between parts . .. 112 34 â€“ The dynamic interplay of presence and absence in the three architectural languages . 114 35 â€“ â€œSamenessâ€ illustrated ................................................................................................. 115 36 â€“ â€œDifferenceâ€ illustrated . ............................................................................................... 116 37 â€“ Presence as a radiating force . ...................................................................................... 117 38 â€“ Structural fold lines of â€œidentityâ€ and â€œmystery.â€ ....................................................... 120 39 â€“ Finding (enfiguring) a dwelling place for the black dot. .............................................. 122 40 â€“ Aspects, profiles, and manifolds of a cube . ................................................................... 125 41 â€“ (a) The corner of a cube with surface differentiation, (b) Without surface differentiation, and (c) The structural structure ove rlaid . ................................................................. 126
xii 42 â€“ Textural grids depicting depth and edges . .................................................................... 127 43 â€“ The normal of a plane . .................................................................................................. 129 44 â€“ The textural sides of a cube re folded around the plan. ............................................... 130 45 â€“ The figure of a cube . ..................................................................................................... 132 46 â€“ Wireframe of the structural language of a cube . .......................................................... 133 47 â€“ Floor plan of Chartres Cathedral , 1220, Chartres, France. ......................................... 135 48 â€“ The enfolded structural ordering of Chartres Cathedral . ............................................ 136 49 â€“ The floorplan of Chartres Cathedral enfigured with a depiction of a human body overlaid . .................................................................................................................... 137 50 â€“ The symmetrical folding/unfolding of a point into a column. ....................................... 138 51 â€“ Various columns of Catholic churches showing the unfolded textural language . ........ 139 52 â€“ Unfolding the apse of Chartres Cathedral . ................................................................... 139 53 â€“ Kathy Spoering, Textural side, figural side, and structural side of a Tapest ry . ........... 140 54 â€“ Caravaggio (1571 1610), The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Detail) , 1602, oil on canvas, 42.1 57.5 in (106.9 146 cm). .............................................................................. 147 55 â€“ Textural pyramid. .......................................................................................................... 149 56 â€“ Structural pyramid. ....................................................................................................... 151 57 â€“ Three expressions of a window. Photo, Stephen Baker. .............................................. 154 58 â€“ Arnheim's radiating centers of attraction. .................................................................... 159 59 â€“ Arnheimâ€™s â€œstructural net .â€ .......................................................................................... 161 60 â€“ Ordinary visual experience (left), The textural aspects of ordinary experience (right). Photo, Stephen Baker. ............................................................................................... 163 61 â€“ The textural effects of plan in Richard Meierâ€™s Church of the Jubilee . Photo of a model of the Church of the Jubilee (left), the Floor plan of the Church of the Jubilee (right). ................................................................................................................................... 164 62 â€“ The raw textural language of architecture . Photo, Stephen Baker. ............................. 165 63 â€“ The structural language of architec ture being abstracted. Photo, Stephen Baker. ...... 166
xiii 64 â€“ The purely structural language of architecture . ........................................................... 166 65 â€“ Two strings of numbers . ................................................................................................ 167 66 â€“ A string of numbers with inherent hierarchies . ............................................................ 168 67 â€“ A series of numbers as a formula (that which structures) . ........................................... 168 68 â€“ Structural and textural in relation to each other . ......................................................... 170 69 â€“ Arnheimâ€™s â€œstructural net .â€ .......................................................................................... 171 70 â€“ Mathematics as Figures; triangle numbers, square numbers, and rectangle numbers . ................................................................................................................................... 173 71 â€“ Unfolded texture (left) and Enfolded form (right) . ....................................................... 175 72 â€“ Louis Sullivan, â€œAwakening of the Pentagon.â€ ........................................................... 176 73 â€“ Microscopic view of a laser computer print, showing the unique 'dusty' ink pattern .. 180 75 â€“ Richard Silver, Vertical Churches , 2017. ..................................................................... 184 76 â€“ Computer generated Grand Julian IFS Fractal Images (left & middle left), Basilica S. Ignazio, Rome, Italy, 1650, (middle right); St. Mary's Cathedral, Yangon, Myanmar, 1899 (right). .............................................................................................................. 185 77 â€“ Fractal Koch Snowflake (left), and several various sections through Gothic church columns (right). ......................................................................................................... 186 78 â€“ Six Iterations of the Koch Snowflake . ........................................................................... 186 79 â€“ A photo demonstrating how ornament mediates between wall and door , Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France, c1220. .......................................................................... 190 80 â€“ A photo showing fractal patterns in nature . ................................................................. 198 81 â€“ E. Roberts, Examples of fractal patterns . ..................................................................... 199 82 â€“ An interior photograph of Holy Ghost showing side aisle self similarity and levels of scale. Photo, Stephen Baker. ..................................................................................... 204 83 â€“ A detail of the side elevation photo showing the transition between wall and opening alongside a similar condition at Chartres Cat hedral, France . ................................ 206 84 â€“ An interior photograph of Holy Ghost showing the main aisle and self similarity and levels of scale. Photo, Stephen Baker. ...................................................................... 207
xiv 85 â€“ Photograph from the main aisle demonstrating the mediating function of ornament . Photo, Stephen Baker. ............................................................................................... 209 86 â€“ Structural post and lintel enfigured into an arch. ......................................................... 212 87 â€“ The process of subdividing a 2D form. ........................................................................ 212 88 â€“ The process of enfiguring (subdividing) a 3D form. ................................................... 213 89 â€“ The figuration of an arch. ............................................................................................. 214 90 â€“ Aediculas that enfigure the human person. .................................................................. 216 91 â€“ The cacophony of aedicules in gothic architecture . ..................................................... 217 92 â€“ Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials that enfigure the human person. ............................. 217 93 â€“ The human body enfiguring an arch. ............................................................................ 218 95 â€“ Exterior of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona. ..................................... 221 96 â€“ Interior of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona. ...................................... 221 97 â€“ An exterior photograph of St. Catherine Chapel , Allenspark, CO, J.J. Benedict. Photograph, Stephen Baker. ...................................................................................... 223 98 â€“ Enfiguring the aedicula of the eastern facade of St. Catherine . ................................... 224 99 â€“ Enfiguring the entire chapel to feel a sense of repose . Illustration, Stephen Baker. .... 224 100 â€“ Potential prospect if we enfigure ourselves into the form of the tower . Illustration, Stephen Baker. .......................................................................................................... 225 101 â€“ A sense of prospect or potentiality for new information. Illustration, Stephen Baker. ................................................................................................................................... 226 102 â€“ The feeling of the sublime . Illustration, Stephen Baker. ............................................. 226 103 â€“ The compilation of enfigured meanings . Illustration, Stephen Baker. ........................ 227 104 â€“ Exterior of the Chapel of St. Catherine of Sienna ( 193436) . Photo by Stephen Baker, July 2014. .................................................................................................................. 228 105 â€“ Interior of the Chapel of St. Catherine of Sienna (193436). Photo, Stephen Baker, July 2014........................................................................................................................... 228 106 â€“ Approach to St. Malo along Highway 7. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2014. ...................... 230 107 â€“ Initial View of Chape l from Highway 7. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2014. ...................... 231
xv 108 â€“ â€œFind Edgesâ€ Photoshop filter applied to the photo of the chapel . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2014. .............................................................................................................. 232 109 â€“ Boundedness of St. Catherine Chapel . Illustration, Stephen Baker. ........................... 233 110 â€“ The Dalmatian by R. C. James. (left), the same image but with the dog highlighted from the background (center), and parts of the Dalmatian shown separately (right) . ................................................................................................................................... 235 111 â€“ The Dalmatian photo texturalized into autonomous parts. ....................................... 236 112 â€“ Wright's use of a grid as a generative seed . ............................................................... 237 113 â€“ Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona. ........................................................... 240 114 â€“ Parts of the Dalmatian, sandstone wall, and rock showed separately . ...................... 241 115 â€“ Hidden Creek adjacent to the rock foundation of St. Catherineâ€™s Chapel . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2014. ................................................................................................ 242 116 â€“ The transitional process . ........................................................................................... 261 117 â€“ J. J. Benedict, Entrance to Christ the King Chapel, Denver, CO . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016........................................................................................................................... 262 118 â€“ Chartres Cathedralâ€™s Northern Transept Porch with a window of the sacristy in the background, c.1310. .................................................................................................. 263 119 â€“ Exterior of the cathedral on N. Grand Ave . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ................. 267 120 â€“ Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels plotted on the thesis diagram . ......................... 268 121 â€“ Rafael Moneo, The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels from the plaza. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ................................................................................................ 269 122 â€“ The cathedralâ€™s floor plan. Illustration, Stephen Baker. ............................................ 270 123 â€“ Parti diagram of the Cathedral of the Angels . ............................................................ 272 124 â€“ Entrance to the cathedral plaza. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. .................................. 275 125 â€“ View from the plaza entry . Photo, Stephen Bake r, 2016. ........................................... 276 126 â€“ The unfolded textural effects of the Cathedral . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ........... 277 127 â€“ The textural effects of unfolded pieces of origami. ..................................................... 278 128 â€“ The cross element in the courtyard faade . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ................. 279
xvi 129 â€“ Similarity in some parts of the building. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ...................... 280 130 â€“ Entrance approach to the Cathedral . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ........................... 281 131 â€“ The Cathedralâ€™s entrance portal . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ................................. 282 132 â€“ One of the smaller entrance doors to the Cathedral . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ... 284 133 â€“ Entrance hallway to the Cathedral nave. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ..................... 285 134 â€“ Entrance hallway leading to the cathedral nave . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ......... 286 135 â€“ View between the vertical shafts into the mysterious space beyond. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. .............................................................................................................. 287 136 â€“ Artifact of an identifiable reredos on the left and traditional Catholic liturgical elements on the right . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ................................................. 288 137 â€“ Levels of scale and structural language of the reredos . Illustration, Stephen Baker. 289 138 â€“ Panoramic photo of the saints tapestry along the nave of the Cathedral . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. ................................................................................................ 292 139 â€“ View down the central aisle of the sanctuary . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016............... 293 140 â€“ The sp ectrum of architectural languages: purely textural, figural, and purely structural languages of architecture . Photos, Stephen Baker. ................................. 296 141 â€“ Three churches spanning the spectrum of architectural languages . Photos, Stephen Baker. ........................................................................................................................ 297
xvii LIST OF A BBREVIATIONS CCC Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992) ORG Organon, Aristotle DI De Docta Ignorantia, Nicholas of Cusa META Metaphysics , Aristotle NABRE New American Bible Revised Edition PHYS Physics , Aristotle ST The Summa Theologi i (Theologica) , Thomas Aquinas EV Evangelium Vitae , Pope John Paul II
1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creat ures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without a meaning. â€” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity Preface One summer day , my family and I had the pleasure of picnicking with two Catholic nuns who were on a spiritual retreat at a former convent in Denver, CO. My wife suggested that I tell the nuns the topic of my Ph .D. research . I mentioned to the Superior that I was studying Catholic sacred architecture. Naturally, she seemed interested . She proceeded to ask me if I had seen the chapel at the retreat center . I told her I had seen it. She asked me what I thought of it. I withhe ld my opinion so that I might hear hers first. She noticed my hesi tation and almost embarrassingly said, â€œI donâ€™t like it.â€ I asked, â€œWhy not?â€ She replied, â€œIt does not inspire me. It does not connect me with God , and it does not mean anything to me .â€ I smiled in agreement. I told her, â€œ That is what I am trying to under stand in my Ph .D. : â€œ Why do some Catholic churches inspire us, connect with us, and move us while others do not ?â€ Moreover , likewise , â€œHow does architecture activate our imagination so that it forms meaning to Catholics? â€ â€œHow can Catholic sacred architecture be meaningful?â€ I explained to her that if I could provide insight into this problem, I could help people, parishioners, pastors, and other architects design more meaningful and more enduring Catholic churches. E ssenti ally w hat sister said was that the experience of the chapel did not stimulate a new knowledge, experience, or awareness of God. The chapelâ€™s forms, their arrangement, and the material expression did not provide a transcendent sense of a universal God. Ultimately, her imagination was not engaged through her sense of understanding the
2 building. Therefore, the building did transform her view of the world. S tated another way, she had an experience but not an encounter . W hy not? After all, the chapel was a well functioning space , it had a nice view of nature, a communal feeling, abstract art, interesting architectural forms, a crucifix, all the required symbols of a Catholic church, and it provided environm entally comfortable conditions. W hat was missing? Why did it not inspire her, the other sister, myself , nor my wife? What about the chapelâ€™s architectural form prevented it from expressing a Catholic view of reality, a view of reality with which a Catholic could connect? Likewise, are there architectural forms t hat this chapel could have used which would have more clearly expressed Catholic ideas and how they view the world? The following dissertation is an attempt to answer these questions. It does so by focusing on the root question behind these questions: â€œHow does Catholic sacred architecture form meaning?â€ As a practicing architect who specializes in Catholic sacred architecture, I have worked on many projects ranging from fonts to basilicas, from Cathedrals to parish churches, and from shrines to altars. Af ter graduate school, I was given the opportunity to work with an architect who designed Catholic churches across the nation. As a young graduate, I was presented with these wonderful church projects and was asked to offer designs that would create a church. More specifically, I was asked to design â€œa church that looks like a Catholic church.â€ Naively, I thought I knew what I was doing. I quickly found that I needed to have a lot more understanding of what it was that I was trying to do when I was being asked to design a Catholic church. From there, I have begun my lifelong quest to find out how architecture forms meaning.
3 The Problem F or a building to be â€œ architecture,â€ it must produce meaning . Often , this meaning goes beyond its purely functional use and extends into the realm of aesthetic understanding . The challenge to th is claim i s trying to understand when a building become more than just a building , and , therefore, â€œarchitectureâ€ per se . When does this meaning form, and can we understand when a building forms this meanin g? The Catholic Church states that both the liturgy and the church building should be â€œsigns and symbols of heavenly realities.â€1 This lofty idea is what a church should be and what an architect must create. Now, most architects have not been to, nor have they seen heaven. So, how is an architect supposed to express a heavenly reality that they have never seen? Likewise, Ruskin tells us that for architecture to be deemed as such, it must possess three virtues : (1) â€œThat it act well,â€ (2) â€œThat it speak wel l,â€ and (3) â€œThat it look well.â€2 So, how can a building â€œact,â€ â€œspeak,â€ and â€œlookâ€ well about heavenly and unseen realities? By what means c an the built environment inspire, transform, or inform us of an infinite being such as God? Moreover, is this task even possible since these two realms, man and God, have two entirely different ontologies? Understanding these limits , a practicing architect should be concerned with how a building accomplishes this tall, if not impossible, task. How does a church become architecture? How does it form meaning? 1 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, â€œGeneral Instruction of the Roman Missal,â€ 2011, chap. V, #288, http://www.usccb.org/prayer and worship/the mass/general instruction of the roman missal/. 2 John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice (New York: Cosimo Classics, 2007), 35.
4 The historian Nelson Goodman suggests rather than asking â€œwhatâ€ a building means, we should ask â€œwhen â€ does a building become architecture.3 To help in this claim, Goodman offers further insight into the ways by which buildings become architecture : I think that a work of architecture, or any other art, works as such to the extent that it enters into the way we see, feel, perceive, conceive, comprehend in general. A visit to an exhibition of paintings may transform our vision, and I have argued elsewhere that excellence of a work is a matter of enlightenment rather than of pleasure. A building, more than most works, alters our environment physically; but moreover, as a work of art it may, through various avenues of meaning, inform and reorganize our entire experience.4 Goodman points out that it is through our intuitive ways of seeing, feeling, perceiving, and comprehending that we organize and configure our worlds . This study th oroughly explores t he idea that feeling and perceiving is crucial to how we form meaning from our experiences . Furthermore, t he findings of this study reveal that feelings are the crux of this entire inquiry . Therefore, the general question i s , â€œHow does architecture form meaning?â€ Also, and m ore specifically related to this research , â€œ How does architecture help Catholics form meaning that endures ?â€ The Need to Answer this Problem It is important to answer this question since c urrently there is a conflict in d esign methodologies which produce s results that are significantly different from the enduring design patterns of Catholic sacred architecture. A significant amount of these nonenduring and often contemporary design methods result in churches that are being demolished , renovated, and re re novated after a very short life span , typically within thirty years or less .5 3 Nelson Goodman, â€œHow Buildings Mean,â€ Critical Inquiry 11, no. 4 (1985): 652. 4 Ibid. 5 Jennifer Oâ€™Connor, â€œSurvey on Actual Service Lives for North American Buildings,â€ in Woodframe Housing Durability and Disaster Issues Conference, Las Vegas , 2004, 1â€“2.
5 Moreover , the laity is rejecting these design outcomes , and there is a significant return to the earlier more enduring architectural patte rns of Catholic sacred architecture. In general, the field of architecture currently exists within a similar crisis of meaning . There are several strands of various design approaches in current architectural theory that range from traditional, modern, pos t modern, organic , deconstruction, ecological, and proceduralism. All of these methods produce deviations in Catholic church expressions. T hese deviations in outcome illustrate the crisis of meaning within the current theoretical realm of Catholic sacred architecture. Each side of the ideological argument continually questions the validity of the otherâ€™s approach. In some sense, the various opposing architectural des ign philosophical ideologies, with each one vying for the superiority of their ideology over the other, reveals the crisis of meaning in Catholic sacred architecture . This crisis stems primarily from the general lack of understanding and agreement on how meaning forms from our experience of environments . When this conflict occurs, ideology often trumps the practical needs of the building . In our desire for ideological uniformity , we have lost sight of the forest before us. What is needed is a study of the â€œfirst thingsâ€ of architecture. In this way, we can see where each ideological side is coming from in this battle of architectural design theories . Likewise, we need a study of the first things of Catholicism so that we can understand from which ideological and theological standpoint Catholicism is coming . At that point, one may state where a Catholic church should stand and make a correlating architectural expression. T he hope is that this kind of study will help make more meaningful and enduring Catholic churches. Current ly, no clear scholarly work grapples with the specific issue of how sacred architecture forms meaning . There are a significant number of works that explain what a
6 Catholic church means, but none offer insight into how i t is to express these ideas .6 F or example, the Catholic Church states that a Catholic church is to be an expression of â€œheavenly realities .â€ This idea is the what a Catholic church is su pposed to mean. However, there is little insight given by the Church for how an architect is to express these realities. In fact, most theological thought on these realities quickly moves into metaphysical realms of understanding and esoteric language. Thi s is expected of philosophy, which , by very definition usually concerns itself with the meta physical, or beyond matter . However, t hese metaphysical ideas struggle to find material expression. Ironically, or perhaps paradoxically, a Catholic church is a p hysical expression of these ideas . Since a Catholic church entangles the physical with the metaphysical to achieve meaning, t heoretical insight into the metaphysics and theology is needed to help architects untangle the many te r ms and theological ideas that a Catholic church is supposed to express. To some degree, the confusion of design methodologies is a reflection of the confusion among Catholics as to their own â€œfirst thingsâ€ of belief. What is at the core of the Catholic bel ief system? By a nswer ing this question, one might find the enduring architectural pattern that seeks to express this belief . Therefore, o ne of the primary goal s of this study is to unfold the language that philosophers and theologians use to explain how humans can have a knowledge and understanding of God. From this untangling process, this study explain s how these ideas find architectural expression. W ith this insight, one will be equipped with methods for designing and building more meaningful and endurin g sacred dwelling places that have better 6 For a simplified example of a manual for interpretation, see Denis McNamara, How to Read Churches: A Crash Course in Ecclesiastical Architecture (New York Lewes, East Sussex: Rizzoli International Publishers Produced by Ivy Press, 2011).
7 correlation to Catholic â€œfirst things .â€ Ultimately, this research does not seek to â€œfixâ€ the bad ideas about the Catholic liturgy, rather, in some sense , it seeks to shed light upon the bad ideas about Catholic sac red architecture.7 An Answer to the P roblem This study explores how the dynamic interplay of textural, structural , and figural architectural languages form architectural meaning . It finds that the dynamic mix between these three architectural languages creates meaning that endures in Catholic sacred architecture. Lastly, when a Catholic church emphasizes one language over the other it weakens its abilit y to form meaning that endures, connects, and engages Catholics through their means of figuring their world. There are three architectural languages in Catholics sacred architecture: textural, structure, and figural. In brief, t he textural language of arch itecture is the unfolded twodimensional array that is detected by of our senses ; the structural language of architecture is the enfolded threedimensional structure inferred by our intellect; and t hrough the dynamic interplay of these two modes of perceiv ing and understanding , we form figural understandings of our architectural experiences. The figural language of architecture is the realm of the symbolic, allegorical, metaphorical, and analogical realm of reasoning. Finally, the enduring architectural des ign pattern of Catholic sacred architecture relies upon the figural language of architecture as the primary means by which Catholic sacred architecture forms meaning for Catholics . The following diagram illustr ates this thesis statement: 7 Randall B. Smith, â€œDonâ€™t Blame Vatican II Modernism and Modern Catholic Church,â€ Sacred Architecture Journal 13 (2007): 12. With regards to Catholic sacred architecture, this research shares similar views as Smith, in that, further study is needed in the architectural realm rather than the well investigated realm of theology. Let the theologians fix the things of the liturgy and the architects fix the architecture.
8 Figure 1 â€“ D iagram of the thesis statement . Th e remainder of this study is the explor ation of the nuances of this diagram. For now, it is only important to understand that a dynamic relationship exists between the textural, structural, and figural language s of architecture, and that enduring meaning involves all these three languages . Some time s architectural design methods favor one language over the other. However, the enduring pattern in Catholic sacred architecture involves a rich interplay of all three. So, w hen a building â€œspeaksâ€ to the beholder it must use a language , and the figural architectural language is the preferred language of Catholic sacred architecture. G etting a building to speak to its beholders is the task of the architect. Likewise , t here are three design means through which the architect transforms a dull building into architecture, an architecture that forms meaning . The re are three possible design approaches : 1. Textureexpressed 2. Figure expressed 3. Structure expressed Presence Absence Structural Language Figural Language Textural Language 3D Schema Inferred 2 D Array Immediate 2.5D Betwixt & Between
9 Likewise, the beholder of architecture is afforded three methods for understanding what a building is â€œsayingâ€ to us. They are: We t exturize it We e nfigure it We s tructuralize it There are significant nuances to each of the terms : texture, structure, and figure , and t he remainder of this study will unfold these nuances . All of these terms are dynamically related , and t he following diagram will help the reader situate each of these languages in relationship to each other ( Figure 2): Figure 2 â€“ The d ynamic interplay of the thesis . This diagram conceives architectural understanding as two coinciding pyramids of understanding: a pyramid of structure descending into our senses , and a pyramid of texture ascending into our intellect. Notice that at the base of the pyramid of texture is the sensual stimuli received from the two dimensional array of our senses ( vision/touch) , while at the Base of the Pyramid of Texture Immediate 2D array of senses We Texturalize It Figural Mean We Enfigure it Base of the Pyramid of Structure Inferred 3 D of intellect We Structuralize It
10 base of the pyramid of structure is the thre e dimensional model inferred from our intellect . All architectural meaning lies between textur e and structur e as figural understanding.8 This study focus es on the senses of sight and touch since these two senses are our primary means of sensing the textur e and structural arrangement of our environments . Our sense of hearing does help in depicting some of the the structural and textural aspects of our environments , however, sight and touch more directly focus one toward the goal of understanding the form and qualities of our environments. For example, sound assists in the detection of the proximity of surfaces, but without sight, we can only imagine a blue color. Sound affords us the means for understanding our proximity to an object, while taste and smel l afford us a sense of the chemical makeup of environments. Neither of these senses offers us the immediacy of structural and textural understanding of our environment s as do touch and sight . Furthermore, t his study takes the pos i tion that touch and sight are intimately intertwined , and agrees with the observation of Louis Kahn as he claimed, â€œTo uch desired to be so much in touch that eyesight came from touch. To see was only to touch more accurately. â€9 In this way, s ight allows us to be more intimately in â€œtouchâ€ our environments . Moreover, sight allows us to project our sense of touch beyond that which is within our physical grasp , a feature of understanding that proves critical to our ability to form meaning . With regards to sight, the textural language of architecture concerns itself with the physical properties of materials and how it interacts with light. With regards to touch, the textural language of architecture concerns itself with the contrasts between physical 8 This diagram depicting the coincidence of opposites as two coincidin g pyramids is an idea inspired by Nicholas of Cusa â€™ paradigmatic diagram . 9 Louis Kahn, Louis Kahn: Essential Texts (New York: W.W. Norton, 2003), 268. From his lecture at Pratt Institute (1973).
11 properties of materials that come from the tactile stimulus. For example, if nothing changes in our sense of an environment we sense â€œnothing,â€ but if a pin pricks one or if a change in stimulus occurs, we feel â€œsomeâ€ thing. This c hange or difference in material properties is what we sense with touch and sight. Definition of Terms A cursory definition of the three architectural lang uages is now needed . The following chart helps to summarize what is meant by each of these terms with respect to the three architecture design methods ( Figure 3 ).
12 Tex ture Figure Structure Design Methodology Texture expressed 2 D texture made into a building Figure expressed 3 D structure enfigure/textured 2 D Structure expressed 3 D structure made into a building Definition Texture the feel , appearance, or consistency of a surface or a substance. the tactile quality of the surface of a work of art. the quality created by the combination of the different elements in a work of music or literature. Figure Noun a person of a particular kind, especially one who i s important or distinctive in some way. a representation of a human or animal form in drawing or sculpture. Verb represent (something) in a diagram or picture. embellish (something) with a pattern. Structure the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex. the quality of being organized. the pattern of organization of a building as a whole or of arrangements of building units within larger units Verb construct or arrange according to a pla n; give a pattern or organization to . Express convey (a thought or feeling) in words or by gestures and conduct. squeeze out (liquid or air). Enfigure Prefix en â€œin, into, put intoâ€ as in â€œencircleâ€ or â€œ envelope â€ by enfiguring, we project a figural representation of ourselves into our environments so that we may understand them more clearly. a body to environment projection . Etymology of Terms Latin: textere , text, textura woven, weaving Latin: figura , figure Shape, figure, form, contrive . Latin: struere , structura To build . Latin: ex pressare Out, to press, press out, obtain by squeezing out, or wringing Latin: en In, into, on . Transform vs . Transfigure Transform make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of . to change a thing into a different thing implies a major change in form, nature, or function . Transfigure implies a change that exalts or glorifies . to give a new and typically exalted or spiritual appearance to . transform outwardly and usually for the better . to change the appearance of (something or someone) . Figure 3 â€“ Chart of terms defined .
13 Textural Language of Architectur e Defined First, the textural language of architecture involves the materially sensible aspects of a building as it unfolds before our senses. The 2D array is that which fills our field of vision as a textural pattern. With regards to vision, this primarily involves the surface qualities of a building and its interaction with light. With regards to touch, this primarily involves the contrast between smoothness and roughness. The textural language of architecture is the surfaceâ€™s material qualities ( qualia) ; it is that which makes our environments blue , opaque, or transparent with regards to sight, or rough, smooth, soft, or â€œhard â€ with regards to touch. Our sense of t exture is primarily an analog form of communication, that is, we distinguish the â€œmore or lessâ€ qualities from a continuous flow of stimulus . It is useful to t hink of the textural language of architecture as the continuous flow of patterns that we sense. As an analogy, consider the textural sense as that of time depicted in a mechanica l quartz timepiece. This analog type of communication device presents the idea of â€œtimeâ€ as a â€œmore or lessâ€ expression since the hands of time are continuously moving . In other words, the timepiece expresses the textural effects of time. With regards to s ight, t he textural language is what we see in the two dimensional immediacy of our field of vision . As a two dimensional sensory input, the textur e of a â€œ thing â€ is something that emotes a contrast between sameness and difference. Figu re 4 illustrates the how one sense s sameness and difference.
14 Figure 4 â€“ S ameness and difference in the textural language of architecture. In this image, we sense the sameness of the gray texture and the shifting tones caused by the structure of the plane folding either away from or towards us. Notice, it is almost impossible for us to experience this surface without inferring a three dimensi onal shift in the structure of the plane. Structural Language of Architecture Defined T he structural language of architecture involves the underlying structural ordering and organization of architecture. The structural language is the compression of the ra w textural stimulus into codifiable â€œlines.â€ We infer t his underlying structure from our textural sense of the surface ( Figure 5).
15 Figure 5 â€“ Structural lines inferred from the textural stimulus . This image depicts the formal structural lines we infer from the textural stimulus. These lines compress our raw perception into lines that help us understand what causes the surface to change in tex ture the way it does . It is useful to think of these inferred structural lines as the digital or abstracted language of the surface. Also, we structuralize our textural experience by inferring the se structural lines . This process in form s us of the 3D arrangement of th is surface. In architecture, t hese structural lines can be visible and invisible . When they are invisible , we are require d to sense these structural lines through inference and intellectual reasoning . Other times , these inherent structural lines are highlighted and expressed by using molding, cornices, vault ribbing, corbelling, and baseboards . However, the primary means for expressing the structural language of architecture is through fold lines . For example, what we call a â€œcornerâ€ is nothing more than the fold line between two textural planes , be it between floor and wall, wall and wall, or wall and ceiling . These fold lines of a building help us to underst and the three dimensional model that we build from our sense of the corners
16 expressed in the textural language of architecture. It is useful to think of the structural language of architecture as the wireframe or schematic line model of the building ( Figure 6). Figure 6 â€“ T he structural fold lines of a stave church . This three dimensional mental schematic model of a building allows us to navigate , identify , and infer our position in space. In other words, t he structural language is the realm of spatial geometry , hierarchies, relationships, and order . The structural language i s how our twodimensional sense of the building is mentally re folded to make it stable threedimensional form . In this way it is said that a building has structural integrity (Latin: integritas ). The term â€œrefoldâ€ and â€œenfoldingâ€ is understood to be the process by which we reform the textural stimulus into some â€œthingâ€ that stands by itself and is bounded. This refolding process is called â€œstructuralizeâ€ and â€œstructuralization .â€ It is important to note that the textural and structural language s of architecture are substantially intertwined , and they are only divided here for analytical purp oses. A full grasp of either language involves the understanding of the other, and through this intertwined understanding is where we find the figural language of architecture comes into play.
17 Figural Language of Architecture Defined Finally, t hrough the interaction of the textural and structural language s of architecture, we compare the present texture with the apparent structure to our past experiences of similar objects. Th is comparison allows us to relate what we are currently experiencing to our past experiences . In this way , we form identifications with what we are experiencing. In other words, we can say that what we are experiencing is a â€œcube,â€ or in the example above in Figure 5, the surface is â€œlikeâ€ the plains of Kansas, or the bank of a dried river bed, or the crease in a piece of cloth. Notice that to identify these things, we must use the term â€œlike.â€ By this te rm, we enfigure this dynamic interplay between texture and structure with tactile and enfigured descriptions . We describe our understanding of the plane in Figure 5 a s â€œsmooth,â€ â€œflowing,â€ or â€œfallingâ€ away from us. In this way, t he meaning from the figural language of architecture is primarily achieved by us â€œenfiguringâ€ ourselves into what we are experiencing. So, what is meant by the terms â€œenfigureâ€ and â€œenfiguring ?â€ The etymolog ical root of the prefix â€œen - â€ comes from the Latin in which means "in; into ." I n a nother sense , enfiguring means to â€œput into,â€ as in â€œencircleâ€ or â€œenvelope.â€ In other words, by enfiguring , we project a figura l representation of ourselves into our environments so that we may understand them more clearly . We project a sense of what it would â€œfeelâ€ like to be in that space or to be â€œin touchâ€ with that object .10 Th e idea of enfiguring is similar to the notion of empathy as explored by many sch olars with regards to architecture. However, the term â€œenfiguringâ€ involves not only a mindto mind projection , as for when we empathize with 10 Following this etymological understanding, we desire to be â€œen touchâ€ with an object since the prefix â€œin - â€ and â€œen - â€ are often interchangeable and both modify their subject to mean â€œin .â€
18 another person, but also a body to environment and inferred spatial construct . The enfiguring process allows us to connect the textural sense of our environments with the inferred structural model that we build (structure) in our minds. This enfigured projection of ourselves as being in space gives us a sense of dwelling and a sense of place. The sense of texture and the identifiability of structure enhances our sense of dwelling. Likewise, the enfiguring process allows us to cross map between the textural and structural language s , between our embodied textural sense and our intellectual, structural understanding of a building . Enfiguring and enfigurement is the process by which architecture forms a figural bridge of meaning between texture and structure , body and mind. When we enfigure our environments, we form a kind of â€œ Being in the World ;â€ we dwell.11 For this study, t he term â€œenfigureâ€ means to mentally project oneself into another thing, object, or environment. We use this mental ability so that w e may predict or infer what kind of experience or new knowledge we might obtain if we were to enter or explore space or metaphorical ly enter into space. This enfiguring process involves a sense of time since we bring with us our sense of past understandings . More importantly, through enfigur ed project ion, we metaphorically extend patterns of our embodied experiences in to the space of the environment to help us form cognitive structures of understanding â€”the structural language of architecture. These pre existing embodied memories help us r elate new textural stimuli and assist us in structural understanding of our e nvironment s. We can think of the 11 Heidegger is the primary developer of the phenomenological idea of â€œbeingin the worldâ€ ( Dasein ). His â€œbeing in the worldâ€ is a sense of being that stems neither from the â€œinsideâ€ nor the â€œoutsideâ€ of oneâ€™s experience, rather it comes from the mode of encountering the world as a both/and. His D asein is also â€œthrownnessâ€ or â€œbeing thrownâ€ ( geworfen ) into the world. This proje ction of oneself into the world so that one may be open to interpret the possibilities of their experience which implies an openness to otherness.
19 figural language of architecture as our ability to cross map from the 2 D textural domain of architectural understanding to the 3D structural domain of architectural understanding. Through the process of enfiguring, we us e the history of patterns that we have obtained from our physical experiences to organize more abstract understandings. Figural understanding exists to allow us to project from the concrete experience of raw textural stimulus to the abstract structures we form in our intellect. We enfigure a space by projecting ourselves into the scene so that we can imagine and dwell within it. Enfiguring allows us to sense otherness by projecting oneâ€™s embodied sense from the interior sense of self and into the otherness of space. We do this so that we may imagine being in touch with otherness , and this sense of otherness is crucial to a Catholic sense of God in sacred architecture.12 Explaining the process of how we â€œenfigur e â€ sacred architecture is the heart of this study. More specifically, the figural language of architecture is the heart of what forms and inspires the Catholic form of imagination. By understanding this enfiguring process, we will understand how we form deeper meaning from architecture. The remainder of t his study will unfold this process through analysis and example which will then conclude in a case study application of this interpretive framework to further oneâ€™s understanding of how Catholic sacred architecture forms meaning. 12 Johnson explores the â€œcross mappingâ€ characteristic of metaphorical thought by which we can project from t he domain of the body to the domain of the abstract. See Mark Johnson, The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).
20 Methodology The question of architectural meaning is complex and stands on several premises . T his study stands on the premise that Catholic sacred architecture is an expression of Catholic â€œtheology in stone â€ and that its meaning is an expression of this theology.13 Therefore, t his study is a reflection u pon the Catholic worldview and how that worldview takes expression in architectur e . E ve n though Catholic theology organically develops , expands, and shifts its focus over the centuries , this study finds a continuous theme behind why Catholics figur e their world through sacred architecture they way that they do. The expression of this theme in Catholic sacred architectural is homogenous and persist s across centuries and cultures . The presence of this phenomenon and its corresponding architectural expr ession is what is under investigation. This discovery is the â€œfirst thingâ€ of Catholic sacred architecture. As a study of a phenomenon, it cannot be measured by a single empirical or survey based method, for this form of research method would only tell us what Catholics believe. These methods would not tell us about their motivation for why and how for this phenomenon dwells within the mean, the mean between the subjectivity of a cultur al viewpoint and its objective expression in physical artifacts . Therefore, t his research must use a mixed method research methodology . The three methods used in this study are : a hermeneutic interpretation of theological texts to extract a continuous theme , logical 13 Richard Kieckhefer, Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
21 argumentation to form an explanatory theoretical frame work that describes this theme , and phenomenological analysis of this framework as applied to a case study example.14 Chapter I offers a brief analysis of the difference between a crucifix and a cross . This analysis is done to illustrate how the terms used throughout this study are applied. T his example quickly illustrate s the type of analysis that phenomenological interpretation can offer and establishes the methodology used throughout . Furthermore, it provides a compelling example which demonstrates how the figural language of art forms enduring meaning for Catholics. Chapter II involves the establishment of the current context in which Catholic sacred architecture reside. It does so by describing the current theoretical context in which architects of Catholic churches find themselves. By exploring this conte xt, t he crisis reveals itself . Additionally, this chapter describes the problem that exists in architectural design theories and practice which reinforces the need for this research. Chapter II I explores how Catholics view the world. This review describes how they imagine and f igure their world accordingly . It does so by providing a hermeneutical interpretation of the phenomenon called the â€œ Catholic imagination.â€ A brief introduction to Catholic theology occurs which establish es a continuous them e that ru ns throughout the worldview . It finds the principle of the Incarnation to be the fundamental belief that informs us of the knowability of God. Furthermore, t he knowability of God is the basis for how Catholic s imagine their world . By understanding how t he Catholic imagination works , we will understand the philosophical and theological means by which Catholic s view, structure, 14 David Wang, Architectural Research Methods , 2nd ed. (Hoboken: Wiley, 2013), 301. Wang identifies â€œLogical Argumentationâ€ as a fruitful research methodology for architecture, and one t hat typically involves many other methodologies.
22 and express their world view architecturally . This exploration is done to help align the reader with the theological and philosophical intentions of Catholic sacred architecture. This understanding of the Catholic imagination assist s in the development of a logical framework which allows for these ideas to be applied to a Catholic church. Chapter I V involves the development of this explanatory framework by using logical argumentation. It is an exploration of the â€œfirst thingsâ€ of architectural understanding . This chapter further defin es the terms developed in this study . Finally, this chapter o ffers several simple examples of this logical framework to understand its application toward architecture. Chapter V explores the three geometr ic approaches that express the three architectural languages. It identifies fragmentation as the primary means for exp ressing the textural language of architecture, Platonic ideal forms as the primary means for expressing the structural language of architecture, and fractal geometry as the primary means for expressing the figural language of architecture. The textural lan guage of architecture uses geometry that emphasizes the individual components that make up geometric figures: line, point, and face. The structural language of architecture focuses on the abstract hierarchical organization and relationships that exist betw een the individual parts to the whole. The figural language of architecture uses geometry that emphasizes the dynamic interrelationship between parts and the whole. Fractal geometry is found to be the best form of this geometric expression. This claim if e xplored through the study of a Catholic church that exemplifies an enduring design method. Chapter VI explores the process of enfiguring and its role in the aesthetics of meaning. It finds that the enfiguring process allows for us to project our embodied s ense into our environments so that we may further infer its nonvisible structural and visible textural
23 aspects. It concludes with an exploration of the role of enfiguring as seen in the architectural example of the aedicula. Chapter VII explores the role of ornament as a transitional element that connects the textural and structural languages of architecture. It finds that ornament allow s us to psychologically break down our percetion of structure and to recompose it via textural effects so that we may for m newer meanings from our environments. In other words, ornament is a vehicle to transform and transfigure meaning from the textural to the structural and into the symbolic. Chapter VIII concludes this research with an in depth case study of the Cathedral of the Angels in Los Angeles, CA. This case study illustrates the many factors involved in the formation of meaning from our architectural experience. By using the interpretive framework developed early, it illustrates how this building overemphasizes its textural expression and resists any deeper structural understanding. This emp hasi s on the textural language ultimately leaves one without the ability to identify with the building which results in the sense of absence. Likewise, this case study serves as a springboard to explore the various design methods afforded to an architect tasked with designing a Catholic church. Mix Methods Research Approach Since th e figural language of architecture forms endur ing meaning by residing between thing s that are textural and ideas that are structural , we need a methodology that involves the description of the intersubjectivity that exists between objective and subjective analysis . In psychological terms, this method needs to explore the â€œ transitional sp ace â€
24 between what is â€œ me â€ and what is â€œ not me .â€15 Likewise, this r esearch methodology needs to involve the realm of objective sense and inferred intellect since this claim cannot stand solely upon a purely objectivist worldview nor a purely subjective understanding of it . P henomenological architectural interpretation involves this very form of analysis. The phenomenological method entails the analysis of the subjective qualities of objective experience. Likewise , the insertion of the subjective point of view , along w ith objective analysis of architecture, is critical to the overall understanding of architectural experience. This interjection of the subjective helps to fo r m a dynamic interplay between subject and object. Ultimately , phenomenology seeks to describe the qualities ( qualia) of architecture derived from the ir objective description. The quality of architecture is that which the architect is most in control of during the design process. Therefore, phenomenology is the most appropriate methodology to answer this question on how Catholic sacred architecture forms meaning . 15 Winnicott first introduced the idea of â€œmeâ€ and â€œnot meâ€ in his work â€œPlaying and Reality.â€ Donald W. Winnicott, Playing and Reality (Tavistock Publications, 1971).
25 THE CRUCIFIX AND CROSS At this moment, it is best to demonstrate how art and architecture form enduring meaning for Catholics . Consider the application of the textural, structural , and figural architectural languages as applied to the study of how enduring meaning form s through the experience of a crucifix versus a cross ( Figure 7). Figure 7 â€“ Crucifix and c ross. Photo & i llustration , Stephen Baker. This illustration depicts a crucifix on the left and an illustration of a cross on the right. The c rucifix on the left is a gift that my family received in the mail. It offers an example of the many similar items we receive in the mail, such as C hristmas cards, medals, holy cards, and other religious items . Typically, these items have very little monetary value to them. Structural Schema Objectifies Figural Enfigure Personifies Structural language transforms experience into one meaning Figural language transfigures experiences into rhetoric & narrative
26 Likewise, they come to us through the mail , so there is little historical attachment to them. However, as a practicing Catholic, my family and I find it very difficult to throw these items away. In fact, we hold on to these â€œtrinkets ,â€ and they endure well past the fleeting moment of opening the envelope and deciding whether to toss it into th e trash . Our inability to discard these â€œ trinkets â€ is primarily due to the representative figure s placed upon them and the narratives they depict. For us, the se items and this crucifix re present something other than what they are materially . What is impor tant to understand is that the crucifix is more than just a symbol of a cross ; it is the re presentation of the narrative that this trinket embodies . Through its expression I enfigure it with deeper meaning , meaning that endures . The display of a figural narrative in this work of art is what connects Catholics to it beyond it being a piece of wood and plastic (texture) arranged in a cross shape (structur e ) . In other words, it is their figural meaning to which we form an attachment. Why is this? T he diagram in Figure 7 takes the crucifix with a corpus on it and progressively abstract s a nd reduce s it into a schematic diagram that represents the crucifixâ€™s â€œessentialâ€ form and pure structure on the right. This compression of data or distill ation of sensed data into a 2D line drawing or 3 D wireframe model is called its structural diagram or schema. On the left , we have the figural language and on the right we have the structural language. By identifying the image on the right as the structural language, w e can say the two black lines are a â€œcrossâ€ represent the universal idea â€œbehind â€ or â€œinherentâ€ to the crucifix on the left. This abstracted depiction of two black lines represents a schematic diagram of the crucifixâ€™s underlying structural framework, its essence, or its structural language . In other words, the structural language of the crucifix is a compressed version of the crucifix, and, therefore, is the l iteral meaning. It is literal since it is only those elements which are necessary to still
27 make it identifiable as a cross. Also, the structural language is literal since it the logic behind the crucifix that is communicable to another person. Another pers on cannot experience the crucifix in exactly the same way texturally, but they can experience the crucifix through the shared logic of two black lines. Also, when this structuralizing process occurs, we can communicate this experience in a precise manner t o other people. To some degree, the structural language dwells within the realm of mathematics and structural statics , whereby line diagrams are used to apply mathematical principles to them. This schematic line drawing is the structural engineer â€™s realm of universals . Through these line schematics, the engineer appl ie s the principles of physics t o particular instances. Overall, these diagram s illustrate the process by which we transform our experience to the universal . This transformation from particular to universal occurs via structuralization . Likewise, we t ransfigure our experience from the universal to the particular via figuralization . Th e structural schema expresses a universal idea. I n other words, we are speaking about the experience of the crucifix universally and with one voice (Latin: universus : â€œcombined into oneâ€) when we abstract it to two ideal black lines . The two black lines are said to be â€œuniversalâ€ because most people woul d agree that the visual shape does not equal the visual experience of a â€œâ€¢â€ shape , or a â€œ â€ shape, or a â€œâ€ shape, or any other shape. In other words, we can agree, with a high degree of probability, that most everyone understands that there is a specific structural different from that of a â€œâ€¢ ,â€ or a â€œ , â€ or a â€œâ€ shape. However, if we say that this difference in structural logic is all in oneâ€™s head and that everyoneâ€™s visual experience of the â€œâ€¢â€ is not different from that of the â€ then all is meaningless, all is mute, and we should end this study at this point.
28 The claim that all is meaningless, or that all is entirely subjective , runs completely contrary to Catholic theology and imagination . In fact, the Catholic imagination takes the polar opposite position of this claim and states that ALL of creation has meaning ; one view is nihilistic and materialistic, while the other is holistic and structure forming. I f we can agree that there is a difference between the sensory experience of the shape of ,â€ a â€œâ€¢ ,â€ a â€œ ,â€ and a â€œ, â€ then we can say that the schematic image on the right is a â€œcrossâ€ and not a â€œdotâ€ or a â€œnot equal signâ€ or a â€œpound sign.â€ In this way , we say t positively possess a universal or ideal â€œtruth ? â€ This is Platoâ€™s realm of Ideal Form. Furthermore , if we claim that the structural logic is the â€œrealâ€ truth, then we have taken the modernist position. Therefore , if an architecture were to express the sch ematic diagram on the right , then they would have a â€œtrueâ€ and â€œhonestâ€ expression of the crucifix? Well, according to the Catholic imagination, not exactly. Though the schematic diagram of the two black lines speaks to one unifying aspect of the crucifix, it does not identify or express the wholeness of the image on the left. T he left hand image of the crucifix speaks to a person , a narrative, and a historical figure. In this way, the left hand image is speaking f igur atively about a particular person with a soul , while the far right hand side is speaking about a universal structural expression or logic without a person behind it; the flesh and soul have been removed. Enduring meaning formation flows in a double way; t he structural schema on the right transforms the crucifix on the left, while the crucifix transfigures the structural schema, and t he fullness of meaning occurs via both methods. In this case, meaning forms from a mix between structural and figural expressions. This â€œdouble wayâ€ of meaning formation allows for the intellect and the person to be involved in understanding. The crucifix allows for the
29 body to feel the per sonhood that the item re presents to us, while t he two black lines of the structural schema allow s for the intellect to know it analytically . For someone to capture the full idea of this particular crucifix , they would have to experience it (textur alize it) , analyze it (structural it) , and embody it (enfigure it) . In other words, the full meaning of the crucifix come to use when texturalize it, structuralize it and enfigure it. With the crucifix on the left, we imagine ourselves into the person and the story â€œbehindâ€ and within the expression of the human figure on the wood cross. The transfiguring process contends with the concreteness of reality. This form of imagining oneself into an object , as with art, or oneâ€™s environment , as with architecture, is what is meant by the term enfiguring. We enfigure ourselves into the crucifix and â€œfeel,â€ imagine, and recreate what is happening in the narrative of the crucifix. In other words, we can relate as a full human being to the image on the left more easily than with the image on the right since the two black lines only relate to the logical structure of the crucifix . This enfigured understanding and the interrelationship that forms from representational art and architecture is what Catholics hold on to, cher ish, and cannot easily discard. For example, we might find it easier to throw away a page that has the words â€œgrandmotherâ€ printed on them, but find it difficult to throw away a photograph that re presents our grandmother. The word â€œgrandmotherâ€ represent s the structural concept of a universal â€œgrandmother ,â€ while the photograph allows us to enfigure this concept with a personal relationship. The allowance for one to enfigure themselves into art and architecture is what forms enduring meaning. Now, cannot t he same be said for the structural schema on the right? Cannot one enfigure themselves into that expression just as easily? Well, yes, to some degree. However, the meaning is not as deep, rich, thick, or as
30 enduring as is with the figural expression. One c an enfigure themselves into the two black lines as another â€œit ,â€ but one struggles to enfigure it as another â€œthouâ€ or another person. To illustrate the meaningful effects that the figural crucifix produces versus the structural cross, consider now a sheet of white paper with two back lines arranged on it a similar fashion as in the last image of the crucifix and cross example ( Figure 8). Figure 8 â€“ A white sheet of paper with two black lines . It would not be it very difficult to throw this sheet of paper away. Yes, the two black lines do represent the essential and necessary structural elements of a crucifix , but it also represents a â€œ ,â€ the letter â€œ t ,â€ black inkjet dots on a paper, or just an intersection of two lines . Because this image speak s so universally , it mean s almost anything. This abstraction allow s for an almost infinite number of subjective interpretations , which is the goa l of abstract modernism. This universal openness attempts to emphasize a worldview based upon pure subjectivism. However, t his design method does not make it meaningful , or full of meaning, rather it makes it makes it meaningless or having less specific meaning. It is ironic that abstraction, by seeking to the universal and the infinitude of meaning , makes something meaningless vs . more meaningful . However , the specific representation, to which the figural language of architecture speaks , makes something have more personal or particular meaning. As mentioned, m eaninglessness is not at a ll a part of the Catholic imagination since all of
31 creation reflects God ; a ll of creation is full of personal meaning . E verything is full of intention , rhetoric, allegory, a nalogy, and final purpose. This worldview sees heaven personally transfiguring earth. The two structural lines on the sheet of paper can be cross mapped to an almost infinite number of things . Notice that when we try to cross map this universal schema with terms like â€œ a cross â€ we must use a form of metaphor or figural interpretation by saying these two lines are â€œlikeâ€ a cross . In other words, we abstract out the structural logic and ordering principles of the â€œ â€ image , and the n we proceed to apply this universal understanding to the object by saying the crucifix is â€œlikeâ€ the â€œ â€ structural schema. If we say something is â€œlikeâ€ something, we are using a simile , if we say that it is a cross , then we have us ed a metaphor , and if we offer an extended metaphor via a narrative, we are using allegory . These are all figural languages of expression. The root cause all figural language resides in our ability to form analogies between things . Likewise, humans have the unique ability to form analogical arguments . Simile, metaphor, hyperbole, metonymy , and allegory are all figures of speech which rely upon analogical reason ing to form understanding. Our understanding of both the crucifix and cross as depicted in Figure 7 u s e s analog ical reason ing to form this understanding since literally the â€œ â€ and the crucifix are â€œjustâ€ a series of black ink droplets placed up on dried fibers of cellulose pulp (paper). However, e ven in this a ttempt at a literal description of the â€œ â€ one must make analogous terms like â€œdrop,â€ or â€œpulpâ€ (i nterestingly, the â€œdropletsâ€ of ink imply an embodied sense of dropping s omething). Even this literal or materialistic analysis of the ink droplets, which is an attempt to get to a base level description, results in analogies . This critical analysis of description can go on for infinity since these droplets on paper are really
32 â€œjustâ€ atoms, photons, â€œ strings, â€ â€œ particles ,â€ or â€œ wav es? â€ Ironically, e ven these atomic level descriptions must use an embodied sense to â€œgraspâ€ them as demonstrated by using terms such as â€œwavesâ€ or â€œstrings.â€ Viewing reality as analogical at its core is the idea behind the analogy of being (Latin: analogia entis ). We enfigure and embody things to form analogical meanings all the time . I n fact, our ability to cross map from the textural experience of our senses to the structural schema of our intellect, and back again , is what makes us more human like than a nimallike or machine like . T he term s â€œfigure ,â€ â€œenfigure,â€ and â€œfiguralâ€ describe the process of how one transfigures things , or how we line up the textural with the structural. This alignment of our sense of texture with our structural analysis is the root of analogical reasoning. Analogical reasoning is a form of inductive reasoning which accepts similarities between the source domain and the target domain to infer conclusions. In this case, the source domain is the textural language of architecture, and the target domain is the structural language of architecture, and he conclusion is the figural language of architecture. Similarly, analogical reasoning uses inference to â€œexpand knowledge in the face of uncertainty.â€16 In architectural terms, we analogically compare the textural aspects of environments to a structural model of logic that we infer to exist. As with all inferences, we rely upon probability to support the conclusion that some further similarity exists. For Catholics, the textural image of creation, and more precisely the textural image of the human body, allows them to infer that some similarity exists between God and man while difference remains. All of creation is at once like and unlike God. Through the both/and analogical comparison of 16 John Holland, Induction: Processes of Inference, Learning, and Discovery (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1986), 1.
33 likeness and unlikeness is how Catholics form spiritual analogies from all experiences. The most fundamental belief of Catholicism, the belief in the Incarnation, demonstrates that the whole person, body, mind, and soul, must be used to come to the fuller knowledge of God. It is through the ours bodily senses that we infer a structural God, of which a human person is and is like. For this study, the ability for one to project themselves into their environment s o as to expand their knowledge in the face of uncertainty , is what the term â€œenfigureâ€ means. Furthermore, the process of expanding our knowledge through inferred projection goes by the term â€œenfiguring.â€ Enfiguring, via analogical reasoning and projected transference, cross maps information from one domain to another â€”the textural language of architecture is crossmapped to the structural language of architecture through enfiguring . Typically, the source domain is our embodied sense of our environments, whi le the other domain is the structural inference based upon intellectual reasoning . For the built environment, the vehicle or medium that facilitates this transference or cross mapping is architecture. In this way, a rchitecture forms a transitional space wh ich allows for the cross mapping from one domain, the body, to another domain, the mind, so that one might see the person of a building, the soul . The analogically based transitional space between textur e and structur e is primarily an analog ical realm whereby we dwell as a whole human person; it is the realm of the soul substantially existing between body and mind, sarx and logos , and flesh and word. The strength of the structural schematic framework, the two black lines intersecting, lies in its ability to be universally applied to our experience of textural difference . In this case, the black ink stands in difference to the white paper . This difference represents integrity. However, the universality of the structural language also makes it easily disc ard -
34 able. Catholics save, keep, and cherish the cross with a corpus on it since t heir means for figuring their world, the Catholic imagination, embraces the expression that has a figural expression of the Incarnation on it. The representational aspect of t he corpus indicates a specific narrative behind the material content . The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber might say that we can relate to the crucifix in a n I /Thou fashion, while we relate to the structural schema in an I /It fashion. As mentioned, the figu ral expression of the crucifix allows for one to more easily enfigure it and share in the experience of the figure depicted in the item. Using the human form, we can easily enter into the allegory to which the crucifix points. Architecturally speaking, e nfiguring is the mental projection of oneself into an environment so that we can imaginatively â€œfeelâ€ and expand our knowledge of what it would be like to be in that place. Via the enfiguring process , w e project a sense of what it would â€œfeelâ€ like to be i n that space or to be â€œin touchâ€ with that object.17 This s haring of our innate nature with objects goes by other terms such as empathy, Einf hlng, and embodied imagination. However, notions such as empathy rely upon a thinking â€œpersonâ€ to be on the receivi ng end. This notion breaks down when we consider an inanimate object such as a Catholic church. W e emp ath ize with people , and we can express empathy with them by talking with them. However, t he idea of enfiguring is slightly different from empathy in that it allows for oneself to extend themselves and imagine themselves entering non thinking things, such as the crucifix example. Empathy is the emotion we feel while enfiguring is the process. F rom a materialistic viewpoint, the crucifix is just a piece of plastic mounted on wood or atoms 17 Following this etymological understanding, we desire to be â€œen touchâ€ with an object since the prefix â€œin - â€ and â€œen - â€ are often interchangeable and both modify their subject to mean â€œin .â€
35 randomly arranged into some â€œthing , â€ so the potential to enfigure it is very limited. The enfiguration of form brought about through examples like the figural representation of the corpus on the cross is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a Catholic church. Meaing formation through enfiguration is why a Catholic church must have a crucifix with a corpus on it in the sanctuary and cannot be just a â€œ cross â€ or two black lines . Again, looking at the two extremes in Figure 7. T he left image immediately affords one the ability to feel a sense of connection, adoration, or empathy due to its particular re presentatio n of a human form hanging on two pieces of wood. Part of the aesthetic appreciation of the c rucifix involves the enfiguring of ourselves into the image. In the schema on the right, one can see that this could easily be just two black lines . It is said that these two lines are the literal meaning since they abstract the crucifix to one universal meaning (Latin: uni versus ) . The image schema on the right has no deeper meaning to than just what it is materially or literally , two black lines . There is something about the use of figural languages that allows a person to connect, relate, and form an attachment to them that the structural language does not do. As will be explored in more detail, the left side image is the Flesh , and the right hand side is the Word of the Incarnational view of the world. The depiction of a person on a cross particularizes the symbol since it depicts a specific person and an event at a specific time. By involving the sense of time in this way, the crucifix engages rhetorical narrative. This sense of time is how Catholic sacred architecture continually tr ies to unite the Flesh of the left hand side image with the Word of the right hand image into a historical person. In fact, the Catholic imagination understands tha t in order for us to get to the knowledge of the Word, which is a very mental and structural concept, we must go through the Flesh. This process is
36 what makes Catholic sacred architecture endure and form lasting meaning , and t his pattern runs throughout most of all Catholic sacred architecture.
37 CRISES OF MEANING IN CATHOLIC SACRED ARCHITECTURE Architecturally, t he traditional means for expressing the dynamic interplay between the textural, structural, and figural languages of architecture is to have a n underlying logical structure which is e xpres sed through figuralizations and richly developed textures . Modernism , P ost modernism , and the abstract expressionism of modernism have emphasized one extreme over the other .18 The se polarized design approaches resist figural and representational depictions at all costs. Both design methods have either made the oneness of structure or the plurality of texture their goal. Both design approaches accomplished this goal primarily through the removal of repres entational ornamentation as traditionally practiced . By seeking the polar extreme, these two design methods have applied ornamental methods to the entire building. In fact, one can say that functionalism is trying to express the purity of structural concepts since it is trying to get to the pure structural essence of what a building is . A bstract expressionism and deconstructivist de s ign methods reverse this approach in an attempt to produce an e ffect through purely textural expressions that resist all structural form s of meaning . 18 The term â€œpost modernism,â€ as used in this study, refers to the larger theoretical design philosophy that puts into question the univocal rationalism and functionalism of modern design philosophy. Post modernism is the perpetual introduction of complex and contradictory design methods that are to reintroduce the emotion and irrationalism that modernism lost. The term â€œpost modernâ€ is not narrowed to just the early form of eclecticism as demonstrated in the works of Philip Johnson, Charles Moore , Michael Graves, etc. Post modernism includes the initial early postmodern phase begun by theoreticians such as Venturi and Scott, but also is to include the more irrational architecture of the late post modernism. Late post modern era, in which we find ourselves today, includes the deconstructivists and purely textural tendencies of architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Eric Owen Moss, Morphosis, etc.
38 At this point , we have only described t he crucifix and cross example in terms of f igural and structural language s of architecture. Now , the example is expanded to include the textural language of architecture. To further understand the impulse behind design approaches such as abstract expressionism and deconstructivism, the crucifix example is expanded to include the textural language of architecture ( Figure 9 ). Figure 9 â€“ The c rucifix as t exture, f igure , and structure . Photo & i llustration, Stephen Baker. In this illustration, t he far left image illustrate s our desire for understanding manyness through autonomous parts of an experience. Our senses â€œ texturalize â€ the stimulus which is akin to the atomization of experience into individual parts (small er pieces of oneness). This texturalization process helps us to form values of more or less , sameness and difference. For example, the far left image breaks down or texturizes the crucifix into a pixelated version. This approach aligns with impressionistic painting techniques or the pixel representation of Textu r alization Post modern Pattern Figuralization Enduring Pattern Structuralization Modern Pattern Manyness Oneness Structural language structuralizes experiences into one meaning Textural language texturalizes experiences into a multitude of feelings Figural language enfigures experiences with rhetoric & narrative
39 shapes on a computer screen. In this example one see that the textural language is primarily concerned with the geometry of a point or vertex ; atomic units of â€œo nes .â€ Consider the textural language of architecture to be analogous to digital or binary forms of understanding. In other words, we digitize our experiences into autonomous â€™sâ€ and â€œ0â€™s.â€ The number â€œ1â€ represents the presence of a unity, a point , or a vertex . T he number â€ represents the absence of a point or vertex . The textural language affords us the ability to distinguish between parts based upon the qualities of sameness and difference. Ultimately, texturalization allows for us to â€œtake in ,â€ through our senses , the material chara cteristics of the crucifix. If the process of meaning formation is only concerned with the material nature of things , and the formation of universal ideas are only a construct of the mind, then meaning formation ends here. This result is the fertile soil for nihilistic and materialistic design approach es which infuse abstract expression and deconstructivist design methods. Meaning is left in below the threshold of structural understanding; this is the realm of the subli me. In these design methods , the material expression and resulting sensual feeling is all there is. This limited approach is Hedonistic and Epicurean in its quest to form understanding that which is material only ; there is no â€œthingâ€ or God beyond. This id ea of meaning , or approach to â€œtruth ,â€ find s i t s roots within Epicurusâ€™ atomism and Heraclitusâ€™ notion that â€œall is flux .â€ In this way, all that exists is matter (atoms), or autonomous â€™sâ€ randomly organizing and colliding without structurally organizing into meaningful hierarchies, categories, or things . Opposite the other end of the purely textural language of architecture is the structural language of architecture. Here, our experience is entirely enfolded or compressed into a desire to form wholes and relationships between parts, points , and vertices . The structural
40 expression forms singular holistic meaning from our fragmented experiences. This desire to form holitic relationships results in geometr ies of pure identifiable forms. Since the s tructural language is concerned with relationships and hierarchies, its geometric iconography is the line . In architecture, t he geometry of the structural finds primary expression as parti diagrams, mechanical oneline drawings, and structural schematics w hich depict the centerlines and lineaments of structural forces . In one sense, the structural language of architecture shares the same impulse as textur aliz ation in that it seeks to identify our experience into distinct parts. However, structuraliz ation takes on the expression of identity at the scale of the whole building. In other words, t he structural language expresses the whole idea of the building as one diagram or one overall schem a, while t he textural language of architecture expresses the identit y of each part of a building as an atomized expression of many disparate parts. There is a strong aesthetic appeal to both forms of expression. However, both design approaches, due primarily to their rejection of allegorical, representational, narrative, a nd figural design methods remain meaningful solely as conceptual ideas. As demonstrated in the crucifix and cross example, the purely conceptual limits of these two design methods makes them easily discard able; they do not endure as long as figural expres sions do. The textural and structural design approaches seek as the only â€œproperâ€ expression either the two black lines of the cross or the fragment ed vertices of the atomized c rucifix . Both design approaches negate the specificity that comes from using t he human figure or representational art as a figural approach to understanding. The rejection of a ll representational means of expression is primarily because the figural approach rel ies upon narrative, history , and cultural understandings to form meaning . This form of expression also
41 implies an eternal soul and an author of the soul. For example, the corpus on the wood cross is Christ who existed at a specific time, a specific place, and died on a specific piece of wood; it is a religious expression as well as a spiritual expression. If one were to seek not to express this narrative, but rather sought only to express a universal idea or a sensual feeling , then the purely structural or purely textural languages would suffice. Both design approaches would of fer the observer a â€œ spiritualâ€ experience but not a â€œ religious â€ encounter. This response is akin to the someone saying, â€œI am spiritual, but not religious.â€ This statement avoids being tied down to time , history , and specific culture . However, c reating a d welling place for contemplating a historical fact through a textural experience organized with an intelligible logic is what Catholic sacred architecture overwhelmingly e xpress es . Furthermore, Catholic sacred architecture, by embracing the figural language of architecture, offers one the ability to experience t he wholeness, depth, and thickness of this triadic expression . It speaks to the body, mind, and soul of the beholder. Where Are We Now? This dissertation arrives at a pivotal time since the architectural practice of designing Catholic sacred architecture exists within a current crisis of meaning . The recent architectural design trends of Catholic churches reveal this crisis . Presently, there is a significant â€œspiritâ€ to re reform the reform . This â€œreformâ€ occurred before, during, and after the Second Vatican Council (19621965). In other words, Catholic churches had an identifiable â€œform,â€ which was â€œreformedâ€ into something foreign . Now , this â€œreformâ€ is being â€œrereformed.â€ A clear example of this process of â€œform,â€ â€œreform,â€ and â€œ re reform â€ is shown in Figure 10.
42 Figure 10 â€“ Before and after the r enovation of St. Aloysius Catholic C hurch , 2014, Toledo, OH . Photo graph , Evergreen Studios , 2014. U sed with permission. These three photos depict the various renovations that occurred on St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Toledo, OH . During this time of â€œreform,â€ there was a wave of design changes which swept through a significant number of American Catholic churches. Many architectural experiments and iconoclastic ideas were used to alter and renovate existing churches. I n a structural sense, both the Reform and Re reformed versions â€œsayâ€ t he same thing , but this claim ignores the entire focus of this study, which is to say , that the enduring pattern includes textural, structural, and figural forms of expression. Likewise, there is a strain of design approaches that emphasize a more austere, barren and, therefore, more structural approach to Catholic church design. However, a n overwhelming number of Catholic churches will include the triadic expression of textural , structural, and figural architectural languages. Many n ew church designs suff er from this reform which seeks stronger structural and conceptual expression . This quest for more clear structural understanding stems from the Original Form H istoric (1920â€™s) Reform Overpainted (1970â€™s) Structuralized . Figural and textural suppressed Re reform Restored (2010) Struc turalized, texturalized, & figuralized .
43 desire for literal and functional truth in expression. There was, and still is, a n identifiable zeitgeist or â€œs pirit of Vatican IIâ€ that promoted the purely structural design ideas expressed in the â€œreformâ€ movement. This spirit of reform , which succumbed many Catholic churches in the mid to late 20th century , finds many different expressions . Most of these design trends i ntentionally strive to deviate from the figural expressions of the â€œformedâ€ and â€œre reformedâ€ versions of St. Aloysius as seen in Figure 10. Th e St. Aloysius e xample is just one of numerous projects across the nation that have proceeded through this form, reform, and re reform process. The current desire to â€œ re reform the reform â€ must come from more than just a desire for preserving the past, since , in many of these projects , there is a general sense from the laity that the reformed design â€œruinedâ€ or fundamentally changed something that the â€œformedâ€ version i nitially expressed . T his conflict begs the questions: What worldviews brought about the historical form of expression? What ideas does the â€œreformedâ€ version express by overpaint ing and stripping bare many aspects of the â€œformedâ€ version? What features exist in the design idea s that were covered up? What ideas endured long enough to re reform the church back into those initial forms of expression? Why the return? Are there ideas expressed in the overpainted â€œreformedâ€ version that are foreign or contrary to a Catholic worldview ? Likewise, are there ideas expressed in the initial and restored versions that speak to the heart of what a Catholic church must express for it to be called â€œ Catholic ?â€ How does a Catholic church become an expression of both religion and spirituality, and not just an expression of spirituality? A quick visual survey of Catholic sacred architecture demonstrates that there are numerously more examples of Catholic churches that resemble the historic â€œformedâ€ and â€œrereformedâ€ versions of St. Aloysius than there are of the overpainted â€œreformedâ€ version.
44 Likewise, f or many Catholic churches that went through a reform , the current design approach is to restore them back to their prior conditions, that is, before the wave of liturgical reforms that occurr ed before, during, and after the Second Vatican Council. Where are we now? In 2002, the Vatican, under the pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II, commissioned a design competition for the Church of the Jubilee in Rome, Italy. Noted architect Richard Meier won the prize with the following design ( Figure 11 ): Figure 11 â€“ Richard Meier, Exterior and i nterior of the Church of the Jubilee, 19962002, Rome, Italy. Photo, Scott Frances. March 3, 2018.19 As a project commissioned by the Vatican, this church has the implied authority of the Pope . It is as if the Pope is saying, â€œ This is how a Catholic church should now be designed .â€ It is a Catholic church , but it is not like the thousands of other Catholic churches that have come before it . This church neglects the universal structural ordering principles to which most Catholic churches adhere. This church emphasizes the textural as pect of understanding by express ing the autonomy of all of its parts. Each element is distinctively represented , purified, and constructed. Likewise, there is no overall structural schema that can be used to 19 http://www.richardmeier.com/wp content/uploads/2014/07/P1.2003SF58.001660x501.jpg and http://ww w.richardmeier.com/wp content/uploads/2014/07/P4.2003SF58_161024x785.jpg (accessed June 3, 2017).
45 describe this building as a whole. In this way, the Church of the Jubilee is seeking a pure ly textural expression. T he textural design approach implemented in this design does express a certain aspect of Catholic thinking and worldview ; it expresses the flesh . However, it does so at the loss of other ke y aspects of Catholic thinking and theology , primarily the structural and figural aspect s of Catholic sacred architecture. The Church of the Jubilee is significantly different from so many other Catholic churches . I t does not share the architectural quali ties that most Catholic churches share across centuries of architectural expression. Because of this, can it even be called a â€œCatholicâ€ church? If a Catholic church can â€œlook likeâ€ anything, is there any universally shared idea of about what a Catholic ch urch should look like ? Is there a universal structure to a Catholic church? Is there a â€œcategoryâ€ or â€œspeciesâ€ that defines a Catholic church? The stark difference between the Church of the Jubilee and that of many other Catholic churches is seen when we p lace it next to a universally understood â€œCatholicâ€ church, like Chartres Cathedral in France (c1220) ( Figure 12).
46 Figure 12 â€“ Richard Meier, Exterior of the Jubilee Church (left), 2003, Rome, Italy. The e xterior of Chartres Cathedral (right), c1220, Chartres, France .20 Th e Church of the Jubilee is an example of a â€œreformedâ€ church, whereas Chartres is an example of a â€œformedâ€ church . Similarly, the Church of the Jubilee uses the t extur e expressed design method, while Chartres Cathedral uses the figure expressed design method. A similar dissonance appears when we consider the interior of these two buildings ( Figure 13 ). 20 Jubilee Church photo, Scott Frances. http://www.richardmeier.com/wp content/uploads/2014/07/P1.2003SF58.0011024x777.jpg (accessed April 1, 2018). Chartres Cathedral from the front , photo, Atlant, 2005. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8e/Chartres_1.jpg (accessed June 6, 2018).
47 Figure 13 â€“ Richard Meier, Interior of the Church of the Jubilee, 2003, Rome, Italy. Interior of Chartres Cathedral , c. 1220, Chartres, France .21 The Church of the Jubilee seeks the expression of absence since it does not give us a sense of a structural or unified whole ; we cannot create a figure to identify it as. Chartres Cathedral speaks absence and presence by giving a sense of infinity based upon an understandable and logical ordering principle. Furthermore, Chartres Cathedral speaks to the figural aspect of understanding through its representational art, its symmetry, and the overall figural layout of the floorplan in the shape of a human person. Likewise, ornament serves to connect the disparate parts of the Cathedral with the overall structure; this visually creates a parts to whole relationship which, ultimately, creates a whole figural understanding of the building . Even the differences between a Renaissance Catholic cathedral and a Gothic Catholic cathedral are not as stark as the difference between the Jubilee Church and Chartres Cathedral . 21 Source: Jubilee Church photo, Scott Frances . http://www.richardmeier.com/wp content/uploads/2014/07/P3.2003SF58_11789x1024.jpg (accessed, April 12, 2107). Interior of Chartres Cathedral photo, The Meadow , 2016. http://themeadow.com.au/wpcontent/uploads/chartres cathedral interior.jpg (accessed April 20, 2017) .
48 We can find similar â€œformedâ€ vs . â€œreformedâ€ disconnects at a local level. Take, for example, two Colorado Catholic churches: The Church of the Holy Ghost (1943), Denver , CO ( Figure 14 ), and Church of the Risen Christ (1968), Denver, CO ( Figure 15). Figure 14 â€“ Jules Jacques Benois Benedict , Interior of the Church of the Holy Ghost , Denver, CO, 1943. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. Figure 15 â€“ James Sudler, Interior of the Church of the Risen Christ , 1969, Denver, CO. Photo , Stephen Baker , 2017.
49 Colorado architect Jules Jacques Benois Benedict (19091942) designed Holy Ghost. Colorado architect James Sudler Risen Christ designed Risen Christ in 1969. Each of the se churches is celebrating their 75th and 50thyear anniversary respectively. Holy Ghost is currently going through its first major preservation project (not renovation) in 75 years, while Risen Christ has been through numerous renovations (not preservations) since its opening. Each renovation of Risen Chr ist has attempted to add or rectify something that was missing in the original design. Why is there the continual desire to change the original design of Risen Christ, while there is no desire to alter Holy Ghost? What architectural qualities does Holy Gho st have that Risen Christ lacks? T he design methodology implemented in Holy Ghost demonstrates a dynamic interplay between textural, structural , and figural languages of architecture. While in contrast, the design methodology implemented in Risen Christ s eeks to dialectically oppose the textural language apart from the structural in an effort to resist almost all attempts and opportunities to use figural architectural languages . This resistance to enfigure architecture with figural meanin g keep s the beholder at either the textural or the structural level of understanding ; we never arrive at whatness or what the building is. Risen Christ seeks to avoid any figural expression by creating a dialectic tension between texture and form, primarily by expressing as pure of forms as possible. In this way, Risen Christ almost entirely resists figural interpretations . On the contrary, H oly Ghost uses a both/and design approach which results in a textural structural figural expression . Holy Ghost seeks the interplay of textural and structural language s of architecture, while Risen Christ seeks their opposition and avoids al most all figural interpretation.
50 It is important to note that even though Risen Christ seeks to hold texture and st ructure in dialectical opposition by avoiding most identifiable forms of figuralization, it is inevitably interpreted figuratively by the laity as is demonstrated by it commonly being called â€œthe ski slope church.â€ Figure 16 â€“ James Sudler, Church of the Risen Christ â€œ Ski Slope Church,â€ 1936, Denver, CO. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2017. This common â€œski slopeâ€ interpretation illustrates how we inevitably form analogies of meaning from our experiences by saying something â€œlooks like s omething .â€ W e try to form meaning from something that is unidentifiable or emphasizes a sense of mystery. The church overemphasizes a sense of unidentifiability by being a configuration of abstract forms which resist oneâ€™s ability to know what the building is. Again, if abstraction and purely structural forms allow for a universal or infinite number of meanings, then the inhabitants will
51 inevitably imbue with meaning ; this building is not identifiable as a Catholic church, though it is identifia ble as a â€œski slope.â€ When an architect is commissioned to design a new church, the most common and perhaps the most immediate design suggestion they receive from parishioners is, â€œWe want a church that looks like a Catholic church.â€ This request comes from both the elderly and the young, male and female, laity and clergy. One might say that the elderlyâ€™s desire stems from a sense of nostalgia or a desire to return to better days. However, since it also comes from the young, it must not be just a sense of n ostalgia since many of them grew up in a post Vatican II era and never experienced traditional Catholic churches regularly . The young have not routinely experienced a â€œtraditional lookingâ€ church. Since this happens time and time again, there must be more to it than just a sense of nostalgia or the faithfulâ€™s mere longing for the past. This desire for a â€œCatholicâ€ church points to a question of identity and meaning. Contemporary Architectural Theory In contemporary architectural theory and practice, the re exists a vein of materialis tic thinking that resists design methodologies that result in a recognizable or intended final form . T he prevalence of design ideas the rely upon proceduralism and â€œmaterialistic operationsâ€ as design methodologies illustrate this design ideology. One example of this materialistic claim is explicitly stated in the architectur al treatise of Patkau Architect s that â€œ Material + Force = Form ,â€ and that â€œinitial forms are found, not preconceived.â€22 A materialistic worldview of only matter and force is the seedbed for perpetual novelty and the search for the ever new in architecture. This quest for the new finds Pat kau Architects and designers align with them is 22 Patkau Architects: Material Operations (New York: Pri nceton Architectural Press, 2017), 14.
52 to use de s ign meth ods that challenge â€œapparent possibilities that spur the will, seed the imagination, and exercise critical attentiveness.â€23 This description of â€œcritical attentivenessâ€ aligns very well with this studyâ€™s definition of the term â€œ textural â€ as being what we sense in the immediate 2 D array of our s enses . The senses are always â€œonâ€ and being critically attentive to changes in our environment. Likewise, we detect sameness and difference for that is what they are designed to do. From th is materialistic perspective of how the world works , we can envision the creation of form and structure as the result of a force that pushes matter . T he equation for this process is : â€œMaterial + Force = Form.â€24 This asymmetric and efficient cause only view of reality is recognized by modern science, and is a whittled down version of the traditional â€œ pushpull â€ symmetry found in the Aristote lian four caus e ( aitia ) explanation of reality, as shown in Figure 17. Force + Material = Generated Form ? ( efficient only, no intention, nonfigural ) Force + Material = Form + F inal Form ( f inal i ntention, goal, rhetorica l, figural) Figure 17 â€“ Efficient c ause only in the c ontemporary v iew vs. the f inal c ause s ymmetr ical v iew w hich â€œ pu llsâ€ with i ntention . 23 Ibid. 24 Ibid. = ?
53 Another example of this â€œpushâ€ only view is Louis Sullivanâ€™s famous mantra of modern architecture: â€œform follows function.â€25 In other words, when designing a building the final form or its intent is not to be preconceived since, from a materialistic worldv iew, final form , goal, the result , and intentionality do not come into play when one is to design â€œtrueâ€ and â€œhonestâ€ architectural expression . In this way, final structure is a result of the process and not of design intent. With the functiononly , matter force, and literalonly mindset of the â€œ form follows functionâ€ design approach, one only needs to astutely consider and clearly define all the functions (forces ) of a building . In this literal approach, all that is left are the bare lines or the sch ematic diagram of the structure and organization. Then , all the architect must do is wrap or enfold the se functional needs or forces with todayâ€™s building materials (matter). According to this design philosophy, the â€œpushonlyâ€ approach is the only proper means for generat ing an â€œ honest â€ building or one that â€œspeaks wellâ€ in Ruskinian terms. With this approach, â€œt ruth â€ is only achieved through a literal interpretation of the structural forces involved. This 25 25The full context of Sullivanâ€™s â€œform follows functionâ€ mantra can be found in his essay â€œ The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered .â€ Lippincott's Magazine (March 1896): 403â€“409. It states: â€œWhether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple blossom, the toiling workhorse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law. Where function does not change, form does not change. The granite rocks, the ever brooding hills, remain for ages; the lightning lives, comes into shape, and dies, in a twinkling.â€ It is the pervading law of all things organic and ino rganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.â€
54 form of interpre t ation is the structural language of architecture, plain and simple. Likewise, â€œa rose is a rose is a rose , â€ where we miss the poetic aspect of phrases such as this.26 This â€œpushonlyâ€ design approach to truth in architecture is like the biblical approach to interpretation that uses only the literal interpretation of the Bible, and not allegorical and figural interpretation. A literal or materially approach to understanding is not the only means for the true understanding of scripture. Likewise, this singular approach to biblical interpretation is something Aquinas contended with and rejected back in the Thirteenth century; we find ourselves still grappling with it. This literal and materialistic idea of architecture sees only from the idea of direct connections: A is A , and A analogical reasoning: A is to B as B is to C (A:B::B:C). The analogical form of reasoning forms compar ative relationships between disparate parts. From this view, a column is not just a literal gravity resisting element; it can be one of the Four Evangelists, one of the twelve apostles, or an expression of Creation. I nterestingly, in 2005 the analogical form of reasoning has been removed from the verbal reasoning section of the SAT college exam and renamed to â€œcritical reasoning.â€ Perhaps this indicates a further reduction in our ability, trust, or value in analogical forms of reasoning. This viewpoint has had profound implications on the design of current Catholic churches. With a literal, materialistic, and form follows function design philosophy, once the architect identifies all the forces and functions that occur within the liturgy, it is only a matter of architecturally wrapping these spaces with building materials to express their function. Fr. 26 Gertrude Stein, Geography and Plays (Boston: The Four Seas Company, 1922), 187, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/33403/33403h/33403h.htm#SACRED_EMILY. A quasi quotation of the original, â€œRose is a rose is a rose.â€
55 Hans Ansgar Reinhold states this clearly in his booklet Speaking of L iturgical A rchitecture (1952): â€œ One thing it is safe to say [a church's] liturgical, sacramental function ought to be the determining factor [in its design]. â€27 In other words, the rhetorical intent or the figural expression of something beyond the functions of the mass themselves, should not be considered. Similarly, Reinhold offers the following schematic diagram of the liturgical functions of the Catholic mass: Figure 18 â€“ Fr. Reinholdâ€™s s chematic diagram d epicting the s tructural language of the Catholic m ass .28 This strictly materialistic interpretation of a buildingâ€™s function is an attempt to get at â€œtruthâ€ by literal means only. It neglects other forms of logical reasoning of which the primary means is through analogy . T he ideological design philosophy results in barren building s 27 Smith, â€œDonâ€™t Blame Vatican I I Modernism and Modern Catholic Church,â€ 12. 28 From Building from the Inside Out: Functionalism and the Principle of â€œExpressed Structureâ€ , Sacred Architecture Journal , 2007, 13. http://www.sacredarchitecture.org/images/uploads/form_function_thumb.jpg (a ccessed January 2, 2018) .
56 which are nothing more than a physical manifestation of a schematic diagram, often wrapped with flat, bland, white, drywall ( Figure 19) . Figure 19 â€“ Hoover Berg Desmond , Interior of Light of the World Catholic Church , 1984, Littleton, CO. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2012. Light of the World is a perfect example of an attempt to express the purely structural language of architecture since it seeks to as cleanly and as purely express the structural functions of the building. It has whittled down the fullness of expression to the abstract black lines of the cross while discarding the corpus on the crucifix. This form of architectural expression wins architectural awards , but it does not produce works that endure as is demonstrated in the abandonment of this building as a Catholic church and the construction
57 of a new church in less than thirty five year s of service.29 Likewise, and inevitably, Catholics enfigure these kinds of spaces with figural elements. It is very important to note that many of the Catholic churches that seek a purely functiondriven design expression , as in Light of the World , will in evitably be enfigured by Catholics . Because, f rom the get go , the architecture did not fulfill the figural need and desire of Catholics, which is steeped in analogical aspect of understanding. Notice in the Light of the World example, Catholics decorate d ( enfigured) the building with statues, imagery, candles, and the like . In other words, for a Catholic t o meaningfully â€œdwellâ€ within the se sacred spaces , they will â€œenfigureâ€ it with figural elements. Witness in Light of the World how out of place the statue of Jesus and the banners look against the structural â€œshellâ€ of the modern space. In fact, for the statue of Jesus they needed to add a shelf since the architecture denied the inhabitants the opportunity to enfigure it this way . Even the Sistine Chapel, which in overall shape is nothing more than a rectangular â€œboxâ€ like Light of the World, has extremely differen t results regarding longevity . The Sistine Chapelâ€™s endurability is due primarily due to the enfiguration of the c hapel that was performed by Mic helangelo. Michelangelo used his talents to help express a worldview that is both materialistic and beyond matter ( meta physical ). He enfigured the structure with textural and figural expressions that speak to the eternal nature of the soul. Moreover, by e nfiguring the Sistine Chapel with representational, narrative, and rhetorical expressions, it expresses the chapelâ€™s full function and that which extends beyond its mere material presence. In this way, the Sistine Chapel allows for heaven to transfigure ea rth. This 29 Light of the World Catholic Church was designed by Colorado architect Karl Berg in 1979. The parish built a new church after using the 1979 church for 35 years. This space was converted to the parish meeting hall.
58 transfiguring aspect of the figural architectural language allows for M ichelangelo to express humanityâ€™s purpose and final form. It is this expression of intention, purpose, goal, and final â€œwhy humans existâ€ that makes certain forms of Catholic sacred architecture endure for centuries. If this figural language of architecture is removed then allegorical and figural interpretation struggles at lengths to e xist , as in the â€œski slopeâ€ analogy of Risen Christ shown above . The removal of figrural art supports the materailstic worldview, because only the human figure can express a narrative or allegorical message written by an author .30 Ultimate ly , Light of the World illustrates the modernis t attempt to express the purely structural language of a rchitecture . This purely structural design approach is still the prevalent design methodology taught in architectural education and used in practice. They resist all forms of traditional representational, rhetorical , and figural expression in art and architecture; or at least they tr y to veil it from the beholder . The counter move to this purely structural design approach is to seek the purely textural. This purely te xt ural appr oa ch finds expression in the post modern, deconstructivist, and proceduralist methodologies of most current architects. These two approaches form a binary of opposition which resists the middle mean of figural expression ( Figure 20 ). 30 Mayernik makes a similar claim. See David T. Mayernik, â€œA Vast, Immeasurable Sanctuary: Iconography for Churches,â€ Sacred Architecture Journal 5 (2001): 22, http://www.sacredarchitecture.org/images/uploads/volumesPDFs/Issue_5_2001.pdf.
59 Figure 20 â€“ Modern, e nduring, & post m odern d esign patterns .31 This diagram illustrates the three examples of the se languages of architecture as they refer to this study. In the above diagram ( Figure 20) , the image entitled â€œenfoldedâ€ depicts the basis of the modern school of design. That is, the designer must extract out the essence of the design and build exactly that, for , after all, does not â€œ form follow function?â€ This design process is the structural language of architecture. For, is not â€œless is more? â€ Moreover, is not â€œornament a crime?â€ These mantras of modernism all find their roots in our desire to know 31 Top i llustration , Stephen Bak er . Middle photo, Closeup of Michelangeloâ€™s â€œCreation of Adam,â€ Sistine Chapel, Rome, Italy, c. 1508â€“1512, labeled â€œEnfigured.â€ Bottom photo, Wassily Kandinsky, BERHRUNG (CONTACT), oil on board, 79 by 54.5cm.1924, rotated and labeled â€œUnfolded.â€ http://ww w.sothebys.com/content/dam/stb/lots/L13/L13002/178L13002_4CF4C.jpg (accessed March 2, 2018 ). Structural Structuralize it Textur e Texturalize it Figural Enfigure it Enfolded The Word Unfolded Became Flesh Enfigured And Dwel t Functionalism Modern Pattern Abstract Expressionism Post modern Pattern Enduring Catholic Pattern
60 through our analytical and literal means of doing so. In this mindset, ornament is criminal, and archite cture must liberate from it, that is , ornament which relies upon figural expression, for that detracts one from the structural â€œtruthâ€ of the idea. The modernist thought is, by expressing the literal enfolded nature of the construction process one will make tangible the ineffability of pure form (logos ). â€œTruth in architectureâ€ is all one needs for a building to become â€œarchitecture,â€ and that truth only comes from the expression of a buildingâ€™s structural essence. The structural language of architecture pr imarily finds its expression through the statics of structural framework , and, a t this point, we have fully embraced materialism. Here matter and efficient cause are all that we need to describe reality. Now, all of this still assumes that a building has a final form, an essence, a function, or a logos that organizes it or â€œpullsâ€ it towards an end. However, what happens when even the finality of form , purpose, or intent comes further into question. What happens when all is flux? All that is left is the fractured autonomous parts expressed through pure geometric shapes. A utonomy is the impulse of abstract expressionism and the root of post modernism and some aspect of modernism . Using the Kandinsky painting above as an example , he claims that the â€œ impact of the acute angle of a triangle on a circle produces an effect no less powerful than the finger of God touching the finger of Adam in Michelangeloâ€™s Creation.â€32 T hese design approaches start to engage our intellect through our sense of textur e, but do not bridge into structural concepts since their autonomous expression prevent s simple categorization. This gap leaves us with a fleeting if not frustrating . Furthermore, only the allegorical, symbolic, and analogic allow for meaning to endure. For example, I would find it more difficult to throw away Michelangeloâ€™s representational picture of God as found on the 32 Wassily Kandinsky, â€œCahiers Dâ€™art,â€ Cahiers Dâ€™art , 1931.
61 Sistine C hapel , than the circle and triangle of Kandinsky . Its endurabilty is not because of the cost, artist, or history behind them, but because of the meaning that each expression conveys; Kandinskyâ€™s expression is still very affect ed , and it impresses upon us at one level. Michelangeloâ€™s work impresses upon us at both levels . These two examples align with the example given earlier of the crucifix and the cross; the Sistine Chapel is the crucifix , and Kandinskyâ€™s triangles are the fragmented lines and shapes of the crucifix atomized . Th e diagram in Figure 20 illustrates the three design languages and their intended design goal: One, the goal of modernist design methods is to use the structural language of architecture to express the enfolded nature of oneness; Two, the goal of the enduring design methods is to use the figural language of architecture to express a both/and proposition of oneness in manyness and the analogical nature of understanding ; T hree , the goal of post modernist design method is to use the textural language of architecture to express the unfolded nature of manyness . Both the structural and the textural design methods produce ideas that configur e shapes in imitative ways , but they avoid the method of direct imitation or representation. They are mimetic phobic. In this way, both design approaches try to appeal to our intuitive and poetic means of understanding by using geometric transformations of shapes that are imitative but without imitation ( mimesis ). In other words, b oth the structural and textural language attempt to enfigure, but do so all the while resisting the use of figural, allegory, and representational means. This binary of opposition between the structural and textural design methods sets up the precedence that an architect can choose eit her the structural approach or the textural approach, but not the figural approach. Furthermore, forceful rhetoric has been offered by architects and historians that discourage the architect from using figural design methods . For
62 example, they have give n t his approach the pejorative title of â€œkitschâ€ and have even made it â€œcriminalâ€ as was accomplished by Clement Greenberg in Avant Garde and Kitsch (1939), and by Adolph Loos in Ornament and Crime (1929). Representational art is â€œkitsch,â€ which is the equivalent to comparing the results of this design approach to the felt paintings of dogs playing poker or plastic lawn gnomes.33 Similarly, the textural and structural design methods are a flight from the realness of being in an attempt to grasp the â€œineffable.â€ Le Corbusier identifies this modernist desire to construct the ineffable in several instances . At â€œLa Tourette Monastery in 1961, Le Corbusier s aid, â€œ I am the inventor of the phrase â€˜ ineffable space. â€™â€34 In 1948, Le Corbusier open ed his book New World of Space the chapter entitled â€œIneffable Space.â€ I n both The Modulor and The Modulor 2, he writes, â€œI am not conscious of the miracle of faith, but I often live that of ineffable space, the consummation of plastic emotion.â€35 The effect that we feel from this sense of â€œplasti c emotionâ€ strikes a t the root of what is meant by the textural language of architecture and the role it plays in sacred architecture. As will be shown, this flight from the real is typically not the approach of t he Catholic form of imagining oneâ€™s place i n the world. Interestingly, the abstraction and configuration of conceptual shapes are to express the â€œtrueâ€ nature of things or the ineffable essence of things . Likewise, this is what Friedrich Froebel was attempting to teach children in kindergarten. In fact, there exists an entire 33 This claim will be expanded upon in later sections. For now, see Roger Scruton, Beauty: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 157. 34 Karla Britton, Constructing the Ineffable: Contemporary Sacred Architecture (New Haven, Conn: Yale School of Architecture Distributed by Yale University Press, 2010). 35 Aalya Kiyak, â€œDescribing the Ineffable: Le Corbusier, Le Pome Electronique and Montage,â€ 2003, https://www.academia.edu/21657670/Describing_the_Ineffable_Intellectual_Montage_and_ Le_Po%C3%A8me_Electronique?auto=download.
63 institute focused solely on Froebel â€™s aspect of figuration and figuring ; it is aptly called â€œThe Institute for Figuring.â€ Their mission statement is: The Instituteâ€™s interests are twofold: the manifestation of figures in the world around us and the figurative technologies that humans have developed through the ages. From the physics of snowflakes and the hyperbolic geometry of sea slugs, to the mathematics of paper folding, the tiling patterns of Islamic mosaics and graphical models of the human mind, the Institute takes as its purview a complex ecology of figuring.36 In an exhibition curated by the instituteâ€™s Director, Margaret Wertheim and Norman Brosterman, and entitled â€œ Inventing Kindergarten,â€ they identify Frie drich Froebel as the inventor of kindergarten instruction that involved the play of geometric arrangements . The process of arranging geometry they called â€œfiguring.â€ Also, Wertheim and Brosterman make the insightful observation that â€œ Le Corbusier, Frank Ll oyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller are all documented attendees of kindergarten. Other â€œform giversâ€ of the modern era â€“ including Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky and Georges Braque â€“ were educated in an environment permeated with Froe belian influence. â€37 This means of thinking influenced the major players in early modernism . Wer theim claims that â€œ this exhibition suggests, in the work undertaken by kindergartners of the late nineteenth century we may locate the seed bed of Modernist Art .â€38 Wertheim continues: Charles Edouard Jeanneret, who grew up to Le Corbusier, Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller are all documented attendees of kindergarten. Other so called â€œform giversâ€ of the modern era â€“ 36 â€œThe Institute for Figuring,â€ accessed April 1, 2017, http://www.theiff.org/. 37 Margaret Wertheim, â€œInventing Kindergarten: An Online Exhibit to Compliment the Inventing Kindergarten Exhibition at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery At Art Center College of Design,â€ 2007, http://theiff.org/oexhibits/kindy01.html. 38 Margaret Wertheim, â€œThe Seed Bed: An Essay about Kindergarten, Modernism, and the Value of Womenâ€™s Work,â€ accessed March 4, 2018, http://theiff.org/oexhibits/kindy02.html.
64 including Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee a nd Wassily Kandinsky were educated in an environment permeated by Froebelian influence . Affinities with kindergartenâ€™s atomistic [emphasis added] underpinnings may also be detected in the digitizing techniques of the computer age and in the structuralis t perspectives used by Claude Levi Strauss and Jean Piaget to understand the human mind.39 It is very telling , from a philosophical standpoint , that Wertheim identifies the modern mindset as â€œ atomistic .â€ There is a n atural extension of this atomistic view found in the materialistic worldview of today . Interestingly, t his Epicurean based worldview forms a â€œuniversal acidâ€ that eats through every Christian idea.40 Pure atomism and pure materialism are ideas that the Catholic Church has contended with and condemned. In fact, Pope St. Pius X mad e an oath against modernism and declared it the summary of all heresies.41 Margaret Wertheim â€™s exhibit offers a telling exampl e of the figuring process in the diagrams learned and practice in kindergarten ( Figure 21). 39 Ibid. 40 Benjamin Wiker, Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 27. 41 Pius X, â€œMotu Proprio Sacrorum Antisitum,â€ Vatican Website , 1910, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_1967 0717_formula professio fidei_en.html. An E nglish translation can be found here http://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius10/p10moath.htm.
65 Figure 21 â€“ The first two pages from Zum Nachzeichnen fr Kinder .42 This illustration depicts the â€œatomsâ€ of modern conceptual thinking . All form is built these figurings since these geometric patterns are the essence of natural process es , such as leaf and tree growth . However, as abstractions of shapes, they remain schematic and diagrammatic in expression without being representational or mimetic. In other words, they are diagrammatic expressions of the forces that affect matter and not the final intent or goal. For example, these figures express the forces behind the shape of a leaf or a tree but resist all impulses to draw a leaf or a tree. Th is resistance illustrate s the modernist goal of imitation without imitating, in other words, they seek the ineffable effect of figuralization without creat ing representational 42 Copy Drawing for Children , B. Adamek. Vienna, c. 1830. http://theiff.org/images/Kindegarten/kindy02.jpg (accessed September 5, 2017) .
66 figures. The schematic diagrams are the structural depictions of lines and shapes configured. T hese figurings seek the â€œessenceâ€ of what it is to be a leaf or a tree without illustrating a tree or a leaf. Therefore, t hese figurings are the atoms or elemental â€œforcesâ€ of the â€œpushonlyâ€ worldview that makes up materialism. Ironically, from a materialistic viewpoint, a line is a line is a line , a rose is a rose is a rose, and that is what they are and nothing more. This lack of not hing more is what makes this design approach so fleeting, always novel, and not very enduring. Humans like stories about humans , and w e will lose attention quickly if , say , we were to watch a film composed of geometric lines emanating and moving across a sc reen . Computer screen savers exemplif y the fleeting nature of abstraction ; they are soothing and provoke emotions from us, but it is it what it is , and we eventually turn the monitor off without remorse . B y avoiding the representation al , both structural (f unctionalism) and textural ( expressionism ) languages of architecture remain very conceptual in their approach. The problem with this is that a ll things conceptual are easily discard able as illustrated in the crucifix vs. two black lines example . Allen Tat e calls this conceptual approach to imagining the world as â€œangelic.â€ Tate consider s this form of imagination as â€œangelicâ€ due to its attempt to escape from the finitude of the real rather than contending with the very materiality of the finite world. This angelic imagination fuels the desire for the ineffable since, in this form of imagination, one tries to escape nature, the definite, and the real.43 The angelic imagination thrives on abstract idea s of matter and forces and does not contend with real figures, humans, or people. To some degree , this view is very Platonic in its adherence to ideal forms . Both 43 William Lynch, Christ & Apollo: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination (Wilmington: ISI Books, 2004), 28.
67 modern and post modern design approaches contend with otherness as another â€œItâ€ versus another â€œI.â€ Martin Buber would say that they have embraced an I /It relationship not an I /Thou relationship.44 T he Ornamental Crisis As traditionally practiced, ornament and the act of adorning of Catholic churches has primarily been representation al , iconographic, a llegorical, and figural . In this way, Catholic Architecture must necessarily be figural , allegorical, symbolic, and ornate, for it is using th ese forms of architectural languages that Catholics experience the sacramental view of reality . Thirteenth century Catholic Bishop William Durandus identifies the importance of allegory, sacrament, and ornament in his discourse on church ornament by stating: Allegory employs fictitious things and personages to shadow out the truth: Symbolism uses real personages and real actions (and real things) as symbols of the truth: ( British Critic, No. lxv. p. 121) Sacramentality is symbolism applied to the truth [Gre ek text] the teaching of the Church, by the hands of the teacher: a Type is a symbol intended from the first: a Figure is a symbol not discovered till after the thing figurative has had a being.45 Though Durandus puts allegory in a negative light by saying it shadows out the truth, the veil of allegory both conceals and r eveals. It is this tactile sense which contemporary architect Juhani Pallasmaa claims, â€œ connects us with time and tradition.â€46 For Cath olic s , sacramental encounters typically 44 For an indepth understanding of the â€œI/Itâ€ vs â€œI/Thouâ€ relationship, see Martin Buber and Ronald Gregor Smith, Ich Und Du. I and Thou... Translated by Ronald Gregor Smit h, Second (Charles Scribnerâ€™s Sons, 1958). 45 William Durandus, The Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments: A Translation of the First Book of the Rationale Divinorum Officiorum (New York: Charles Scribnerâ€™s Sons, 1893), https://archive.org/details/sym bolismofchurc00dura. 46 Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), 56.
68 include a unified experience between sensual matter ( textural ) and intellectual thought ( structural ). For the Catholic, the world is not radically different from God; rather it is believed that God can be found every where in His creation.47 In this way, a sacrament al forms a figural transitional space that allows for Catholics to form a third realm where reality testing to occur within an intermediary between objective and subjective, internal and external, and man and God. As an expression of this thirdrealm and transition space, or nament, as traditionally practiced , resides within the transitional spaces of architecture. T a ke architectural molding , t he moment a crown molding or base molding is applied to a column or pillar, it is deemed â€œclassical,â€ while the strippeddown cylindrical pole, or â€œ piloti,â€ is considered modern. If nothing else, modernism can is the removal of this intermediary and transitional object in the quest for pure, literal, or structural understanding. Figure 22 â€“ Le Corbusierâ€™s s tructur e expressed as piloti (left) and Berniniâ€™s figure expressed as pillar (right) . Illustration, Stephen Baker. 47 Andrew Greeley, The Catholic Imagination (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).
69 A significance difference exists between the expression of â€œpilotiâ€ vs . a â€œpillar.â€ A pillar is a post or something that supports an object and anchors it to the ground, while a piloti is something that lifts a building above the ground or water. One can see the different feeling produced between Le Corbusierâ€™s pilotis and Berniniâ€™s baldachino as illustrated in Figure 22. Corbusierâ€™s piloti tend s to â€œliftâ€ the platforms , and they feel as though they are floating, while Berniniâ€™s baldachino tends to anchor the top platform to the ground. In this way, Corbusierâ€™s structural expression appeals to an â€œangelic imagination â€ through its use of abstracted shapes and forms, while Berniniâ€™s figural expression through its use of mimesis, representation, and identifi able objects as it anchors in to the definite . However, Berniniâ€™s baldachino can also be said to e levate, which affects us in a double way . It anchors us in the real through textural patterning while it also elevates us into the ideal through the structural language , and connects us through figural representation. In this way, the allegorical is always dependent upon the literal structure of the baldachino, while it also refers to things beyond itself through allegorical and analogical comparison. Currently, there exists a predominant vein of design ideology that pr efer s to design with the notion of producing this angelic and structural outcome only. Harvard Professor Antoine Picon support s this claim with his book Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity , in which he claim s that the primary purpose of ornament in contemporary architectural design is the production of affect .48 Furthermore , t he means for producing â€œ affect â€ only are primarily the abstract figuralizations as illustrated in Froebelâ€™s diagram ( Figure 21 ) . Interestingly, the traditional role of representational and figural ornament was 48 Antoine Picon, Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity , 2nd ed., 2013, 35.
70 essentially banned by Adolph Loos in 1913 via his Ornament and Crime .49 However, ornament , or the ornamental means of transforming a building into â€œarchitecture,â€ was only displaced from its representation al and figural role and put into service towards figuring the overall fi nal for m of the building.50 Historian Thomas Beeby reveals in is article Ornament that the figuring principles of ornamental are used by the modernists , such as Corbusier, Wright, and Mies van der Rohe , are merely figural manipulations of entire buildings . He illustrates this through an analysis of Le Corbusierâ€™s Carpenter Center . Figure 23 â€“ Ornamental manipulations of the building in the plan .51 49 Adolf Loos, Adolf Opel, and Michael Mitchell, Ornament and Crime (Ariadne Press, 1998). 50 Thomas H. Beeby, â€œOrnament,â€ ed. Kieran, Stephen, vol. 3 (Philadelphia: Graduate School of Fine Arts , University of Pennsylvania, 1977), 11â€“29. 51 Illustration, Beeby, Thomas H. â€œOrnament.â€ edited by Kieran, Stephen, 3:11â€“29. Philadelphia: Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, 1977.
71 In other words, the modernist release from traditional ornamentation allowed for the abandonment of intentional and final forms , and what was put in their place was the textural manipulations of form which produce the effect s traditionally aligned with the role of ornamentation. The modernist, and more so the post modernist, began using these figurings to imitate the act of imitation without appearing to imitate. In other words, the modernists tried to extract out or express the enfolded essence of design (pure structure ) , while the post modernists tried to express the act of expressing ( pure texture ), both captur e what makes imitative, narrative, and figurative art so enduring. However, all of this must be done without making representational art, for that would be kitsch. With the advent of computer design and computer aided manufacturing technologies, the effect s of texture are forming a new digital baroque in architectural design. Antoine Picon offers an example of this contemporary desire for the unfolded expression of textural effects via the work of architects like Zaha Hadid ( Figure 24).
72 Figure 24 â€“ Zaha Hadid, Marsa Dubai Residential Tower , 2005.52 These design impulses find a similar inspiration as expressed by artists like Kandinsky, where â€œ t he excitement of their art seems to lie most of all in its pure preoccupation with the invention and arrangement of spaces, surfaces, shapes, colors, etc. [emphasis added], to t he exclusion of whatever is not necessarily implicated in these factors.53 These â€œ implicated factors â€ align themselves with the Froebelian figurings as illus trated earlier in Figure 21. are 52 Picon, Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity , 33. 53 Clement Greenberg, â€œAvant Garde and Kitsch,â€ Partisan Review 6 (1939): 37, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRBR2/greenburg.pdf.
73 the realm of the more enduring pattern of traditional architecture which uses the figural language of architecture that is representat ional, narrative, and rhetorical forms. All of these figural forms have intent to them and are expressions of a transfigured final form , or that of what something is potentially to become , not just what it currently is. The modern design approach engag es the imagination by using the finitude of matter to bounce off or ricochet off into the ideal oneness of concept s , all the while not deeply contending with the multiplicity of reali ty . This tendenc y is behind the impulse to abstract shapes and forms in Cath olic sacred architecture. Often, this impulse results in unif ormly white painted walls of monolithic expressions . Figure 25 â€“ Light of the World i nterior (left). Church of the Risen Christ i nterior (right) . Photo s, Stephen Baker, 2017. T hese examples and this design approach illustrate attempts to engage Tateâ€™s â€œangelicâ€ imagination, though perhaps not as successfully as some of the works of the masters like Le Corbusierâ€™s Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France. In other wor ds, these design approaches which emphasize the expression of the structural language of architecture engage our concept of oneness by attempting to speak with one voice or universally. However, as these photos demonstrate, for the building to speak about universal ideas or conceptual
74 oneness, it must eradicate any multiplicity or otherness. Typically , t his means of communicating requires the eradication of ornamentation and figural representation since this alludes to a unique person . The angelic imagination engaged by the structural language of architecture struggles contending with the paradox of manyness within oneness. In other words, how can the literal also speak of the metaphorical or figural ? Post modern Questioning In the late 1970â€™s, Robert Ventur i and Denise Scott Brown rhetorically accused modernists of creating â€œducksâ€ rather than â€œdecorated sheds.â€ Contrary to Greenbergâ€™s Avant garde, t heir Learning from Las Vegas was a full hearted endorsement of all things kitsch ( Figure 26 ). Figure 26 â€“ Robert Venturi & Denise Scott Brown, Duck vs. Decorated Shed .54 In Learning from Las Vegas , they claimed th e modernists â€œducksâ€ were expressions of a singular form, while the vernacular consisted of decorated sheds, which were simple 54 Photos, L earning from Las Vegas, Rev. ed. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1977, 88.
75 buildings ladened with meaningful symbols. Regarding this research, these ducks, as a singular expression of a single idea, are the structural language of a rchitecture, while their decorated sheds are singular structural expressions enfigured with rhetorical meaning. In other words, the modernist took a purely structural approach, while the vernacular took a figure expressed approach. However, as a counter t o being called the architects of â€œducks,â€ the avant garde continued their trajectory toward the total annihilation of the box. Rather than destroying the box, the idea of â€œboxâ€ was fundamentally transformed. The i ntentional f orm of a building transforms via means of abstract figuration. This funda mental transformation of form is a natural extension of pure materialism. In this way, they added a third design approach which effectively tries to atomize all building elements into many autonomous parts . Thes e nonstructural design attempts show a veiled discontent for the intentional form of the building , in fact, the result of a building is to almost look like an accident . In other words, t his design approach denies the beholder any attempt at conceiving or grasping a final form. Modern/Post modern/Deconstruct ion Unfolded Textural Language To further understand the late post modern or late modernist moment in architecture in which we find ourselves today, we must review some of the philosophy behind the de sign intentions to understand their position. Philosopher Jean Franois Lyotard first coined the term post modernism in 1979 the publication of The Postmodern Condition.55 The post modernists gather their idea from French â€œpoststructuralistâ€ reactions to Marx and the Italian aesthetics of Giambattista Vico and Benedetto Croce. However, â€œ[n] either side suggests 55 Gary Aylesworth, â€œPostmodernism,â€ in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , ed. Edward N. Zalta, Spring 2015 (Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 2015).
76 that postmodernism is an attack upon modernity or a complete departure from it. Rather, its differences lie within modernity itself, and postmodernism is a continuation of modern thinking in another mode .â€56 Historian Paul Goldberger identifies the current architectural â€œ ism â€ to be undefinable , while he does suggest that we are in a â€œlate modernistâ€ period.57 Habermas's critique of post modernism is that it is a newly establish avant garde which intentionally separates itself from the science and politics of its time through playfulness and artistic , creative ventures. However, he advocates for a renewed application of the modernist rationale through a system of â€œprocedural rulesâ€ which would bring modernism to its completion.58 Finally, with the advancement of computer technology and BIM methods for form computation and manufacturing, we find ourselves in a time when proceduralism is the primary method used in the generat ion of architectural form . Proceduralism as a design methodology places architecture o n the cutting edge of innovation and novelty in todayâ€™s architectural theory and practice. The philosophical underpinnings of proceduralism offer a clear demonstration of the process only or â€œpushonlyâ€ focused aspect of materialistic and function driven design methods . Proceduralism s tand s in contrast to the figural design methods traditionally employed by architects since it does not concern itself with a final form of the building at the onset of the design process . The proceduralist design idea sums up the modernist goal of imitation without imitating, in other words, the design methodology hopes to achieve the effect of figuralization without the use of r epresentational figures. In other words, 56 Ibid. 57 Paul Goldberger, â€œWhat Is the State of Architecture Today? Videoâ€ (Big Think, Inc, 2010), bigthink.com/videos/what is the state of architecture today. 58 Aylesworth, â€œPostmodernism.â€
77 proceduralism is the full fledge d expression of the nonintentionality of emergent design, a denial of final intentional forms of a building . In this way, it is a forward only view demonstrated in the equation: matter + force = form. As we will see, it still lacks the figural expression w hich relies upon our allegorical impulse to form meaning. Moreover , like the â€œski slopeâ€ church, analogical reasoning will inevitably be applied to create some form of understanding from our experiences. An analysis of the philosophical thinking behind post modern writings reveals its intended goal as a textural â€œpushonlyâ€ design methodology . A key figure in the development of early post modern ideas is Gilles Deleuze . Deleuze devel ops the importance of â€œ differenceâ€ as a crucial aspect to the process for forming e ffective meaning. He contrasts the primacy of difference to the primacy of the â€œnegation of identity â€ that classical thinkers have used. Deleuze offers his critique of â€œdiff erencesâ€ to place our sense and encounter of our environment as in as disruptors to the identifiable aspects of our environments, that is, â€œthought before the unthinkable, memory before the immemorial, sensibility before the imperceptible.â€59 In this way, Deleuze begins (and ends) the aesthetic experience within the two dimensional array of our senses . In other words, all is purely textural without any structural concepts. In fact, Deleuze strives to keep all aesthetic understanding on and within this 2D array by flattening all experience to this â€œ plane of immanence, â€ he denies any further development of spatial, hierarchical , or concept ual constructs as â€œtruth .â€ Deleuze de scribes the â€œplane of immanenceâ€ as: There are only relations of movement and rest, speed and slowness between unformed elements, or at least between elements that are relatively unformed, molecules, and particles of all kinds. There are only haecceities , affects , subjectless individuations that constitute collective assemblages [emphasis 59 Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition (London: Continuum, 2004), 286.
78 added] . [...] We call this plane, which knows only longitudes and latitudes, speeds and haecceities , the plane of consistency or composition (as opposed to a plan(e) of or ganization or development).60 Deleuze makes the similar e ffectual knowledge connection with knowledge gained from the textural language of architecture. The post modern â€œplane of immanenceâ€ is concerned primarily wit h networks of forces, autonomous parts, relationships, affects, and perpetual becoming, and not hierarchical structures of formal concepts , which they attribute as only constructs of culture and subjects desiring to dominate others.61 Deleuze offers further suggestion for the primacy of th is e ffectual knowledg e achieved through the textural language of architecture when he states, â€œConcepts and representations may no longer be considered vacuous forms awaiting content (concept of x, representation of y) but become active productions in themselves, constantly af fecting and being affected by other concepts, representations, images, bodies , etc.â€ Clearly, by his resistance of us ing an analogical formula ( x = y ) , Deleuze is arguing for not using this form of reasoning. One advancement that the post modern thinkers a chieved was the upturning of the rigidness formed from modernist structure only thinking. From this perspective, the post modern experiment is fruitful by upending and re tilling the modernistic soil which lost its soul by crystalizing around static struct ural constructs . In other words, the post modern movement re added the textural experience to the structural experience; p ost modernism attempts to re engage our e ffective means for knowing by emphasizing textural effects . However, post modernism â€™ s instance on plurality and that meaning must remain within the 60 Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 266. 61 Aylesworth, â€œPostmodernism.â€
79 constant fluctuation and tilling of this soil , leads us to nihilistic notions which rely upon a continuous movement, as of a flowing stream . This ideology finds us returning to Heraclitusâ€™ â€œall is flux,â€ all one is left to ask is, â€œSo what?â€ Interestingly, in archaic terms, flux is also used as a term for diarrhea or dysentery, something that passes through without lasting effect. Ultimately, the goal of postmodern thinking on pure immanence i s to deny the notion that things have transcendental value to them, or that transcendentals hav e any â€œrealâ€ bearing on what â€œ truth â€ is or our description of reality. Again, we find ourselves within the perennial debate about the reality of universals ( stru ctural ideas) , and Deleuze, along with many other post modern thinkers, den ies the universality of universals by making a universal proposition. Take for example Deleuzeâ€™s description of the plane of immanence : Absolute immanence is in itself: it is not in something, to something; it does not depend on an object or belong to a subject. [...] When the subject or the object falling outside the plane of immanence is taken as a universal subject or as any object to which immanence is attributed, [...] immanence is distorted, for it then finds itself enclosed in the transcendent.62 Here, Deleuzeâ€™s tries to wiggle out from underneath a universal category by making a universal category , that of absolute immanence . It is so logically inconsistent and so relativistic in its description of reality that it has no more philosophical importance than grunting , â€œ U gh!â€ However, we must be grateful that the post modernists have re tilled the sterile soil that modernism brought, and re unearthed reality so that we see the necess ary role that the e ffectual impulse has on meaning. The arrest that the textural language of architecture demands from us and this â€œact of violenceâ€ has re awaken ed us and moved us to f orm new perspect ive s. The problem is Deleuzeâ€™s insistenc e that reality remain s on this flattened plane, which results in architectural meaning remaining on the plane of purely 62 Gilles Deleuze, Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life (New York Cambridge, Mass: Zone Books Distributed by the MIT Press, 2001), 26â€“27.
80 textural understanding . This concept of no concepts is totalitarian by nature , and it suffers from the same univocallizing problems that plagued Parmenidesâ€™ unchanging oneness and Heraclitusâ€™ â€œall is flux.â€ A middle position is needed. By universally flattening realty to this plane of immanence, Deleuze has taken out all the depth, thickness, histori cal, narrative, and allegorical means of understanding reality; surface e ffects and textural e ffects are all that is left . In A Thousand Plateaus , Deleuze expands upon the idea of the plane of immanence. He contends that within this plane, â€œ there are no longer any forms or developments of forms; nor are there subjects or the formation of subjects. There is no structure, any more than there is genesis .â€63 What remains is â€œcomplete bliss.â€64 Deleuze is describing the state of the sublime, whereby, one stays within the realm of constant agitation via an experience of the ungraspable. This approach denies one the repose which is afforded by the sense of the beautiful . The post modernist design approach desires to remain in an e ffectual bliss of the subject less life since â€œ an immanent life carrying with it the events and singularities that are merely actualized in subjects and objects.â€65 The plane of immanence is a realm of events and moments which are subject less and without the identity of otherness; it is a concept of complete oneness. This philosophy denies the figure or personhood of Christ in the Incarnation. I n incarnational terms, it places the primacy of the flesh over and against the logos of Christ. In architectural terms, the plane of pure immanence places the textural language of architecture in the primacy over and against the structural language of arch itecture. This crisis is not new, and its genesis finds its roots within Western thought. We can see this paradox explained in 63 Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, 266. 64 Deleuze, Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life , 27. 65 Ibid, 29.
81 t he Enlightenmentâ€™s division of mind and body . Through this division, there is neglect to any â€œ truth â€ that the body might offer i n hopes that structural concepts will arrive at t ruth through â€œ pure reason.â€ Catholicism contends that this division of mind body is a misconception . Professor Edward Feser describes this misconception as: For the â€œmindbody problemâ€ is essentially an arti fact of the early modern philosophersâ€™ decision to abandon a hyl omorphic conception of the world for a mechanistic one, and its notorious intractability is, in the view of Thomists, one of the starkest indications of how deeply mistaken that decision was.66 Contrary to structural ism of modernism , the post modernists have continued to bring into question the universality of concepts , or final forms in the Aristotelian Thomistic sense . They have embraced the body and reject ed the mind ; they have accepted the purely textural as the only universal . We will see this in the unidentifiability of post modern works of architecture, such as the Cathedral of the Angels in Los Angeles, CA.67 Similarly, there is a significant emphasis in postmodern thinking on the notion of text and words. Moreover, the post modern and deconstructivist claim that the one thing that appears to be universal is textural effect. In other words, the only agreed upon universality is the textural and e ffectual sense one gets from the arrangement of text. Consider the following ex ample of the alphabetic letter â€œWâ€ which demonstrates t his agreement ( Figure 27 ) : 66 Edward Feser, Aquinas: A Beginnerâ€™s Guide (Oneworld Publications, 2009), chap. 4. 67 See the casestudy example in Chapter IV of this study.
82 Figure 27 â€“ The l etter "W" as t exture, structure , & f igure . Take for example the letter â€œW.â€ At one end of meaning, there is the structural idea of it, while at the other end is the textural effect of the letter â€œW .â€ For the deconstructivist , and some of the later modernists, the symbolism of â€œWâ€ atomizes into parts which transforms the â€œWâ€ so much that its structural concept is no longer discernible. At this point, all that is left is the sensible process of texturing. What is interesting is that this new â€œtextureâ€ may be interpreted as a different symbol in another culture. This open ness of interpretation allows the textural language to have a multiplicity of meanings. As can be seen, the textural design approach rejects a discernible rhetorical intent as a part of the design process . In other words, the structural concept of the â€œWâ€ does not express t he only â€œtrueâ€ expression is the textural effects of the letter â€œW.â€ This texturalization is done Enfigured Form Enfolded Structure Unfolded Texture â€œWâ€ Texturalized â€œWâ€ Enfigured â€œWâ€ Structuralized
83 since, for the post modernist, the structural approach to meaning points to a final idea, goal, end purpose. By expressing the structural concept of the letter â€œWâ€ as a typical letter â€œW,â€ one can move out of the Deleuzian plane of immanence. From the Catholic worldview, the denial of an end, a goal, a plan, or an intent is a kin to the denial of a C reator , since a final form or intentional goal implies a mind or person who creat ed it. What the textural only approach does is express the inability of human creatures to know the mind of the ir Creator. With this mindset, it is absurd for the finitude of human i ntellect to think it can grasp the infinite. For the pure ly textural designer , the only universality afforded by architecture is the affective sense. Regarding the Incarnation, t he â€œFleshâ€ becomes universal and is the only commonly agree upon sense. S ince the Flesh is all there is , and final forms (Word) is a construct/figment of the individual mind. Though perhaps vaguely, this section summarizes the current identity crisis that the practice of Catholic sacred architecture resides. The question still stands, â€œHow is a Catholic church is to be a â€œsign and symbol of a heavenly reality,â€ a universal real ity? As the next section demonstrates, Catholicism finds the resolution to this paradox of how humanity comes to know God by thinking figuratively and analogically. Finally, to further understand this claim, one must understand the nature of the Catholic i magination.
84 THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower/hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour. â€” William Blake The goal of this research is to identify a strand of meaning within Catholic churches that provide a further understanding of their persistence as meaningful and enduring places. It does so by exploring the history of an idea and its corresponding architectural expression. Specifically, it explores the phenomenon of ho w Catholic sacred architecture expresses a specific way by which a culture imagines and figures their world. Within the Catholic tradition , t his phenomenon goes by several different terms: Catholic imagination, analogical imagination, s acramental w orldview , symbolic order, corporeal imagination, analogia entis (Latin: analogy of being), and the analogical sense of being. T his chapter offers a summary of the literature , theology, and philosophical understandings that define the phenomenon of the Catholic imagination. It concludes with a review of the current literature on this subject which provides insight into how Catholics view their world and configure it through architectural expression. The review finds that w hat distinguishes the Catholic is m from other "isms" and ideologies is its conviction to the mystery of the Incarnation . The Incarnation f inds its primary source from John 1:14: â€œAnd the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (NABRE).â€ I t is important to understand the ideas behind the Incarnation because it fundamentally informs how Catholics view the world and their corresponding architectural expression of that view. T he Catechism of the Catholic Church identifies the â€œbelief in the true Incarnation of the Son of God is the distinctive sign of Christian faith (CCC, 463).â€ In this belief, the person of Jesus Christ became human , and , by doing so, â€œthe mystery of religion w as manifested
85 in the flesh (CCC, 463).â€ In short, the I ncarnation is the belief that Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully human. The Incarnation is the quintessential â€œboth/andâ€ of the Catholic worldview. Likewise, there is something important within Catholicism that stresses the unity between the mind and the flesh as an image of the relationship between humanity and God. The belief in the Incarnation possess interesting paradoxes , for example, how can a finite thing, such a person, also be an infinite thing, such as God? This belief is a mystery that the intellect struggles to comprehend . However, this mystery is at the heart of the Catholic belief system and is one of Her more enduring traits. On â€œthe mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ's human soul, with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human body (CCC, 470).â€ Likewise, this confession of the wholeness of humanity is the root source for the specific form of architectural expression found in Catholic sacred architecture. For Catholics, the Incarnation provides the ultimate example of how humanity can see God. The belief that God becomes fully man while still being fully divine elevates the importance of the whole human person, body, mind, and soul. Through the view of the Incarnation, heaven transfigures earth. It is through the Incarnationâ€™s signification of the whole human person that makes the figural form of expression to be a pivotal part of the Catholic imagination and its corresponding means for figuring their world architecturally. Within Catholic tradition , there is a continuous theme whereby the body pl ays an important role for seeing, understanding, and coming to know God. Likewise, t his belief has persisted in Catholic understanding since apostolic times (CCC, 465). Furthermore, the Catholic Ch urch has always insisted on the appropriateness of artistic and figural expressions of God in its liturgical spaces: â€œSince the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity,
86 Christ's body was finite. â€ Therefore, the image and likeness of Jesus can be port rayed . A t the seventh ecumenical council (Nicaea II in 787) the Church recognized the representation of Jesus Christ in holy images to be legitimate (CCC, 465). The principle of the Incarnation serves as the key to understanding why Catholic sacred architecture s ignifi es and express es the human figure so much that this signification of the human figures becomes the continuous thread and motivation for most of the architectural pattern s that run throughout Catholic sacred architecture. The more import ant outcome from the Catholic understanding of the Incarnation is that i t forms a conviction within Catholicism on the inviolable dignity of every human perso n. Through the example of the Incarnation, and by the fact that Jesus Christ possessed two natures within one person (CCC, 481), Catholics understand that the whole human person, body, mind, and soul, is created in the image and likeness of God . This concept goes by the Latin term imago dei (â€œimage of Godâ€) which finds its scriptural roots in Genesis 1: 2627: 26Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth. 27God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them ( NABRE ). Moreover, just before these two verses in Genesis, the claim is made that all of creation was looked upon by God and deemed â€œ that it was good ( Genesis 1: 25).â€ Therefore, no t only is all of creation â€œ good,â€ but God also saw it. Since God saw it , t here must be a tactile, physical, and visible aspect to understanding what is good and therefore from God. The process of knowing God through material things is illustrated precisely in this phrase . In this way,
87 Godâ€™s beauty and goodness can be seen and experienced through the body . God is made knowable through material things. Th e position that material things and objects allow for one to come to know God is called a sacramental worldview. The sacramental worldview is another term for the Catholic imagination. Similarly , the sacramental worldview, which is rooted in the example of the Incarnation, establishes the basis for all Catholic artistic narratives. Thus, t he Catholic imagination strives to see all of Creation as good or as having the potential to reveal Godâ€™s truth, beauty, and goodness which are transcendental aspects of reality. In other words, the sacramental worldview speak s to ideas that are known by mo ving through our material experience of things, objects, and bodies . In this way, physical and material things can be vehicles that carry meaning over to ideas beyond, besides, and after the object themselves. This carrying over nature of sacramentals is m eta like which the etymology of the prefix meta means, â€œacross,â€ â€œbeyond,â€ and â€œafter.â€ Therefore, to better understand the Catholic imagination one must be concerned with that which is beyond the literal material experience and that which is beyond physics. T he Catholic means for figuring the world forms meta connect ions between the raw material experience and abstract structural ideas. The vehicle for doing this is the figural language of architectureâ€”languages that embrace analog y , allegory, metaphor, and symbolic means of reasoning and forming these connections. The Catholic Imagination Defined Th e term â€œ imagination â€ is understood as â€œ the way one figures their w orld .â€ From this definition, the imagination is not considered as a purely fictional fantasy that shares no relation with experienced reality. In fact, this understanding of the imagination demands that there be some form of material experience to properly form understanding. In Symbol and
88 Sacrament, Chavuet describe s this â€œsymbolic orderâ€ as a way for one â€œto find their identi ty in a world that makes â€˜ sense. â€™â€68 Therefore, t he term â€œ imagination â€ is how one interprets the universe as a â€œworld ,â€ a world that is inhabited and enfigured by whole human persons, not just bodies or minds . Similarly, the imagination , in general, is found to be fundamentally a system for integrating and comprehending opposing streams of experience. M any scholars , theologians, social scientists, and mainstream Catholic authors have identified the fundamental way by which Catholics figure the ir world to be called the â€œ Catholic imagination. â€ Likewise, these writers connect this form of imagination with specific form s of artistic expression in literature, theology, film, poetry, and fine art. Furthermore, they contend that the primary characteristic of the Cat holic imagination is that is use s analogical reasoning . This form of reasoning form ulates relationships between man and God and between the world and humanityâ€™s place within it. Analogical reasoning allows for meta connections to be made so that similarities can be found between disparate things. Analogical reasoning is a method for stating one reality to be like another. Likewise, many cognitive scientist s insist on the role of metaphor and analogical reasoning as b eing fundamental to human knowledge.69 Equally, m any writers link this world view to the incarnational belief that every human person is a reflection of God ( imago dei ). This worldview demonstrates the need for figural architectural languages to design meaningful and enduring Catholic churches. Even though s everal scholars and writers have proposed that Catholics have a fundamental way of imagining the world, there appears to be very little scholarship exploring the impact that the Catholic imagination has on sacred architecture. 68 Louis Marie Chauvet, Symbol and Sacrament: A S acramental Reinterpretation of Christian Existence (Liturgical Press, 1995), 84. 69 Greeley, The Catholic Imagination, 6.
89 Furthermore, the Catholic means of figuring their world assumes that Gods is present in the world and all of Creation is means for coming to know God. In fact, God presents and reveals H imself through creation. T he Catholic belief in the Incarnation is the revelation of God par excellence. The Gospel of John describes the incarnation as â€œ The Word (logos) became flesh. â€ This paradox is a mystery to Catholics and one that each is called to explore ever more deeply. T he word (Latin: logos ) becoming flesh (Latin: sarx ) and dwelt (pitched his tent/tabernacle) as a person (Latin: hominem ). In this way, material things , more specifically the human body , offer insig ht into the infinitely deep mystery of the human person. Likewise, if all of Creation is a n image of God, and if the person of Jesus Christ is the sign of God par excellence, then the Catholic worldview can view all things as a figural image of Christ. Eq ually , f or Catholics, the idea that the human body is a temple forms another crucial aspect of the Incarnation . God did not only come as â€œ word â€ (structure) but also as â€œ flesh â€ (texture) substantially unified as a person (figure). American Catholic writer F lannery O â€™ Connor in Novelist and Believer expands on this dualistic but unified worldview : St. Augustine wrote that the things of the world pour forth from God in a double way: intellectually into the minds of the angels and physically into the world of things. To the person who believes this â€“ as the western world did up until a few centuries ago â€“ this physical, sensible world is good because it proceeds from a divine source .70 Moreover, when discussing how t his view effects the approach of writing by authors such as Joseph Conrad, Oâ€™Connor states : When Conrad said that his aim as an artist was to render the highest possible justice to the visible universe, he was speaking with the novelist's surest 70 Flannery Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1969), 157.
90 instinct. The artist penetrates the concrete world in order to find at its depths the image of its source, the image of ultimate reality.71 Along with Augustine, Oâ€™Connor sees that God reveals Himself to humanity in a â€œ double way ,â€ and the artist is to explore this revelation in a similar â€œdouble way.â€72 One way explores and penetrates the depth of concrete reality while the other angelically repels off of reality and soars within the ineffability of the intellect. We can align Oâ€™Connorâ€™s concrete and angelic ways with the terms of this study ; the textural language of architecture is the concrete, and the structural language of architecture is the angelic intellect . Ultimatel y, the Catholic artist is to explore the depth of meaning that resides in between these two poles . The Catholic artist does so through figural expression s of humanityâ€™s place within . Furthermore, if a ll things God creates are good, and if one w as to deny the mind over the body or vice versa, they would deny God's double means of revelation. This is what the modern and post modern means of architecture expression do; modernism takes logos over sarx , while post modernism takes sarx over logos . Since both de sign ideologies resist representational forms of expression, neither concentrates on the Catholi c world view that the human person is a creature consisting of both a unified body and the mind. Catholic sacred architecture cannot deny the body /mind/soul tria d since it is the most v iable means of seeing God as a person . Catholics make this connection between man and God by using analogical reasoning, reasoning that carries over from body to mind and mind to body. In this way, as Greeley states, â€œthe world and all its events, objects, and people tend to be somewhat like God .â€73 71 Ibid. 72 Ibid, 157â€“158. 73 John Neary, Like and Unlike God: Religious Imaginations in Modern and Contemporary Fiction (Atlanta, Ga: Scholars Press, 1999), 9.
91 The Catholic analogical form of imagination builds and configures connections between the raw textural experience of architecture and the structural logical abstraction of architecture. The Catholic imagination configures and enfigures the world as an expression of the inbetween of these two polar extremes. Similarly, the Catholic imagination forms a system of understanding that unif ies the senses with the intellect into figures . The Catholic analogical imagination forms connections between our embodied textural sense and our structural logic formed by our intellect. In this way, Catholic sacred architecture finds meaning through the dynamic interplay between textural, structural, and figural architectural languages. The Catholic imagination i s a rational tool that uses analogical forms of reasoning that connect s and cross maps between two domains . From this view , we can see why Catholicismâ€™s artistic and architectural expression stresses the importance of figural expressions , anthropomorphism, and representational expressions in art and architecture. Perspectives on the Catholic Imagination Currently, there exists a growing number of scholarly work t hat identifies a uniquely Catholic form of imagination . This work spans many disciplines , such as Catholic s tudies , literature, theology, film, and fine art. Tracy notes , that once the language of Catholicism is analyzed it â€œbegins to disclose a Catholic f orm of life or a possible mode of beingin the world. Which bears more investigation than it has thus far received.â€74 Surprisingly, an indepth analysis of the relationship between the Catholic imagination a nd architecture is nonexistent. This lack of resear ch is surprising because understanding a cultureâ€™s 74 David Tracy, Presidential Address: The Catholic Analogical Imagination (Toronto, Ontario, 1977), 243.
92 Weltanschauung (worldview) would shed significant light on the reason why some architectural patterns materialize, disappear, and reappear throughout Catholicismâ€™s history. Even though the idea of a specifically Catholic way of imagining and figuring the world has existed from the earliest onset of Christianity, the codification of this form of imagination comes to light in the mid twentieth century by Swiss theologian , Hans Urs von Balthasar (19051988). In The Glory of the Lord: Seeing the Form , Balthasar lays out the framework for what is call ed a â€œ theological imagination .â€75 Furthermore, Murphy connects Balthasarâ€™s theological imagination directly to the term the Catholic imagination.76 Balthasarâ€™s work expands upon Erich Pryzwara â€™s pivotal work Analogia Entis: Metaphysics Original Structure and Universal Rhythm . In this work, Pryzwara reignite s the century old discussion of the use of analogy with in the theological and philosophical discourse; a discourse initiated by Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas but abandoned by the modernists and materialists .77 David Tracy expand s upon Balthasarâ€™s work in his book The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism .78 Here, Tracy offers further theological proof for the existence of the Catholic analogical imagination. However, before we dive into the more theological aspects of the analogical imagination, one needs to start off by reviewing the work of sociologist and Catholic priest Andrew Greeley. The review start s with Greeley since he describes the analogical imagination in more secular and common 75 Hans Balthasar, The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics , vol. VOL 1: Seeing the Form (San Francisco New York: Ignatius Press Crossroad Publications, 1983). 76 Michael Murphy, A Theology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination (Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, 2008). 77 Erich Przywara, Analogia Entis: Metaphysics: Original Structure and Universal Rhythm (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Company, 2014). 78 David Tracy, The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism (New York: Crossroad, 1981).
93 terms. After describing the overall definition of the Catholic imagination , we will dive further into the more nuanced a nd theological aspects of this form of imagination established by others. Greeley In the book The Catholic Imagination, Andrew Greeley contends, â€œThe central religious symbol is God. Oneâ€™s â€œpictureâ€ of God is in fact a metaphorical narrative of Godâ€™s relationship with the world and the self as part of the world.â€79 Greeley bases most of his sociological studies on the claim that Catholics possess a certain type of â€œCath olic imagination.â€ In The Catholic Myth , he claims that â€œreligion is imagery (or poetry) and American religion is loyalty to oneâ€™s imaginative (or poetic) heritage.â€80 So if architecture is the expression of a cultu res loyalty to heritage , then there must be a record of these ideas written within the art i facts of Catholic sacred architecture. An exploration of the architectural metaphors and analogies by which Catholics build might shed newer understanding as to why some of their churches endure for so long and are so well loved . As demonstrated earlier in this review, t he Catholic imagination is rooted in the cosmological view that an intelligent being (God) created and order ed the world , and that Go d reaffirms the goodness of creation through the example of the Incarnation. For Catholic s , Greeley says, â€œGod lurks everywhere,â€ and throughout Church history , Catholics express this idea in architectur e .81 Greeleyâ€™s observations support St. Augustineâ€™s assumption 79 Andrew Greeley, â€œProtestant and Catholic: Is the Analogical Imagination Extinct?â€ American Sociological Review , 1989, 486. 80 Andrew Greeley, The Catholic Myth: The Behavior and Beliefs of American Catholics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997), 35. 81 Greeley, The Catholic Imagination, 186.
94 that the finite existence of the material world is an instrument of Godâ€™s presence in the world.82 For the Catholic, all of creation becomes a tangible sign of Godâ€™s grace that affects oneâ€™s disposition toward sensing Godâ€™s presence in the world. As Greeley states , Catholicism â€œchooses to emphasize the presence of God in the world.â€83 Sen sing the divine in the material and mundane can only be accomplished through the use of metaphorical and analogical reasoning. Tracy contends that the use of analogy is considered a distinct trait of the Catholic Church and its way of understanding the wor ld. Like Tracy, Greeleyâ€™s work shows that Catholic s fill their world with metaphors, signs, and symbols that reveal more th an what is present to the physical senses. Greeley offers further understanding of the Catholic imagination by contrasting it to the Protestant dialectical imagination. Greeley contends: The philosophical and theological differences are the bases (or perhaps only the justifications and rationalizations) for the two different ways of approaching the divine reality that arose out of the Reformation. Put more simply , the Catholic imagination loves metaphors; Catholicism is a verdant rainforest of metaphors. The Protestant imagination distrusts metaphors; it tends to be a desert of metaphors. Catholicism stresses the â€˜likeâ€™ of any compariso n (human passion is like divine passion), while Protestantism, when it is willing to use metaphors (and it must if it is to talk about God at all), stresses the unlike .84 This â€œdistrustâ€ of metaphors has a long history in Western thought. One can find hints of this in the Idealism espoused by Plato. Furthermore, Greeley notes that it is important to understand that by suggesting that Catholics use analogical language and that Prot estant s use dialectic language, i t does not mean it is a â€œzero sum relationship.â€85 What is important is 82 Leland Ryken, The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing (Colorado Springs, CO: Shaw Books, 2002), 160â€“161. 83 Greeley, The Catholic Imagination, 16. 84 Ibid, 9. 85 Greeley, The Catholic Myth: The Behavior and Beliefs of American Catholics , 45.
95 that â€œthe analogical and the dialectical imaginations exist side by side in the personalities of the authors of the classics, opposing one anot her but also complementing one another. Rarely does one encounter a religious imagination that is purely analogical or purely dialectical.â€86 This interplay and the intersection between these two forms of im agination turns out to be a very important theme for this study . Greeleyâ€™s generalization of these two forms of imagination does not constitute a hard line of separation , but rather a tendency of oneâ€™s approach to speaking about God. The re is a distinction between these two opposing methodologies for figuring oneâ€™s world; one is well suited for resolving contradictions while the other is well suite d for resolving contrarieties â€”Protestants tend to define the pairing of God and man as contradictory while Catholics tend to pair them as contraries . Mircea Eliade makes a similar categorization through his binary opposition between profane man and sacred man .87 A natural extension of this form of imagination is that Catholics believe that space and time sacredly bind together through the narratives they tell. Greeley confirms this by stating, â€œWhen a church ceases to be the center of events that bind together sacred time and space through sacred narrative, it may be a very beautiful, dignified, reverent place, but it is not Catholic anymoreA Catholic church is a place where the rich stories of the Catholic heritage are told over and over again, with every skill that human ingenuity possesses.â€88 Th ese stories clearly show that Catholic sacred architecture never entirely seeks the lit eral as a full expression of truth. Stories also show a symmetr ical view of t ime, that is the past86 Greeley, â€œProtestant and Catholic: Is the Analogical Imagination Extinct?â€ 486. 87 Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Pr ofane: The Nature of Religion, vol. 144 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1959). 88 Greeley, The Catholic Imagination, 36.
96 present future all play a role in fuller understanding. This view is something for which the analogical imagination allows. For example, the Old Testament is a precursor for the New Testament and vice versa. The Catholic imagination possesses a mystical view of a good and unified world, created and inhabited by God; Greeley calls this an â€œenchanted view.â€89 S ince all of creation is good, the Catholic imagination naturally seeks out any opportunity to embrace the concreteness and materiality of existence: particularly in the form of the human body. Lastly, Greeley discusses the religions of the Common Era and claims that â€œCatholicism is the most at ease with creation[and] in its better moments, feels instinctively that nature does not defile spirit but reveals it.â€90 This perspective stands in contrast to most religions, such as Manichaeism, where images of nature are thought to defile the spirit and â€œstrip matter of all positive attributes.â€91 Catholicism has always felt a need for the sensed and sensual image, and the debate over how much and what is proper oscillates with the times. Murphy Michael P. Murphy , Ph .D. is Loyola Universityâ€™s Director of Catholic Studies. His book, A The ology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination, demonstrates how the Catholic imagination understands Godâ€™s presence to be e xistent everywhere in the world and that God discloses Himself through creation.92 Not only is God present in creation, but â€œGod saw that it was good (Gen 1 NABRE) .â€ Murphy shows that Catholic s view the world through the lens that Godâ€™s creation is inherently good, and that all 89 Ibid, 1â€“3. 168â€“170. 90 Ibid, 10. 91 Cassandra Nelson, â€œManichaeism and the Movies: Flannery Oâ€™Connor and the Roman Catholic Response to Film and Television at Midcentury,â€ Literary Imagination, 2014, 77. 92 Greeley, The Catholic Imagination, 1.
97 of creation reveals a hidden knowled ge of God . This understanding is crucial to interpreting their corresponding architectural expression. Murphyâ€™s work is significant in that it sets out to provide a theological basis for the Catholic imagination , something that is missing in Greeleyâ€™s work .93 His work demonstrates that the Catholic imagination is not just an artistic sensibility but is rooted in religious doctrine. Murphy determines that the Catholic imagination â€œis not merely a cultural or sociological distinction, as so many have recently suggested. Quite the contrary: it is fundamentally a way of figuring t he world.â€94 By e xpanding beyond Greeleyâ€™s claims, Murphy succeeds in showing that th e ologically Catholics have of fundament way of figuring the world. Likewise, he observes that the Catholic imagination finds the Incar nation as its primary source of inspiration.95 Murphyâ€™s empha s is on the Incarnation finds similarity with prominent Catholic theologian Urs von Balthasarâ€™s statement on the analogy of the Incarnation: â€œAll analogies con verge at this point, where Christ is seen as the concrete analogia entis [Latin: analogy of being] .â€96 Murphy is yet another in a long series of authors who links the Incarnation with the Catholic view of the world. Murphy claims that the impetus for the term â€œCatholic imagination,â€ comes from Balthasar whom finds his theological lineage back to Aquinas. Finally, Murphy offers an indepth theological analysis of the existence of a Catholic imagination through his interdisciplinary approach that spans literature, poetry, fiction, drama, and film. 93 Murphy, A Theology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination. 94 Ibid, 6. 95 Ibid. 96 Joseph Palakeel, The Use of Analogy in Theological Discourse: An Investigation in Ecumenical Perspective, vol. 4 (Rome: Gregorian Biblical Book Shop, 1995), 75.
98 Tracy One of the most notable works about the Catholic imagination is Professor David Tracyâ€™s, The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and t he Culture of Pluralism . In this book, Tracy claims that throughout Western thought â€œtwo major conceptual languages have served to be principal candidates for the task of theology: analogical and dialectical languages. Both language traditionscontinue to function as the classical theological languages par excellence .â€97 Tracy further suggests that Catholicism tends to trust analogical language while dialectic language is prominent within Protestant thought and theology .98 Tracy defines the analogical imagination as a unique worldview that provides a way of understanding the world by seeking â€œsimilarity in difference.â€99 It mediates between binary oppositions and finds its â€œprimary analogue for all interpretation of the whole of realityâ€ in the Inc arnation.100 Again, Tracy shows that the Incarnation establishes â€œthe entire world, the ordinary in all its variety now theologically envisioned as a sacrament.â€101 Similar to other scholars, Tracy identifies the in between nature of analogical language and its appropriateness as a method of understanding the truth . In contrast to the analogical imagination is the dialectical imagination. Tracy contends, â€œFor the ge nuinely dialectical mind there is really no such hope for order; rather the authentic personâ€™s task in this life it to unmask illusions and idolatries, to be suspicious of all claims to a vision of the whole .it is fundamentally one of suspicion and negati on.â€102 97 Tracy, The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism , 408. 98 Ibid, 412â€“413. 99 Tracy, The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism . 100 Ibid, 412â€“413. 101 Ibid. 102 Tracy, Presidential Address: The Catholic Analogical Imagination, 237.
99 Both the analogical and dialectical sense of being rest between the two extremes of the univocal and the equivocal (finite infinite) . Tracy put s it simply: â€œIn more familiar and traditional language, a nalogy articulates both the significant differences and similarities between human beings and the rest of life in the cosmos and, above all, between human beings and God as disclosed in Jesus Christ.â€103 T racy sums up the Catholic imagination nicely by saying, â€œFor the authentically analogical mind, there is always some order to be found in reality, and the key to that order will be found in some focal meaning (some prime analogate) which focuses upon the basic clue to the whole and, then by means of that clue envisions all the ordered relationships in reality itself.â€104 Here Tracy contends that the â€œprime analogateâ€ for Catholicism is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ as fully God and fully man. Christ is the prime example of the wholeness that man has by existing between the finite and the infinite. Tracy further contends that t he analogical imagination â€œis a deliberate working out of a series of analogous rela tionships all ordered to that one central clue of Godâ€™s incarnationcrucifixion resurrection in Jesus Christ.â€105 In other words, Catholics believe that all of creation is a manifestation of Godâ€™s grace: a sacrament. Therefore, as a sacrament, God is revealed through creation, most notably in the creation of man. The Incarnation also allows for the analogical imagination to trust in the goodness of creation . Once again, the theme of the Incarnation proves to be prominent throughout the literature on the Catholic imagination. Working to find and express God in all of creation is the primary role of the Catholic analogical imagination and Catholic sacred architecture. Finally, the Catholic imagination 103 Ibid, 234â€“234. 104 Ibid, 236. 105 Ibid.
100 takes the â€˜goodnessâ€™ of creation as an acceptance of the pleasures derived from the experience of God in creation. Lastly, i n his 1977 presidential a ddress to the Catholic Theological Society of America, Tracy posit s that â€œ f or the authentically analogical mind, there is always some order to be found in reality.â€106 From this perspective, reality, in the particular and concrete , possess ordered clues that are â€œlikeâ€ the w hole of reality; analogy is explicit in its comparison of two things. It is by using analogical reasoning that one finds or inductively reasons the ordered relationships in all of reality. This view might provide a reason for the representational aspect of Catholic art and architecture. Wholeness, without the univocal loss of difference, is the goal of the analogical mind. It securely rests in the knowledge that â€œreality at its final moment is trustworthy.â€107 Ultimately, Tracy provides a contemporary theological basis for the â€œanalogical imagination â€ that is shown to provide connections between Tracy, Przywara, Balthasar, and Aquinas . In contrast to Tracy, professor Vaught offers the use of the term metaphoric al in place of dialectical, which might offer a more useful interpretation of this form of literary language since dialect means the discussion between two and not the resolution formed by the dialect. While Massa, in his application of Tracyâ€™s work, sugge sts that this apparent conflict between the two languages used for figuring worldviews may contribute to the sense of alterity that exists toward Cathol i cs in America. H e suggests that the Catholic worldview is analogical, 106 Ibid. 107 Ibid, 235.
101 sees things differently than the enlightened mindset of the American Experiment, which stems from the dialectical.108 Lynch Another significant a uthor who discusses the analogical imagination is Fr. William Lynch. In his pivotal work, Christ & Apoll o: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination, Lynch offers the following compelling definition of the imagination: [The imagination] is all the resources of man, all his faculties, his whole history, his whole life, and his whole heritage, all brought to bear upon the concrete world inside and outside of himself, to form images of the world, and thus to find it, cope with it, shape it, and even to make it. The task of the imagination is to imagine the real. However, that might also very well mean making th e real, making the world, for every image formed by everybody is an active step, for good or for bad.109 This definition supports the understanding of the term â€œ imagination â€ as used throughout this review. Probably the most relevant aspect of Lynchâ€™s work is that he acknowledges the three traditional senses of being: univocal, equivocal, and analogical . Lynch defines these three terms as: â€œT he univocal as a pure unity or sameness and the equivocal as a pure, unified diversity,â€ and somewhere in between lies analogy.110 However, he too adds the dialectical to this triad . Lynchâ€™s use of these traditional terms offers an insightful linkage between the thinking that originates in Greece ( namely through Plato and Aristotle ) , with that of Catholicism ( namely Augustine and Aquinas ), and that of more recent scho lars . Ly nchâ€™s work provides the conceptual groundwor k for the following section. 108 Mark S Massa, â€œ The New and Old Anti Catholicism and the Analogical Imagination,â€ Theological Studies 62, no. 3 (2001): 552. 109 Lynch, Christ & Apollo: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination, 23. 110 Ibid, 181.
102 Lync h continues the common theme of placing the Catholic imagination within the theological and philosophical triad of the univocal , equivocal , and analogical senses of being . These three forms of metaphysical languageâ€”ways of speaking about reality â€”date back to Aristotle and Plato and find theological culmination in the Middle Ages , primarily through Aquinasâ€™ predomina nt use of analogical reasoning. Another important aspect of Lynchâ€™s work is that he supports Tracyâ€™s identification of the â€œdi alectical â€ as other means for understanding the opposition of the one (univocal) and the many (equivocal) . Lynchâ€™s dialectical man and analogical man sound very similar to Mircea Eliadeâ€™s â€œprofane manâ€ and â€œreligious man.â€111 Lynchâ€™s book, Christ and Apoll o, reflects the claim that man has a â€œfourfold sense of beingâ€ as posited in the philosophy of being by William Desmond.112 Lynch offers an informative description of the analogica l vs. the dialectical approach to theological language by providing he the following diagram of the imaginative process: Figure 28 â€“ The analogical vs. dialectic approach to knowledge of God.113 111 Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1959), 144. 112 William Desmond, Being and the between (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995). 113 Lynch, Christ & Apollo: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination, p 29.
103 This diagram shows the process of the literary imagination that proc eeds through â€œgeometric phases of de s cent and ascent.â€114 Lynch demonstrates how many philosophers, theologians, and poets rely on this to engage the analogical imagination. He cites Heraclitus as the clearest descr iption of the process: â€œ The way up is the way down [emphasis original] .â€115 Lynch determines that the finite consists of â€œconcrete things and images that are at the center of every act of imagination.â€116 the images are in themselves the path to whatever the self is seeking: to insight, or beauty, for that matter, God. This path is narrow and direct; it leads, I believe, straight through our human realities, through our labor, our disappointments, our friends, our game legs, our harvests, our subjection to time. There are no shortcuts to beauty or to insight. We must go through the finite, the limited, the definite, omitting none of it least we omit some of the potencies of being in the flesh.117 This diagram shows the analogical imagination descending into the finite to rise to insight. Through this viewpoint, one says, â€œ I experience this and , therefore, this. â€ Whereas the dial ectical imagination seeks insight despite the material, that is, the flesh is a condition that must be transcended to rise to insight. Through this viewpoint, one says, â€œI experience this , nevertheless this.â€ In his analysis of literary works, Lynch supports the necessity of the downward and materialistic aspect of analogical reasoning by claiming: â€œW ith every plunge through, or down into, the real contours of being, the imagination also shoots up into insight, but in such a way that the plunge down causally generates the plunge up.â€118 Here we can see the similarity between Lynchâ€™s approach to the Catholic sense and that of St. Augustine. 114 Lynch, Christ & Apollo: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination, 22. 115 Ibid, 23. 116 Ibid, 15â€“16. 117 Ibid. 118 Ibid, 21â€“22.
104 Expanding upon the common theme of the (finite infinite) opposition revealed in this review, Lynch further describes th e analogical process by stating : â€œThe arrival at insight requires a basic entrance into the finite and the limited.â€119 It i s through the finite and limited experience of creation that man comes to an understanding of the eternal and infinite. Lynch, expanding upon Plato, suggests that, â€œWithin the very structure of the finite there exists, as its contrary, the infinite.â€120 Once again, the theme of the finite infinite opposition occurs within the literature. For Lynch, â€œa nalogy is a metaphysical explanation of the structure of existence, indeed of all that exists . The act of existence d escends analogously, analogon, â€˜according to proportion.â€™ The degree of existence is always measured by the degree of possibility .â€121. Flannery O 'Connor Within Catholic literature, Flannery O 'Connor has been identified by several critics as providing one of the clear est examples of the Catholic imagination at work in her writings . In her book, Flannery O'Connor's Sacramental A rt , Susan Srigly offers poignant insight into Flannery Oâ€™Connorâ€™s Catholic sensibility in her writing. Srigly contends that Oâ€™Connor was well known for her Thomistically inspired sensibility toward a Catholic sacramental worldview. Srigly identifies in Oâ€™Connor â€™s writing the unique ability to resolve the apparent opposition betwe en nature and grace, and that Oâ€™Connor sees the main effect of the modern separation of nature and grace as one that â€œends up reducing the connection of the 119 Ibid, 22. 120 Gerald Bednar, Faith as Imagination: The Contribution of William F. Lynch, S.J (Kansas City, Mo: Sheed & Ward, 1996), 47. 121 Lynch, Chris t & Apollo: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination, 200.
105 supernatural to pious clich.â€122 Oâ€™Connorâ€™s depiction of the dialectical imagination as finding clich with other forms of imagination is similar to Greenbergâ€™s identification of all figural forms as â€œkitsch.â€123 T he relation between nature (finite) and grace (infi nite) is central to Oâ€™Conn orâ€™s work mainly because it provides the background for interpreting her characterâ€™s struggles within a world full of tensions between their spiritual experiences and physical circumstances. Oâ€™Connor â€™s sacramental fiction addresses not only the Protestant view of the lack of relation ship between nature and grace. Also, Oâ€™Connor â€™s writings stres s how the modern period obli t erates this idea because if its Manichean tendency to separate spirit from matte r, and consequently the human from the divine.124 Srigleyâ€™s analysis of Oâ€™Connor â€™s work claim s that our modern tendencies are â€œspiritually lopsidedâ€ and the continuation of this trend will render â€œart that is no longer true to reality.â€125 Srig ly deduces that Oâ€™Connor sees â€œt he supernatural [becoming] nothing more than a clich because its reality within the natural world is denied, relegating it to a matter of opinion or belief. The further consequences are that human beings are also reduced : they become nothing more than bodies, disconnected from any larger order or spiritual meaning.â€126 This disconne ct begs the question, is there a correlation between the dialectical worldview and the denial and abandonment of ornament as a form of artistic expression that points to the soul? 122 Susan Srigley, Flannery Oâ€™Connorâ€™s Sacramental Art (Notre Dame, Ind: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), 20. 123 Scruton, Beauty: A Very Short Introduction, 157. 124 Srigley, Flannery Oâ€™Connorâ€™s Sacramental Art , 20. 125 Ibid, 21. 126 Ibid.
106 For Oâ€™Connor , it is impor tant to trace the ways by which the â€œauthor and charactergo out to explore and penetrate a world in which the sacred is reflected .â€127 Oâ€™Connor â€™s use of the term â€œpenetrateâ€ as a means to describe the method by which the analogical imagination must proceed, is a reoccurring theme among writers describing the Catholic analogical world view . This sense is important because, for a Catholic, another way to find meaning between the opposition of nature and grace is to â€˜penetrateâ€™ into the depths of their differences to find similarities , and not to synthesi ze it into a new term as dialectical and metaphorical discourses do. Oâ€™Connor describes this form of insight similarly to Lynchâ€™s â€œplungeâ€ into things, man, and self . For Lynch, manâ€™s imagination â€œ descends â€ into the â€œtang and densityâ€ of actuality.128 Similarly, Lynch also uses the term â€œdensityâ€ which implies a penetrable thickness. This density implies that humans must spend time within the moment of finite reality and likewise within the depths of tradition and history . For both Lynch and O â€™ Connor , if one is to gain insight from their experiences, one needs zoom in, scaled up, and s pend pleasurable time within the concrete moment. One must dwell within the material moment to understand creation and see how this moment plays out about the whole of reality. This â€˜third wayâ€™ of the Catholic imagination seeks the unity between the two options of a dialectic of spirituality: one , the reality is the sole source of spirituality; or two, the divide between man and divine is so vast that it renders it ultimately unknowable. The dwelling in between nature of analogical reasoning renders God knowable and sensible . 127 Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose , 158. 128 Lynch, Christ & Apollo: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination.
107 Finally, Lake cites Oâ€™Connor as stating that the â€œProtestant temperâ€ approaches â€œthe spirit directly instead of through matter.â€129 In doing so, it has â€œto depend on feeling instead of thoughtmoreover, that religion is our own sweet invention.â€130 This dire ct approach reminds one of Le Corbusierâ€™s attempt to seek the ineffability through architecture, wherein he seeks the elusiveness of metaphorical experience rather than the explicitness of analogical comparison.131 This elusive feeling also correlates to Worringerâ€™s empathetic feeling over and against our tendency towards abstraction. However, Protestantism for O 'Connor is not the only source of dismay in modern minds. Lake observes in The Incarnational Art of Flannery Oâ€™Connor that O 'Connor attributes much of our current dismay about religion with Manichaeism . Manichaeism holds that birth /creation divides the unity of â€˜goodâ€™ into matte r which is â€˜ evil .132 This theme finds its roots in Ren Descartes and Epicurus. This divided approach stands in stark contrast to the doctrine of the Incarnation, in that, God says creation, specifically the creation of man, is good. 129 Christina Lake, The Incarnational Art of Flannery Oâ€™Connor (Macon, Ga: Mercer Un iversity Press, 2005), 4. See Flannery Oâ€™Conner, The Habit of Being, 304. 130 Ibid. See Flannery Oâ€™Conner, The Habit of Being, 479. 131 Britton, Constructing the Ineffable: Contemporary Sacred Architecture ; Aalya Kiyak, â€œDescribing the Ineffable: Le Corbusier, Le Pome Electronique and Montage,â€ 2003. 132 Lake, The Incarnational Art of Flannery Oâ€™Connor , 4.
108 THE ROLE OF THE FIGURAL LANGUAGE OF ARCHI T ECTURE Catholic sacred architecture forms meaning through the dynamic interplay between the textural, structural , and figural languages of architecture. It is through the dynamic interplay between our textural sense and structural intellect that the figural language of understanding emerges and forms. In this way, t he figural language of architectur e resides as a transitional element which uses figural and embodied forms of expression to cross map between the purely textur al sense of environments and our pure ly structural inference derived from them . The following diagram illustrates the transitional relationship formed by the figural language of architectu re : Structural L anguage of Architecture Figural Language of Architecture Textural Language of Architecture Figure 29 â€“ Figural language of architecture as a transitional element . The figural language of architecture is the realm the symb olic , w hereby things are â€œlikeâ€ other things or represent other things and ideas. In some ways, the figural language of architecture is m etalike, in that the prefix â€œ meta - â€ me ans â€œ beyond â€ and â€œ after. â€ Likewise, the architectural means for transforming a building into sacred architecture are metaphorical, symbolic, ornamental , and figurative . This figural aspect of a Catholic church is a critical characteristic for providing enduring meaning, since a Catholic church â€œspeaks,â€ not only of what is but also of what is beyond it. Furthermore, the figural expression that exists within Cath olic churches most
109 appropriately express es Catholicismâ€™s Incarnational and sacramental worldview . It is this sacramental worldview , which i s fundamentally unique to Catholicism, that makes Catholic churches have a unique architectural expression . Consider how the se three terms form a relationship with each other; at one polar extreme of understanding is the entirel y 2D textural array that our sense s detect . Envision this 2D textural array as one where we only sense distinction between sameness and difference, be it through sight, hearing, or touch. A purely textural experience i s an abstract notion since we immediately seek to form structural concepts from our sensual experiences. In other words, once we feel something, we ask , â€œWhat was that?â€ A t the other polar extreme is the realm of pure structural logic . This realm deals with the inferred 3D structure s that we form via our intellect. Here, we deduce some identifiability from the textural mystery of â€œ what â€ it is that we are experiencing. This realm is the p urel y structural aspect of knowledge. In between these two polar extremes lies the middle realm of the figural interpretation which consists of transitional spaces , metaphoric cross mapping, and projected enfigurement . In short : our textural sense of environments distinguishes between sameness and difference; the structural intellect unites these senses via identity and mystery; the figural realm enfigures or cross maps between these two realms via with rhetorical meaning. Please note, t he two polar extremes of pure texture and pure structure are hypothetical notions since as one approaches either polar extreme, they must dive further into abstract geometric and metaphysical ideas . The following diagram help s coalesce this thesis statement into a conceptual framework that encompasses all the terms involved ( Figure 30 ).
110 Figure 30 â€“ Paradigmatic diagram of the t hesis s tatement . This diagram also offers a depiction of the dynamic interplay between the textural, structural, and figural languages of Catholic sacred architecture. Likewise, t his diagram illustrate s the flow of architectural meaning as a dynamic process of meaning formation which proceeds from the bottom and rises to the top as we progress from things that are present towards things that are absent . Our experience of architecture starts at the bottom via our sense of the textural language of architecture. At this level, we are only concerned with the 2D array of our sense. We can understand this as like psychologist J. J. Gibsonâ€™s â€œoptical arrayâ€ in which textural gradients flow across our field of vision. Presence Absence Structural Language Figural Language Textural Language
111 Figure 31 â€“ 2 D optical array generated by travel on a straight path .133 Via our experience of the textural language of architecture, we can distinguish between things that are similar and things that are different. We can visualiz e this as the surfaces of a cube ( Figure 32 ). Figure 32 â€“ The 2 D textural surfaces and parts (vertices) of a cube . 133 James J. Gibson, The Perception of the Visual World, ed. Leonard Carmichael (Boston: Houghton Miff lin Company, 1950), 125.
112 We achieve this by detecting that which changes and that which does not change . We detect the i nvariant s that stand against the dynamic flow of the background. With this contrast established, we then seek to form some sense of identity . We identify these invariants and their relationship between them by comparing them to the logical schemas we have built up over time and have stored in memory. As we continue to seek meaning from this 2D experience, we begin to abstract out and infer 3 D structural schemas of the logic associ ated with this 2D experience. At the polar opposite of the textural pyramid is the pyramid of the structural language of architecture. The structural language of architecture is the threedimensional linear model that we construct using our intellect. We can visualize this as a mental model similar to the wireframe of a 3 D model ( Figure 33 ) . Figure 33 â€“ The 3 D wireframe of a cube illustrating the structural relationship between parts . The structural language of architecture is concerned with the lines or lineaments that connect the individual parts detected in the initial textural experience. Now, if we find som e correlation between the 2D sensed distinctions and the 3D logical framework that we have in our minds, we have to say we can identify it, and if we cannot make this correlation, we find ourselves with a mystery. The top pyramid in Figure 30 illustrates this process as a pyramid of the structural language of architecture descending into the textural aspect of our experience.
113 Innately, we desire that this mystery be solvable and understanding is made possible. In other words, we innately ask, â€œWhat is it?â€ However, a key component to this desire is the fact that the architectural experience entices us to explore our environments further by offering a promise of gaining newer understanding if we venture into the scene further . If the building entices us enough, we continue onward with our experience of it. T he process dynamically repeat s as the textural stimulus further unfolds before us and we continuously add to or re enfold this experience to form further structural identifiability . The process r eturns in a dy namic interplay between these polar extremes as we further explore the mystery of our environment s and seek to increase our structural understanding of it . The middle ground is the mean which ties this process together is the figural language of architecture whereby we enfigure our environments with meaning. F or us to cross map between t he purely textural and the purely structural realms of understanding , we need to project ourselves through our sense of embodiment into the environment. This ability to enfigure the space allows us to make predictions and infer further about what space has to hold for us regarding new information. Figure 34 offers a more simplified version of the thesis diagram as a figural understanding residing between t he oscillation between two polar extremes of architectural language.
114 Figure 34 â€“ The dynamic interplay of presence and absence in the three architectural languages . This illustration offers a cursory overview of the process of how we form meaning . However, it need s further explanation so that one can understand the nuances of this interpretive framework. The nuanced understanding of this diagram is the outcome of this chapter. However, rather than systematically defining each term, it will prove more helpful if several simp le examples are given that walk us through the phenomena of how we form meaning according to this diagram. Also, these examples offer a demonstration of the power that the phenomenological method of interpretation can offer. Textural Th e 2 D Immediate Array of the Senses Structural The 3 D Inferred Hierarchy of the Intellect Presence Understanding Absence Exploration Figural E nfi gure with Meaning
115 A Sheet of White Paper Consider the simple idea of our experience of a blank white sheet of paper. In this example, the paper stand s for the field of vision that we sense is â€œ not me .â€134 As mentioned earlier, t his example will focus on the sense of sight as the primary means for understanding the structural aspects of the â€œ not me .â€ Furthermore, this study views the sense of sight as a one that allow s for us to â€œtouchâ€ the â€œnot meâ€ more intimately via its ability to extend our sense of touch outward and away from the â€œme.â€ F irst, we experience something other than ourselves via the immediate two dimensional array of our visual sense. In the case of t he sheet of paper, w e sense the reflection of light bouncing off of the textural properties of another â€œthing ,â€ in this case the white paper. Our sense of sight is highly tuned to detect the slightest variation between that which is the same and that which is different ( Figure 35) . Figure 35 â€“ â€œSameness â€ i llustr ated T his example illustrates the concept of sameness via the depiction of a blank sheet of white paper. If the sheet of paper filled our field of view and we did not move our head, we would 134 Winnicott first introduced the idea of â€œmeâ€ and â€œnot meâ€ in his work â€œPlaying and Reality.â€ Winnicott, Playing and Reality , 1971. Sameness
116 detect no change in our sense of this sheet of paper.135 Our sense of sight is highly tuned to detect differences as can be demonstrated when a dot becomes present , or, in other words, some difference is added to our experience of the sheet of paper ( Figure 36) . Figure 36 â€“ â€œ Difference â€ i llustrated . Here, the black â€œdotâ€ illustrates the idea of difference . The visual detection of a distinction between the paper and dot is now made present to our intellect. Immediately we detect the textural contrast between the white and black properties of the paper and the dot absorbing the light. T he black dot has now act ivated a potential quality that pre exist ed within the light, in other words, the black dot is now present to our senses and has activated it in a new way . The black dot has the effect of creating â€œ forces â€ that emanate from its location within the sheet of paper. T he beholder imagine s thes e force as â€œcenter s .â€ Psychologist Rudolph Arnheim makes similar observations of this phenomenon and describes the centers as having a â€œradiating force â€ ( Figure 37). 135 If we were to stare long enough at a white sheet of paper which filled or field of vision, we w ould begin to see swirls of colors and mysterious figural impressions on our sight. This phenomenon indicates the immediate and natural inclination to detect figures from our senses. In this way, we can say that our senses are highly tuned and even exists for this enfiguring purpose. But this claim jumps ahead too much at this point in the explanation. Difference
117 Figure 37 â€“ Presence as a r adiating f orce. Note, there is no actual or physical â€œforceâ€ generated from the center. This â€œradiationâ€ of force mos t certainly comes from our embodied sense of being. The more prominent sense of radiation force for the body is the tactile sense of the skin. In this way, we have enfigured the dot with our sense of embodiment. We have imagined ourselves as being the dot and sensing the space around it. Likewise, and a lmost instantaneously, t he intellect engages this differentiation detected by the textural stimulus. At this moment , we begin to infer three dimensional structures from th is sensory stimulus. An analogy would be that we begin to imagine ourselves at being this dot and feeling the radiating rays projecting out from this center . We use these virtual and inferred rays to determine what this black dot would â€œseeâ€ or be in â€œtouchâ€ within according to its surroundings. These radiating forces are akin to the process of echolocation , whereby they are imaginatively sent out and bounced off of surfaces to determine oneâ€™s location in space . By imaginatively and figuratively enfiguring ourselves as the dot on the sheet of paper , we envision ray s cast out from this point. This imaginative outward projection is akin to what happens through our sense of vision, whereby, we intake light rays from our environment , and they inform us of the presence of other text ural surfaces. If these radiating forces are not reflected to us , the n we sense that nothing exists outside of us. For example, if we do not detect the reflection Difference
118 and refraction that occurs on a very clean glass door, we may run into the glass. The clean g lass door has always been in existence, but our identification of its presence did not align with the full presence of the glass door, so we identified it as an unobstructed opening. Upon impact with the glass door, we immediately return to the sense of mystery since the textural reality of the surface was absent to our understanding. Truth is the correlation between our figuration of understanding and discover y through exploration. Again, the black dot on the white sheet of paper leads to a sense of pres ence or of something â€œother.â€ This sense is because the black dot has an integrity to it which makes it â€œstandâ€ in opposition to the â€œbackground.â€ The black dot â€œstandsâ€ as a bounded whole. Notice how we immediately have to use metaphorical or embodied ter ms like â€œstand,â€ â€œback,â€ and â€œgroundâ€ to help us form understanding from what is essentially white photons and black photos stimulating the rods and cones of our eye . Note, that e ven the use of terms â€œconesâ€ and â€œrodsâ€ are enfigured understandings , since t hese particular organs of the eye are â€œlikeâ€ a cone and â€œlikeâ€ a rod. This enfiguring process goes all the way down to the subatomic level in our description s of the phenomenon, and more than likely goes on in fractal like infinity. If we are attempting to understand the presence of the black dot from a pure ly materialistâ€™s viewpoint , then we must be contempt with a purely textural , and therefore purely sensual understanding of our experienceâ€”t he d ot is a dot is a dot. Th is immediacy of experience is the Deleuzean plane of pure immanence, and all m eaning must end at this sense of contrast and sense of difference, for that is all there is . There is a n ethereal pleasure derived from our awareness of contrast ness. However, this pleasure of contrast ness is j ust the novelty of discover y; it quickly fades. After the black dot finishes â€œslugging [the audience] in the f ac e â€ with
119 its presence o r ar restment .136 T he pleasure of discovery quickly fades from its â€œfifteen minutes of fameâ€ if there is nothing more.137 This flash of novelty is the fleeting nature of most modern and post modern art and architecture. Please note, there are significance and meaning achieved with this textural experience . H owever , the quest of this study i s to find that which forms enduring meaning. From a purely materialistic viewpoint, the impression of the black dot is all in which we can find aesthetic pleasure. Therefore, if one follows this worldview, then this form of pleasure i s all that an artist or architect can seek to express . T his vi ew seems extremely narrow and is not very capable of sustaining meaning past that novelty of the sensory impression it makes via textural effects . In this st i nted view, t here can be nothing more to the tactile, sensual, and e ffectual , not hing more that tra nscends the immediacy of this experience. This view is the goal of modern and post modern architectural design methodologies. However, t his is only a hypothetically achievable goal but remains the stated goal of most contemporary materialistic focused design ideologies . Harvard Professor Antoine Picon affirms this claim when he states that co ntemporary designers prefer â€œto evoke the production of affects .â€138 It is the â€œmaterial operationsâ€ of contemporary ar chitects like Richard Meier, Tado Ando, Rafael Moneo , Patkau Architects, Zaha Hadid, and Frank Gehry, and proceduralism based design methodologies that, through the power of computer computation, that allow us to design enormous edifices of e ffect . These m ethods attest to this goal as well. 136 . See â€œEdward Albee, Still Playing Rough,â€ Boston Globe , March, 7, 2004, p. N4. John Silber, Architecture of the Absurd: How â€œGeniusâ€ Disfigured a Practical Art (New York: Quantuck Lane Press Distributed by W.W. Norton \ & Co, 2007), 26. 137 Ibid. Silber attributes this statement with Andy Warhol, 1967. 138 Picon, Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity , chap. 3.
120 Returning to the example of the blank sheet of paper with a black dot on it , we sense that something , the black dot, has structural integrity to it since it remains present to our sense of sight. The presence of the black dot allows us to u nderstand that the dot is not â€œme.â€ In other words, we begin to identify some â€œthingâ€ other. This stimulus of difference and the detection of the â€œnot meâ€ stimulates our innate desire to understand â€œwhatâ€ the â€œnot meâ€ is ; we seek to categorize it with a universal . Notice that the answer to â€œwhat it is, â€ is at first a mystery since what makes the difference occur is absent to our understanding . Our desire to know reacts to the mystery of absence and e ncourages us to explore th e black thing on the white page further. We do so to understand the difference experienced by the textural language of the black dot . This innate desire strikes at the key philosophical question, â€œWhy is there something and not nothing?â€ Why is there this black thing and not just whiteness? Why is there difference and not just sameness? In our quest to know, we start to organize the textural input via logical ordering principles . In other words, we begin to structuralize the raw data from the textural experience. O ur intellect begins to infer hierarchical structures upon the sensory input ( Figure 38). Figure 38 â€“ Structural f old l ines of â€œi dentity â€ and â€œm ystery.â€ Identity & Mystery
121 These structural ideas give us a sense of â€œwhatâ€ we are seeing. Here, t he intellect begins to infer threedimensional fold lines or axes that organize the 2 D realm into orders of symmetry. The modern mind says these essential lines are all that exist while he postmodern mind says these line s are not a part of the objects nature, they are inferred by the human mind. However, the figural language attempts to cross map between the textural and structural. T hrough our embodied sense, we categorize the black dot according to up, down, in front of, behind, left, right, etc. Notic e, these inferred fold line s of symmetries begin with the division of the textural experience along the embodied axes of up, down, left, or right or along the cardinal axes of north, south, east, and west. T hese fold lines represent the visual comparative measurements we make between the presence of this black dot and the differences we detected from the other textural aspects of the background, i.e. , the corners and edges of the sheet of paper. In other words, the intellect begins to re enfold the 2D text ural experience into a 3 D structure . This process develops the structural language of our experience. The structural language is the hidden lines of this analysi s of fold lines . Furthermore, these fold lines begin to establish the location, identity , and coordinates of the black dot on the paper. In other words, we begin to compare the ratio of distance that the black dot expresses against the background field of view. For example, the dot is more to the right bottom corner of the sheet of paper than it is to the rest of the field. Descartes used this idea to establish his system of Cartesian coordinates which locate or identify a point in space as an (x, y, z) coordinate ( Figure 39 ).
122 Figure 39 â€“ Finding (enfiguring) a dwelling place for the black dot . So far , we have described this process according to the detection of vertices or edges, which are nothing more than dif ferences detected from the textural experience of the sheet of paper. For example, a corner is nothing more than an edge that is different because it changes direction. However, t his process can also occur with the surface properties of the sheet of paper as well . At this phase, we are beginning to categorize the dot against the background via the symmetrical enfoldments of the 2D array of perception . The interplay between the virtual fold lines of symmetry forms areas which establish identity from myster y from the detection of textural sameness and difference. If, however, the textural experience is not groupable or categorizable into similar elements, then our sensory stimulus tells us we have mostly difference in the object experienced. When this occur s, we try to form a structural understanding, but we are lead only to a sense of mystery since we cannot form a graspable identity from it. This ungraspability typically results in us having to refer back to our senses to try and form newer categories or relationships of sameness . In other words, since our intellect is denied structural understanding , there is a sense of absence . This denial leads us to explore our environment further with the promise that if we do, we will gain newer understanding via identifiability . As will be demonstrated later, this is the Identity
123 outcome of deconstructivist and late post modern architecture, such as the Cathedral of the Angels in Los Angeles, CA. In the black dot on the white paper example, we have identified the black dot â€™s location against the background, we have, t o a small degree, found a place for the dot to â€œdwellâ€ within the textural and structural aspects of our experience. As the intellect finds these categorical similarities, it begins to identify the â€œthing.â€ We also begin to relate the presence of the black dot to the background field in which we find it. To assist us in identifying the â€œblack dot,â€ we begin to enfigure our experience by using terms such as â€œleft and rightâ€ of us , or â€œup and downâ€ from us, or in â€œfront or backâ€ of us. It is this dynamic interplay between the textural experience and our structural analysis of this experience that forms the process by which we can enfigure it and form personal meaning from it. The black dot is an analogy for the â€œ me â€ portion of our experience of â€œmeâ€ and â€œnot me.â€ In Figure 38, notice that none of these virtual fold lines physically or tangibly exist, we â€œfeelâ€ them or we â€œsense â€ the m into existence and make them present to our intellect . This inferred aspect of experience is t he nature of the structural language of architecture. We cannot physically or tangibly see this structure , but we sense it. In spiritual terms, this inherent structural language is an analogy for the logos of God. This sensed s tructu r al order proves to be a critical aspect of the design principles behind enduring Catholic churches. Now that we have explored this thesis in more theoretical terms, it will be useful to apply this understanding to more practical examples by explor ing these concepts threedimensionally. The Unfolded Textural and Enfolded Structural Aspects of a Cube Inspired by the work of Robert Sokolowski, this se ction introduce s the definitions of the terms used in this conceptual framework by looking at how we form meaning from a simple 3D
124 object like a cube.139 Moreover, t he example of a cube provides an example of how phenomenological explanation provides understanding of the experience of 3 D space. This example serves as a model for the more in depth analysis of architecture that will take in the case studies chapter of this study. T o keep this introductory example brief, we will focus on vision as our primary source for understanding the form of things. As we approach a n object such as a cube, the twodimensional optical array of our senses is presented with a textural image. As a purely textural phenomenon, the material properties of the cube unfold before us via its interaction with light and our receptivity to this interaction. Take n as a continuous stream of textural input, we are concern o urselves primarily with the distinctions we detect from the unfolding of the surfaces of the cube. At this moment, we primarily distinguish between the fragmented surfaces, sides, profiles, and manifolds . The unfolded textural nature of the cube is what we directly experience in the two dimensional array of vision ( Figure 40 ). 139 See Robert Sokolowski, Introduction to Phenomenology (Cambridge, UK New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), chap. 2, Perception of a Cube as a Paradigm of Conscious Experience.
125 Figure 40 â€“ A spects, profiles, and m anifolds of a c ube . Since it is two dimensional , it is concerned with primarily with differences, i.e. , contrasts, less or more, intensities, or this or that. From these fragments of experience, we begin to form relationships between them. Here, we are concern ourselves with fold lines that form lineaments between disparate parts. Furthermore, the differences we detect between the textural gradients along the su rfaces allow us to determine if there are changes in surface orientation or â€œfoldsâ€ occurring in the object. For example, it is nearly impossible for us to look at a corner of the cube shown in Figure 41 and see a singular flat plane. Bounded profiles Aspects & sides
126 (a) (b) (c) Figure 41 â€“ (a) The c orner of a c ube with s urface differentiation, ( b) W ithout surface differentiation, and ( c ) T he structural structure o verla id . Our vision instantly detects the differences in the textural image shown in â€œa .â€ This detection of difference in the image demands that we interpret it as a corner, be it either a concave or convex corner (a) . Conversely, it is impossible for us to see the corner of a cube if all of the textural surfaces ate the same and do not have any differentiation between them as is shown in image â€œbâ€ of Figure 41. In this image , it is nearly impossible for us to mentally fold the monotone surface into anything other than a flat plane. However, notice when we add small dotted lines in â€œcâ€ we instantly add to our perception of the cubeâ€™s fo rm. In other words, the object â€™ s folds, lines, or lineaments are clarified. With this clarification of dotted lines, we find ourselves in the same predicament as in image â€œaâ€ whereby it is nearly impossible not to see a corner from the textural experience. This concept of defining the form through edge enhancement is important since it forms the essence impulse behind all forms of traditional ornamentation. These clearly delineated lines aid us towards structural understanding. The enhancement of the fold lines, corners, and liniments in architecture is the source behind Leon Battista Albertiâ€™s fundamental claim that architecture is about beauty and ornament â€”beauty being the lineaments , the lines in the mind of the architect, and ornament being the enhancem ent of these line through material expression. As in â€œaâ€ and â€œcâ€ above, the edge differentiation reveals the enfolded structure that occurs in the
127 form of the cube. In the words of Alberti, the brightness and radiation of the se edges helps us to see the form and reveal s the inherent beauty (structure) within. The beauty of the structure is the logical ordering principles by which the form of the cube is shaped. Furthermore, the principles of logic are primarily accomplishe d thro ugh foldin g; f olding is a principle of symmetry. The folded nature of symmetry is the proportions and ratios we form from the parts to wholes. In the words of Aquinas and Alberti, this is c oncinnitas . As in â€œaâ€ and â€œcâ€ in Figure 41, we instantly infer a folded corner form the twodimensional image . Figure 42 illustrates this: Figure 42 â€“ Textural grids depicting depth and edges .140 It is the textural differentiation between the sides that allows us to infer a fold in the surface orientation of the cube and the plane . This differentiation allows for the formation of a structur al organization. When we remain within the experience of the textural language of architecture, we contend with the â€œsubjectless individuationsâ€ where by difference is the only principle.141 There are only relations of more or less, darkness and lightness. Through the textural , we contend with the surface textures, textural gradients, boundaries, and profiles. If we only consider this experience as pure sense, we have an unfolded mess of sensory impressions that have no interrelationship or connection between them . However , just like in the example of the corner of a cube, it is nearly impossible for us to remain in this purely textural understanding. Once we detect differentiation and surface changes, w e immediately infer structural changes or changes in 140 https://psych.hanover.edu/krantz/art/textureanim.gif (accessed May 5, 2018). 141 Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, 266.
128 the form of the object we are experiencing. As we move around or through the cube, the surfaces continually transform in their shapes. Wall and floor surfaces fluctuate between orthogonal squares and quadrilateral s. On the level of the purely twodimension al array of vision, the world appears as constantly transforming or changing its shape ; to borrow from Heraclitus, all is flux. At this point, we have to contend with the surface of this plane. Here, our sensual experience of the two dimensional array is primarily concerned with immanence. We are merely experiencing an assemblage of abstract geometric forms , shapes, and impressions . The instant we start to â€œfold,â€ â€œstitch ,â€ or â€œsewâ€ these different fragments together, we begin to form conceptual hierarchies , objects, subjects, and structures . Once th is occurs, we enter into the immutable, eternal, and nonchanging realm of universals. In other words, we transcend from the hypothetically pur ity of immanence to the realm of ideals and forms. As we move through or around the cube, the base of the cube (the plan of a building) becomes the primary invariant around which we begin to relate together the many different surfaces. Th e ground plane is used primarily because of our sense of gravity and upright mobility t hrough space. By establishing the ground as our bearing point , it becomes the center point around which structural meaning is formed and surfaces are re folded. Even i f we were haphazardly tumbling around in space, we would still be reliant upon â€œcenteringâ€ our view around a rotational pivot point to form any ordered sense from our experience. Without this centering point, our experience would be pure flux, pure change, and purely sensory overload; all is meaningless . We call this experience vertigo , and â€œ i mmanence is the very vertigo of
129 philosophy.â€142 Without this bearing point, we must con t end with the pure immanence of the flux of stimulus upon our sense . Typically, the one constant â€œcenterâ€ point in our experience of architecture is the normal (perpendicular upvector) to the ground plan ( Figure 43). Figure 43 â€“ The n ormal of a plane . This centering reference point is the upvector normal which becomes the hinge around which the beholder structuralizes and re enfolds texture into a figure.143 In this way, the plan becomes Le Corbusierâ€™s â€œ generator of form .â€ From the upvector, o ne determines a primary axis of symmetry . From this axis , we distinguish left from righ t and up from down. As we continue to move about this axis , we relate the seemingly independent fragments of our 2 D experience into an overall sense of a 3 D structure . We predict that this object has threedimensional integrity to it due to our own sense of wholeness and that some t hings remain the same . We form inferred structural linkages between the th i ngs that remain the same. T hese relationships occur through our constant comparison between the surfaces presented to us and the differenc e between the new surface now present to our view. We make these connections and form these relationships via the symmetrical re folding of the sides to the ground plan e and the corners of walls and ceilings . The symmetrical 142 Gilles Deleuze, Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (New York Cambridge, Mass: Zone Books Distributed by MIT Press, 1990), 180. 143 Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture (New York: Dover Publications, 1986).
130 nature of folding is a primary feature of our ability to identify things. The following illustrates the structural folding between the various fragments of experience ( Figure 44). Figure 44 â€“ The t extural s ides of a cu be r e f olded around the plan . Folding creates patterns of symmetry , and symmetry is forms the structural language of architecture. It is through the use of symmetrical folding that we reconstruct the manifold differences of the sides and profiles we sense. Through this re enfolding process , we make 3 D figures out of 2D shapes, surfaces, and forms; we transfigure our 2D experience into 3 D wholes. This process implies a final structural form that is understandable. This figuration of texture occurs at every moment our existence as we contend with disparate â€œthingsâ€ or textural differentiation s . The textural langu age of architecture is the raw unfolded experience of sensory impressions. We immediately desire to structurally re folded these differentiations into an enfolded figure. All of this implies that there exists within our experience an enfolded figure to be understood by the beholder. This enfolded figure is the final form or intention of the objectâ€™s Lines of symmetrical folds Up vector axis
131 being. It is the enfolded structure that makes a tree a tree, a dog a dog, and a church a church. This enfolded figure is what makes a â€œcubeâ€ a cube and note a sphere. The idea and belief that there is an enfolded figure â€œbehindâ€ and inherent within objective experience is the enduring pattern of Catholic sacred architecture. This worldview is founded upon the principle of the Incarnation which demonstrates that the logos of God is understandable through the flesh of man, all of which is demonstrated through the figure hood of Jesus Christ. By analogy, t he modern design pattern seeks the pure structural essence of experience, the word only with the flesh removed. However, the post modern design pattern seeks pure immanence or pure textural experience and forces the beholder to see that there are no structural figures â€œbehindâ€ things, only pure subjectlessness. This purely material sense of being that has no inhere nt structure, design, or author, is the core idea behind materialism , and m aterialism is the core philosophical system of contemporary profane man. The structural language of architecture seeks legibility or identifiability. Legibility or identifiability has to do with the readability of the object. In other words, it allows the beholder to â€œreadâ€ the textural language into a figure like a cube. I dentifiability involves the re enfoldment of the unfolded textural experience int o a cohesive and conceptual whole. This whole is something we never directly experience, we can only infer it through structuralizing our experience. Structuralizing involves the â€œ tying â€ together or unification of the individual surfaces into a whole . This process transfers a message beyond the pure immanence or fluctuation of each part. Structuralization form s r elationship s between fragments that lead into a figural â€œ whatness â€ or an understanding of â€œ what â€ it is that we are experiencing . In the example of the cube, legibility and identifiability have to do with the folds, creases, lines, lineaments, and the logical ordering that is used to â€œstitchâ€ the sides together into a figure , not just pure textural senses .
132 Structuralization stems from our innate understanding that things possess integrity and wholeness. In other words, we innately understand that things, categories, and species exist. We naturally understand this sense of wholeness because of our shared nature of being â€œtiedâ€ together into a whole person. At this point , we can infer from the sensually detected two dimensional surfaces that what we are experiencing a three dimensional â€œ thing. â€ What kind of thing it is ? It is still unknown, and we need to struc turalize this experience to gain further understanding. Once we structuralize it, we form universal understanding which can be categorized . If this 3 D structural idea aligns with our experience of a universal shape of a cube, we can identify this figure a s a â€œcube.â€ In philosophical terms, this is the â€œwhatnessâ€ ( quidditas ). I n this example, the 3 D structure aligns with a cu be . This alignment is the objectâ€™s â€œ cubeness .â€ We have formed a conceptual understanding from our experience, and this concept aligns with the figural understanding of what we call a â€œcubeâ€ ( Figure 45 ). Figure 45 â€“ The figure of a c ube . Note that we have said, â€œwhat we callâ€ a cube. We have now categorized the dynamic relationship between the textural and structural language of architecture. The conceptual understanding or categorization of experience is something codified and transmittable through
133 l anguage. Now that we have structuralized the purely sensual aspect of transforming surfaces , we transfer this to the notion of a figure. When we speak of the objectâ€™s whatness , we are speaking to its structural structure, logic, and inherent order. In this way, we view the concept of a cube as a wireframe arrangement of lineaments and points ( Figure 46 ). Figure 46 â€“ Wireframe of the structural language of a c ube . At some point, we tran s figure our sensual experience of surfaces into a structural â€œ cubeâ€ which we can mentally flip and look at from various views. This mental flip ping idea is similar to that of a Necker cube which offers an analogy of the difference between the unfolded nature and the enfolded nature of the order . In a Necker cube as shown in Figure 46, we find that we are at one momen t able to perceive this cube from the top, while at another moment we are about to perceive this cube from the bottom. However, we find it nearly impossible to see views of the cube at the same time, but we grasp the concept of a cube even though it is not physically see able. This important concept is the cube â€™s inferred structural framework â€”the enfolded order of the cube. The structure is no thing that we tangibly grasp, but yet we intellectually and conceptually understand it. Through structuralization we remove, release, or liberate the material experience of the cube from its material existence. This flight from the real is the angelic imagination discussed early by Flannery Oâ€™Connor ; it is the ineffable of Le Corbusier ; and the
134 flight from the real of which post modernism reminds us as being impossible. However, post modernism exposes the other extreme by saying structural, category, and species does not exist and are only social constructs. The enduring pattern of Catholic sacred architecture is the dynamic expression of this enfolded form. However, it does not do so by transforming pure geometric forms ; rather it does so through a dynamic , sensual unfolded display that we transfigure into meaning. Unfolding and Enfolding Ch artres Cathedral This idea of unfolding the enfolded is seen in the plans of nearly all Gothic cathedrals, though this texture form figure pattern exists across many styles of Catholic churches. The example of Chartres Cathedral in Chartres , France (1220) is used to illustrate this point ( Figure 47) .
135 Figure 47 â€“ Floor plan of Chartres Cathedral , 1220, Chartres, France.144 This image of the floorplan of Chartres Cathedral with the textural stones pochd in black. 144 http://data.greatbuildings.com/gbc/drawings/Chartres_Plan.jpg (accessed March 10, 2018).
136 Figure 48 â€“ The enfolded structural o rdering of Chartres Cathedral . Figure 48 has the implicate or structural ordering grid of the cathedral plan overlaid with black lines. In between these structural lines are interwoven many other structural lines that link together each element into a coherent whole , such as the ribbing in the vaults . These structural lines are inferred through symmetrical folding. The easiest example of enfolding is to think of each line as being like a folded piece of paper that is cut into and then unfolded to make a snowflake. At each point of intersection on the enfolded grid of the cathedral is the further unfolding of that point into a column. We can also envision the figural representation of the plan by enfiguring or envisioning the structure as â€œ like â€ a human figure ( Figure 49 ).
137 Figure 49 â€“ The f loorplan of Chartres Cathedral enfigu red with a depiction of a human body overlaid . This idea of the human body inhabiting or being the basis for the overall design of a building proves to be very common in Catholic sacred architecture , and is a common means for representing the body of Christ. This figural understanding is akin to placing the corpus on the cross . Once the human figure is made visible in the buildingâ€™s form, it becomes immediately meaningful to Catholics , and it is a meaning that endures . It is like the picture of Jesus on a Christmas card that a Catholic is hesitant to throw away. The church, like the card, endures and cannot be easily discarded. Notice, the figure overlaid in plan is not a photograph of a human bod y and ne ither is the Cathedral floorplan, but it does human figure logic to it; it is â€œlikeâ€ a human body, not literally a human body . The rhetorical intent of the cathedralâ€™s floor plan is to reveal a figure of Christ, in other words, the human figure of Jesus Christ is expressed through the combination of grid pattern ( structural language ) and stone material (textural language). Through the dynamic
138 interplay of the textural language of architecture (stones) and the structural language of architecture (grid) emerges the figure of Christ; the enfolded order unfolds into a figure. The Christ figure is the figure that emerges from the intersection of matter and form, the stones and ordering grid of the cathedral plan. The figure unfolds and becomes visible through the material bricks that weave throughout the structural ordering of the plan ning grid. The figural language of the cathedral has rhetorical intent which is to represent a specific figure, the figure of Christ. However, in the exa mple of a cathedral, the result is not a photographic recreation of an actual human body , but it does closely resemble a body . This sameness within difference is what the cathedral expresses , and this dynamic tension between texture and structure enlivens figural understanding . The placement of columns around c athedral s and c atholic churches express es the enfolded order of a building. In the plan , a column is the re presentation of the structural concept of a â€œpoint â€ ( Figure 50 ). Figure 50 â€“ The s ymmetrical f olding/ u nfolding of a point into a c olumn . These unfolded columns is achieved through various methods, all of which primarily use symmetry to unfold the notion of an intersection point ( Figure 51).
139 Figure 51 â€“ Various c olumns of Catholic c hurches s howing the u nfolded t extural l anguage . Through geometric manipulations of unfolded symmetries, which are a process of unfolding reveals the inherent structural order within. In elevation, these structural points become â€œlines.â€ We can see this unfolding occur in the apse of t he church as well as in Figure 52. Figure 52 â€“ Unfolding the apse of Chartres Cathedral . The apse of Chartres Cathedral is the radial unfo lding of a point, the center point being the â€œheadâ€ of Christ. Each fold line, enhanced through ornamental ribbing, is the efflorescence of the structural language inherent in the cathedral .
140 Both Sides of a Tapestry Now that a basic understanding of the conceptual framework is established , this section now applies the terms of the inter pretive framework to the analysis of how meaning is from through our experience of a tapestry ( Figure 53). Figure 53 â€“ Kathy Spoering , Textural side , figural side , and structural s ide of a Tapestry .145 The analogy of a tapestry offers a useful illustration of the dynamic relationship that exists between the textural, structural , and figural languages of architectural expression. In the left hand image of the tapestry above , we have the representation of the textural language of the tapestry which speaks to the unfolded order of the tapestry. The textural language is primarily concerned with the material make up of the tapestry which consists of the threads of yarn. In architectural terms, these threads represent the stones , bricks, drywall, and building materials that make up a building . In the right hand image of the tapestry, we have the enfolded order of the tapestry. The gridded weave of the canvas establishes the inherent order of the tapestry which 145 Photo, Kathy Spoering Tapestries . https://devosfromthehill.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/picmonkey tapestry 2.jpg (accessed February 4, 2018, used with perm ission). Textural Language Unfolded Figural language Enfigured Structural language Enfolded Cl Implicate side
141 will not be directly seen but will be sensed in the final tapestry . This is akin to the structural grid lines illustrated above in Cha rtres Cathedral. This weaving grid enfold s the order of the tapestry . Through the dynamic weaving of threads (textur e ) with the canvas ( structur e ) , the image of the bird on a tree (figur e ) emerges . The image that emerges is the result from the dynamic interplay between the structural and textural languages of the tapestry. The figural image is at once the unfolding/enfolding of the tapestry. Notice that the figural image , or final form, has rhetorical and allegorical intent to i t . In other words, the dynamic unfolding/enfolding process has a purpose, and that pupose is to re represent a bird, an image, and a figure. The artwork intends to re present a bird. However, the final tapestry is not a photograph of a bird, it is an expression of a bird through the material and structural process of tapestry making . The front side of the tapestry reveals, expresses, and enhances unique aspects of â€œbirdness.â€ This figural representation of the bird , created through the craft of tapestry wor k, is analogous to what a Catholic church is to reveal, express, and enhance , that is , it is to express a unique aspect of the figure and personhood of God . A Catholic church must express a figure if it is to endure , and that figure must be readable, recognizable, and relatable. However, just like the bird in the tapestry, it is not to be a photograph of a human figure, but a final form or radiant version of God ; it is to be an expression of an aspects of Christâ€™s soul. Through the dynamic interplay of textural and structural language s that re inherent to the medium chosen by the artist, the certain hidden reality of what it means to be a bird is now revealed or expressed. In other words, the process of creating the tapestry has narrative and rhetorical intent â€”the intent is to re present a unique aspect of a bird. Also, notice in the enfigured frontside of the tapestry that the textural and structural aspects of the tapestry are a ffecting the figural representation of the bird. By this , one can see the g rid pattern of the canvas
142 revealed through the textural patterning of the threads woven in the canvas . Here, all three languages a ffect one another; the bird representation on the front is dependent upon the textural and structural language s for its meanin g. In this way, t he figural language reveals the logos of the canvas through the sarx of the yarn , and the threads reveal the order of the canvas. This interplay is ultimately what a Catholic church is to express â€”the revealment of the hidden order of Creat ion, which Catholic believes is a reflection of God . Catholic churches , as a sign and symbol of heavenly realities, are supposed to reveal, express, and make visible , not only the l ogos of Creation but also the enfigured person of Christ . This revealment is accomplished via the flesh and uses representational means . A Catholic church cannot have just the â€œ head â€ and lose the â€œ body, â€ nor can it have just the sensation of the flesh without an enfolded and sensible ordering structure to it. It needs a represen table figure or allegorical story behind since, and the example par excellence is the Incarnation â€”God â€œ dwelt among us.â€ Th e Incarnation makes the order, logic, and mind of God (Gr: l ogos ) visible, tangible, and feel able through the body (Gr: sarx ) of Chri st , which ultimately reveals and enfigured person of Jesus Christ who dwelt among us . The incarnation is not only a mind knowledge, or a feeling knowledge, but also a person knowledge. To be complete, Catholic sacred architecture must reflect a figural asp ect to knowledge . H ence the significant reliance upon anthropomorphism throughout the history of Catholic sacred architecture . It is only through the human figure that one can tell allegorical stories about humanity. Architecture, by itself, can produce te xtural affects , diagram structural logic , but it cannot tell narrative stories about humanity without representational figures . To support this claim, t he reader is reminded of the example of the two black lines vs. the crucifix; the two black lines have a universal effect and
143 produce structural understanding , but only the anthropomorphic figure on the cross makes it a narrative and therefore particular story. Through the Incarnation, Christ, a human person, dwelt among us . By this example, the fullness of knowledge of God has to include a relatable narrative and historical aspect to it. The concept behind the Incarnation, and that which a Catholic church must express , is that Christ is not solely logic over flesh, form over matter, mind over body, but that Christ c onsist ed of both as a n enfigured and glorified person.146 This dynamic interplay between texture , form, and figure ( sarx , logos , and ) can be understood through the analogy of the bird tapestry which shows how the structural an d textural languages of the thread and canvas are interdependent of each other; each one reveals itself through the other. However, it is important to notice that neither the structural language nor the textural language by themselves can create the bird i mage. It is only through the intention of the artist/creator that the bird emerges , and, f or Catholics, all of Creation reveals the intention of God . Creation is the most direct and accurate aspect of Creation that reveals God is the human person. 146 To further aid in the understanding of the term â€œdwell,â€ Biblehub.com offers the following transliteration of the Greek â€“ â€œ properly, to pitch or live in a tent, "denoting much more than the mere general notion of dwelling" (M. Vincent). For the Christian, 4637 dwelling in intimate communion with the resurrected Christ â€“ even as He who Himself lived in unbroken comm union with the Father during the days of His flesh (Jn 1:14).â€ http://biblehub.com/greek/4637.htm . Furthermore, Norman Geisler explains that â€œ Johnâ€™s use of the Greek word (â€œpitched his tabernacleâ€) becomes even more significant when it is realiz ed that the glory that resulted from the immediate presence of the Lord in the tabernacle came to be associated with the Shekinah, a word that refers to the radiance, glory, or presence of God dwelling in the midst of his people.â€ http://www.preceptaustin. org/john_114_commentary . This radiance and glory is at the heart of what a Catholic church is supposed to do; it is to radiate the hidden or veiled form behind the figure of Christ through material expressions.
144 Now, what happens if one believes that the tapestry just randomly formed without a designer or rhetorical inten t tot, as in materialism. In this worldview , w e say that the final form (the â€œbirdâ€) is not â€œrealâ€ and exists only as a figment of oneâ€™s imaginat ion. Furthermore, the end result is only a matter of process. This point of view is the materialistic position that insists that reality consists of a purely material universe of atoms randomly moving about without any implicate order, rhetorical intent, o r mind of God to it ( logos ). The materialistic worldview inspires the critique to logocentrism found in deconstructivists such as Peter Eisenman . In this analogy, the critique is the same as saying t here is no canvas to order t he threads of yar n. From this view, we are required to rely solely upon textural language as a means for of expression, the left hand image of the threads of yarn. This is essentially what postmodernism has claimed and is trying to express. Post modernism states that there is not und erlying grid which orders or â€œpullsâ€ the creation of things, there is only matter and force â€”the textural language of architecture. We now have the ideological basis behind the majority post modern and deconstructivist art and architecture. Each of these design tendencies establish es either only the backside or the canvas side of the tapestry is a source of aesthetic meaning. As mentioned, the goal of these tendencies is to gain aesthetic affect without revealing a transcendent and , therefore , figural meaning to the aesthetic experience. This limited tend e ncy is similar to the disinterestedness pleasure of the sublime found in Kantian aesthetics. The post modern quest is to experience the purely immanent, and is the Hedonistic quest for bodily pleasure for pleasureâ€™s sake. Post modern thinker Gilles Deleuze affirms this quest for pure immanence through his notion of life and creation as existing in a â€œplane of pure
145 immanence.â€147 Within this plane â€œ there a re no longer any forms or developments of forms; nor are there subjects or the formation of subjects. There is no structure, any more than there is genesis .â€148 In other words, our current context for architectural ae sthetics is to embrace the flesh ( sarx ) over and against the word ( logos ) . All distinctions, hierarchies, and structures are flattened down to this plane of textural sense since, from this viewpoint, that is all there is . This flattened view of experience is not an Incarnational idea. Through the tapestry analogy, w e can understand pure immanence as being the purely textural. From a purely textural approach, m eaning does not go beyond the immediate effect that the yarn has on us. Meaning does not progress into the final image and remains in the pure flux of the raw nature of yarn. From the backside of the tapestry, one does not explicitly experience a logos or a mind of the Creator creating a final image. If one were to only experience the backside of the t apestry, one would feel the immediacy of its texture. However, in the purely textural form of expression, one must resist the impulse to place a subject to the feeling . In other words, one must resist the desire for pareidolia , which is the human tendency to s ee (enfigure) recognizable patterns in otherwise random or unrelated objects , as which happens in cloud spotting. If one is theoretically able to resist the tendency to enfigur e one ' s textural sense, then one would only sense the sameness and differenc es that exist between the various threads. There is a sublime level of pleasure to this exercise, but the arrest in our attention that this produces is fleeting. Each thread stands in difference to each other which forms the invariant structures of the ba ckside of the tapestry. O ur attention is arrested by th e difference in value and hue contrast between each thread . The awareness of the raw threads produce s a sensual feeling upon us , but 147 Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, 266. 148 Ibid.
146 almost as quickly as it does , we begin to form hierarchical and structural subjects from it. This fleeting experience produces a blissful or sublime feeling , and it is t his feeling that is the goal of most contemporary approaches to aesthetics. Again, Deleuze affirms this intent when he describes pure immanence as â€œthe immanence of immanence, absolute immanence: it is complete power, complete bliss. â€149 In other words, we seek to remain in the realm of the sublime and purely textural. Interestingly, the term â€œ sublime â€ stems from the Latin sublimen which means â€œup to the threshold.â€ It is up to the threshold of structural and then figural leap that the purely textural design approach ties to avoid. The backside of the tapestry exists below the threshold of the conceptual. If we em brace this view of reality, then the sublimity of the textural language of architecture is all that we can allow ourselves to experience. There is nothing beyond the purely textural or purely material. Likewise, the universal idea of a figure, in this cas e , a â€œbird,â€ is only a figment of our imagination; it is not â€œreal.â€ This idea of a bird is not â€œrealâ€ because one cannot touch it, feel it or experience the â€œbirdnessâ€ through my body. This universal aspect of â€œbirdnessâ€ is a logical inference. The gospel describes this resistance to universals through the story of the Apostle Thomas. Thomas, being a modernday version of ourselves, was stuck in the plane of the purely textural since Thomas said, â€œUnless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. (Jn 20:25) .â€ Caravaggio created a wonderful artistic example of this purely textural or purely materialistic worldview in his painting The Incredulity of Saint Thomas ( Figure 54). 149 Deleuze, Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life , 27.
147 Figure 54 â€“ Caravaggio (15711610), The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Detail) , 1602, oil on canvas, 42.1 57.5 in (106.9 146 cm ) .150 Here, Caravaggio illustrates â€œdoubtingâ€ Thomas as the skeptic who refuses to believe the reality of Christ â€™s resurrect ion unless he can feel , touch, and know through his embodied sense s . In this painting, Thomas is physically enfiguring the resurrected Chr ist , perhaps not out of doubtfulness, but more out of a desire to know the resurrected Christ more intimately. However, when we limit our experience to the realm of the purely textural, we never transcend to the meaning â€œbehindâ€ that of our senses. We ensl ave our experiences to our bodies and can never â€œgo beyondâ€ or transcend that reality. Extending beyond t his limited worldviw i s the whole point of the structural language of architecture, which leads to figural understanding . We need to use our 150 http://www.christusrex.org/www2/art/images/carav10.jpg, public domain , (accessed October 12, 2017).
148 intellect with our body to form the figural. Pure immanence or pure texture is not the stance of the Catholic Church. The quest for the purely textural, or that which is without final form or structure , is the stated intent of the avant garde. Greenberg explicitly p ronounces this as the goal of modern art in his celebrated 1939 article, â€œAvant Gard and Kitsch:â€ Figurative painting, he [Greenberg] argued, was dead â€”it had exhausted its expressive potential, and its representational aims had been bequeathed to photography and cinema. Any attempt to continue in the figurative tradition would inevitably lead to kitsch, in other words to art with no message of its own, in which all the effects were copied and all the emotions faked. Genuine art must belong to the avant garde, breaking with the figurative tradition in favour of the â€˜abstract expressionism â€™, which uses form and colour to liberate emotion from the prison of narrative.151 Greenbergâ€™s call for the nonfigurative in art goes against the enduring pattern of Catholic sacred since Catholic sacred architecture need s rhetorical and narrative intent to endure . A Catholic church w ithout figural expressions is a meeting hall; it may produce affect but not enduring meaning. Furthermore, if the design intent of a Catholic church is to be purely textural or purely structural , then the design abandons one side of the Incarnational equation for the other . The materi alistic goal of the Avantguard and the spirit behind Loosâ€™ criminalization of ornament is intentional. It is intentional because rhetorical, figural, and representational expressions â€œimprisonâ€ art in a narrative which implies an author, designer, and God. We can view this in the tapestry analogy by saying if one abandons the existence of a canvas upon which a figure emerges, then one is left with only the threads of yarn, feelings, and the e ffect for expression . This worldview contends that form, structure, and intent are â€œin the eyes of the beholder.â€ Again, this sola materiales or tantum res view is not the stance of the Catholic Church. 151 Scruton, Beauty: A Very Short Introduction, 157.
149 Let us further unpack the example of the tapestry and how meaning is formed from it by looking at each flow of the imagination separately. We begin with the backside image as an example of the texturalization process. Figure 55 unpacks the thesis diagram from above to help illustr ate the textural expression of the backside of the tapestry. Figure 55 â€“ Textural pyramid . As one can see in the backside image of the tapestry, it has almost a purely textural effect on our senses. We discern some sameness and difference in the coloring, contrast, and lines expressed. There is some intellectual understanding , but it is below a threshold ( sub limen) since it has not risen to a structural level yet . In other words, we feel some thing, but we have not yet formed this sense into what thing it is that we see. The backside of the tapestry resides primarily within our textural mode of knowledge. In other words, to form some understanding of the backside, we have to contend with the tapestryâ€™s immanence through its texture . Here, t he image of the backside of the tapestry is just a series of tones, colors, hues, and contrasts; it does not represent much other than that. The backside moves us and transfo rms us, but it does not transfigure us . In other words, the experience of this side â€œmovesâ€ us by its fluctuation between sameness and BASE OF THE PYRAMID OF TEXTURE Immediate 2 D array of the senses
150 difference. However, i t only moves us as a sensual experience. If one t r ies to isolate this experience, one must refrain themse l ves from transfiguring other meaning into it; they must remain disinterested. If one stay s in this mode, the object only affects us and we do not offer a return. In other words , we do not transfigure meaning into the effect . From this side of the tapestry, one has a purely textural experience, that is, one sense s matter in motion but does not perceive formal or final cause to it. In other words, understanding derived from the backsi de of the tapestry is always in flux, and it never offers a stable or distinct meaning to it. Because of our desire to know structurally and figuratively , it is important to understand that immediately upon sensing the backside of the tapestry we have the impulse to form structural understanding from our experience. We experience the impulse to form â€œwhatness.â€ Specifically, we ask, what is this? If just the backside of the tapestry presents itself to us, then we are forced to rely primarily upon our embodied sense to try and form any understanding to our experience. When we contend with the tapestr yâ€™s texture, we begin to understand the â€œflowingâ€ threads of yarn as soft, curvaceous, and thick. We seek to feel it literally and metaphorically to â€œmakeâ€ more sense of it. We can also stare at the threads of yarn and try to imagine, or form figures out of it. We do a similar thing when staring at cloud formations in the sky. At this moment, we have begun to move past the texture of the threads of yar n, and we are now moving into the whatness of the threads of yarn. For example, we can figure or imagine a flowing river out of the chaos of threads, for the threads â€œlook likeâ€ the eddies in a flowing river. We have just used the process that this study i s calling figuralization and enfiguring. Now if we look at the tapestry from the â€œ front side ,â€ we find our experience has a primarily conceptual effect on our intellect.
151 Figure 56 â€“ Structural pyramid . Here, t he representational nature of the tapestry is made immediately apparent. In other words, we can immediately say what it is , it is a bird on a tree branch. The front side is a one liner of sorts, which at first does not lead us to ponder this specific image of a bird. Its identifiability is clear since there is a minimal amount of mystery to entice us further in an exploration of its texture. However, in this exa mple there is a touch of mystery since the type of bird is not identifiable . Furth er more , the outlin ing edges of the bird are not clear ; they are almost impressionistic. By focusing on these aspects, one begins the return to the impulse for textural unders tanding. We begin to look at this particular image and explore how it compares to the ideal structural image of a bird of this type. As we explore this specific depiction of a bird, we can also return to the whatness of the bird. Then we ask, â€œWhat kind of bird?â€ Yes , it is a bird, but how does this bird differ from the universal idea of a bird. Is it a blackbird , a robin, or other bird ? Now, if it w ere a photograph of a bird, the whatness of the particular bird would be even more identifiable and the expression would even more of a â€œone linerâ€ which breaks the dynamic flow between texture, structure, and figure. BASE OF THE PYRAMID OF STRUCTURE Inferred 3 D str ucture of the intellect Structural languages descend
152 Another way to understand the difference between the textural and structural language of architecture is to consider it regarding immanence and transcendence. The backside closely resembles the plane of pureimmanence, material cause, motion, process, affect, and sensory knowledge. T he frontside resembles the plane of transcendence, rhetoric, intention, final cause and conceptual knowledge. Likewise, de pending upon which side one use s to establish their point of view, one will determine their â€œstanceâ€ between immanence and transcendence, texture and structure . The selection of one philosophical stance over the other is akin to the current crisis in architecture whereby one design philosophy emphasizes one â€œsideâ€ over and against the other â€œside.â€ In general, some strands of m odernism reached for expressions of pure structural ization, while most strands of post modernism reach for expressions of pure texturalization. These expressions are reached by abandoning the figural, and the modernists found the figural primarily in ornament. Adolph Loos and Clement Greenberg banished ornament to the realm of â€œkitschâ€ since it use s forms of representational and figural languages of architecture.152 From this view, a rchitects find themselves trapped in the perennial debate between Heraclitus and Parmenides, a debate that oscillates between manyness and oneness, flux and permanence, mobility and stability, and texture and struct ure . We are stuck with the in solvability of contradiction that comes from either/or thinking and dualism . Under this logical framework, architects are forced to choose either the backside of the tapestry or the front side as a means for expressing dwelling. This choice stems from a fullon embrace of a literal interpretation of our experience. Rather, we need 152 For an overview o f the early modern plea for the arts to pursue the avant garde over kitsch, see Greenberg, â€œAvant Garde and Kitsch.â€
153 to find fullness , which Catholics find through t he both/and characteristic of analogical thinking and interpretatio n. This sense is the key design method behind the figural language of architecture. The enduring pattern in Catholic sacred architecture is to establish the notion that the front side , the figural side of the tapestry exists, and then to enfigure and textu ralize it with elements from the backside of the tapestry. Modernism and post modernism ha ve denied the other side entirely. Either an architect design with an emphasis on pure structural ism or they design with an emphasis on the purely textural and e ffect ual â€œbackâ€ side of the tapestry. Both sides have an intellectual appeal to us at varying levels . However, when we ch oose one side over and against the other side, we lose the fullness of understanding, meaning, and aesthetic knowledge. By doing so, we take the head, over and against the body, or the body , over and against the head. This either/or choice is a denial of the symmetrical nature of reality. Catholic theology and architecture always challenges t he either/or of pure contradiction; rather it has embraced what protestant theologian Karl Barth calls, â€œThat damned Catholic â€˜And .â€™â€153 153 Robert Barron, Vibrant Paradoxes: The Both/and of Catholicism (Skokie, Illinois: Word on Fire, 2016).
154 Three Windows Another simple way to understand this thesis is to consider a window from the three different architectural expressions ( Figure 57). Figure 57 â€“ Three e xpressions of a windo w. Photo, Stephen Baker. On the left we have the textural language which uses the design method of texturalization; in the middle , we have the enfigured language which uses the design method of figuralization; and on the right , we have a structural language which uses the design method of structural ization. First, we will analyze the two polar extremes of the textural and structural windows . Then, we will explore the middle window as an example of the enfigured design language. Both the left and right windows work to form meaning through a process of geometric transformations similar to those of the Froebelian figurings shown earlier in Figure 21. T hat is, they form an architectural expression that expresses abstract or conceptual ideas through pure Textural Structural Figural
155 geometric forms that have been manipulated to for m abstract expression. Each window is concerned more with their surface and shape than that which shows through the window. While the textural and structural windows attempt to describe the notion of either pure texturalization or pure structural ization, we must understand that both of these expressions are only hypothetical situations since each example contains some aspect of the others. Also, with the textural and structural windows their differentiation exists primarily as a matter of scale. The unfolded textural window on the left uses the method of texturalization to form its expression. The texturalization method involves fracturing the whole window into textural patterns of manyness. The left hand window has no two parts that are identical in their geometric shape, and this forms a sense of manyness . The textural and structural architectural languages engage us on certain levels each having differing effects. The textural window on the left appeals to feelings of warmth, delight, brokenness, or colorfulness. Here, oneâ€™s sense is primarily limited to sense knowledge. The structural window on the right appeals to the conceptual idea of a rectangle. Notice in these descriptions , different types of grammatical terms are used to describe them. With the textural window on the left, one has to use adjectives which typically ended a â€˜nessâ€™ suffix to describe it. In this way, the window speaks of its e ffectual , sensual, and emotive qualities rather than terms that describe its type, species, or category of the window to which it belongs. Also , the window speaks as a unique window, this window in particular. It focuses our atte ntion on the windowâ€™s immanence. It does so by primarily using unfolded patterns that emphasize the contradiction between sameness and difference and not on the contradiction between identifiability and mystery.
156 For the window on the right, we must use a noun to describe it â€”rectangle. In this way, the window speaks of its type or its species to which it belongs. In other words, it focuses on identifiability which is a rectangle. One discern s through comparison of other shapes that this windowâ€™s structural structure belongs to the category â€œr ectangle. â€ Through this mode of understanding, we primarily describe what kind of window it is. The window on the right engages our structural mode of knowledge through a process of structural ization, that is, we unders tand this particular experience as a universal ideaâ€”a rectangle. Pure Platonic and Euclidian geometries are examples of this form of understanding. These pure structural izations speak to the problem of universals by primarily using enfolded smooth forms th at emphasize the contradiction between identifiability and mystery and not on the contradiction between sameness and difference.
157 THREE GEOMETRIES From an architectural standpoint, the textural, structural, and figural architectural languages align with specific geometric ideas and geometric forms. The textural language deals with the autonomy of parts, fragmentation, invariant structures, and indivi dual things. In this way, it equivocalizes or atomizes all understanding into individual and unrelated parts. From a philosophical point of view, the textural language universalizes by fragmenting. That is, it universalizes by expressing, as clearly as pos sible, the autonomous units of each part of a building . The textural language of architecture uses geometric elements such as points, asymmetrical fragments, and geometric segments â€”the subcomponents of geometric forms. These geometric fragments form the architectural alphabet of some modern and most post modern architecture. Finally, the textural language is primarily concerned with the surface properties of a building and how it interacts with light. The structural language of architecture deals with the overall unity of the whole building. From a philosophical and psychological point of view, the structural language concerns itself with the final universal form or Gestalt of the building. That is, it universalizes by expressing, as clearly as possible, th e autonom y of the building . The structural language of architecture is primarily concerned with the logical and structural ordering principles â€œbehindâ€ the building. T he structural language aligns itself with holistic singular and Euclidean/Platonic forms which organize the parts into greater structured wholes . Wholeness is tipically found through symmetries and levels of heirarchical scales. Finally, the structural language of architecture uses our ability to categorize elements of similarity into idntifiable sub parts of the whole. T he figural language aligns itself with fractals, representational art, anthropomorphism, allegory, and personification. The Figural language of architecture is primarily concerned with
158 the enhancement and radiance of the final intent of the building through realistic images. In this way, the figural language of architecture is in between pure sense and pure logic. If the textural language of architecture is con cerned with the 2 D array, and the structural language of architecture is concerned with the 3 D inferred structure, then the figural language of architecture is concerned with the 2.5 D of reality, roughness, and fractals. The G eometry of the Textural Lan guage of Architecture ( Texture expressed) The textural language is concerned with the two dimensional array of our senses which makes distinctions between sameness and difference. This 2D array is our material sens e of the environment. Since t he textural language is primarily concerned with the immediate two dimensional array of vision. W e form a sensual response through the use of contrast, gradients, symmetry, a nd color . Geometrically, the textural language is primarily concerned with points , surfaces, profiles, aspects, manifolds, and individual parts within our field of vision. As our field of vision is a fragmented snapshot of our environment, so is our textural understanding of our environment. Each of these â€œsnapshotsâ€ needs to be stitched together as we begin to form a 3D structural logic behind each fragment of view. In Ar t and Visual Perception , psychologist Rudolph Arnheim identifies a similar idea as the textural language of architecture with his notion of â€œ forces â€ that we sense which we perceive a n objectâ€™s form. Here, Arnheim depicts these invisible forces as radiat ing from the vertices and center points of surfaces ( Figure 58 ).
159 * Figure 58 â€“ Arnheim's r adiating c enters of attraction .154 This is the differentiation between sameness and difference that is referred to throughout this study and in the thesis diagram. Since points are the primary source of meaning from the textural language, we need to understa nd that a point is nothing but a location that identifiable as being different from all other locations. As in Arnheimâ€™s illustration, we can see that a point is a change in surface characteristics. For example, each center in Arnheimâ€™s illustration indicates some sort of surface change, be it a corner or a midpoint. To some degree, a point is an identity at the smallest of scales , of which, an a tom is a good analogy. By another analogy, a point is a black dot on a white sheet of paper; without the black dot, the white sheet is said to have no points on it. P oints are the smallest discernible difference that we can perceive from our 2D array . We can think of surfaces as a field made from points; a computer monitor and its pixels are a good analogy to under stand what is meant by the term â€œ field. â€ At this level, points are only 154 Rudolf Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), 13.
160 important as an autonomous part within a homogenous field. We do not begin to form structur al understanding until the intellect engages with this stimulus . Th is level of structuralizat ion occurs i nstantaneously unless we try to block this urge and force ourselves to be â€œ disinterested â€ observers. The unfolded textural language is concerned with the radiance of the points and nodes of an object. Radiance is the detectable intensity of each point as it interacts with light and orientation of the viewer. Rudolph Arnheim identifies these radiations as forces. These radiating forces are very similar to the gradients that light produces along surfaces as it falls of f in decay. Arnheimâ€™s radiating forces are the textural gradients a surface possesses which are indicated by the contrast between variants and invariants, sameness and difference. Now that the ir textural properties have sensed the radiating point s , we immed iately move into forming the structural form from experience. What Arnheimâ€™s diagram illustrates is the textural aspects of the points within and surrounding a field. These textural centers indicate a â€œstructural netâ€ that link s together fragments to form the structural language of a square ( Figure 59 ) .155 155 Ibid.
161 Figure 59 â€“ Arnheimâ€™s â€œ s tructural n et .â€156 The structural language is concerned with the visible lines as well as the inferred fold lines. The visible lines and the fold lines of the surface are what bind the sensed object into a s quare. When it is a boundary line, we are detecting the difference between the surface and the background. Likewise, t hese centers represent â€œ areas of attraction â€ which are the indices that allow us to identify the â€œstructural netâ€ that forms the objectâ€™s being. There is no physi cal presence of this structural netting , and our intellect infers the lines. So do they exist ? N onetheless , it would be improper to say that these lines do not correlate to the actual form of the object since they are based upon empirical ly sensed properties of the object . This inference is the crux behind the problem of universals. As we sense the textural presence of these â€œcenters,â€ we immediately proceed to abstract out their logical rules. These â€œrulesâ€ are what Arnheim calls the structural net ting and is what this study is calling the structural language of architecture. These hidden lines , that exist and find 156 Ibid.
162 expression through the textural points , are the means by which we can mentally fold the object into a structural understanding of the object . This 3D model is the enfo lded structure of the unfolded texture. By enfolding the unfolded points of the s urfaces , we re build a three dimensional schema of the object. This schema is what is codified and communic able to another person, i.e. a â€œsqua re.â€ This structural net is the in formation of the surface. At this point, we sense these concentrations of difference around points and centers but have not yet identified or abstracted ideas such as lines and faces which is left for the structural langu age of architecture to express . In this way, we begin to â€œplayâ€ with the textural experience and attempt different 3 D structuralizations as we try to â€œfigureâ€ out what it is that we are experiencing. We can see that the notion of figuration is the â€œplaying with ideas.â€ In other words, there we play with through geometric transformations and manipulations , much like kindergarteners do with Froebelâ€™s figurings . In fact , the Figuring Institute, based upon Froebelâ€™s theories, defines â€œTo Figureâ€ as: â€œTo form or shape, to trace, to reckon or calculate, to represent in a diagram or picture, to ornament or adorn with a design or pattern.â€ German scientist Friedrich Froebel summarized many of the se ideas in his formation of kindergarten education. His re envisioning of childhood learning laid the grounds for modernist art, architecture , and design. â€œLe Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller are all documented attendees of kindergarten.â€157 These figurations are abstractions of textural effects on the smaller scale, and str uctural effects at the scale of the entire building. In his own words, Froebel describes the kindergarten education process as one where â€œthe divine essence of man should be unfolded, brought out, lifted into 157 Wertheim, â€œInventing Kindergarten: An Online Exhibit to Compliment the Inventing Kindergarten Exhibition at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design.â€
163 consciousness.â€158 Froebelâ€™s system of geometrically playing with the principles of transformation became the â€œseed bed of Modernist Art.â€159 Let us demonstrate a key aspect of the textural langu age through the process and transformation of sensory input ( Figure 60). Figure 60 â€“ Ordinary visual experience (left), The t extural aspects of ordinary experience (right). Photo, Stephen Baker. In this example, t he left hand image shows an ordinary photo of a desk by a window with â€œ stuff â€ on it. This photo represents the typical raw and fragmented nature of sensory input the comes from our visual array. T he right hand image is the same photo that has gone through some transformations, such as rotat ion and color correct ion. These transformations make the things in the photograph less identifiable , and, therefore, they express a better example of the pure textural aspect of this experience. By manipulating the image, we have made it less identifiable, and, therefore, the image keeps the beholder within the textural sense. This lack of identifiability forms a sense of mystery since the image is now less identifiable . However, given some time, one can begin identify some objects by structuralizing and figuralizing the image on the right. 158 Wertheim, â€œThe Seed Bed: An Essay about Kindergarten, Modernism, and the Value of Womenâ€™s Work.â€ 159 Ibid.
164 These transformations made on the right hand image are the methods of collage . Collage is a key design methodology of modern and post modern architecture. Collage is a method of getting at to our purely textural sense of experiences. If we further abstracted out the image on the right identify boundaries of each intensity, then we begin to illustrate the m odern and post modern design method. The color corrected image on the right is very familiar to the plans, elevations, and sections of a lot of post modern architectural design methods, as is seen in Figure 61. Figure 61 â€“ T he t extural effects of plan in Richard Meierâ€™s Church of the Jubilee. Photo of a model of the Church of the Jubilee (left), the Floor plan of the Church of the Jubilee (right).160 In each of these examples, the goal is affect , in other words, to keep the observer within the immediate moment of the textural effects of architectural experience . This forcing to remain below the threshold of grasp ability is the definition of the sublime (Latin: sub= up to; 160 Source: https://www.morphosis.com/architecture/161/ , accessed June 6, 2018. http://www.richardmeier.com/?projects=jubilee church 2, accessed June 6, 2018. Model Photography, Jock Pottle.
165 limen = threshold). By doing so, the observer remains below the threshold of structural understanding and remain s in the sublime. Finally, the g eometry of the textural language of architecture involves the diversity of multiple things that lie on the surface of the structural language of architecture. For example, the textural language of architecture is the stones and bricks that make up a point (column), a line (beam), or a plane (floor or ceiling). Since texture is primarily concerned with difference , the primary geometric property is fragmented, intense, sharp, and diverse. In some sense, the aesthetic pleasure derived from the textural langua ge deals with all the unrepressed aspects of sensual experienceâ€” all of our memories, feelings, emotions, loves and hates. Moreover, to abstract out the structural framework , we need to suppress , to some degree, the rawness of the textural language . A bstraction is the smoothing out of the raw diversity and multiplicity that comes from sensual information. Therefore, the textural and structural are highly interrelated, as shown in the following examples: Figure 62 â€“ The r aw textural language of architecture . Photo, Stephen Baker.
166 Figure 63 â€“ The s tructural language of architecture being abstracted . Photo, Stephen Baker. Figure 64 â€“ The purely structural language of archi tecture. The textural language of architecture is like an allegorical â€œveil â€ that , in on e regard , hides , and , in another regard , reveals the inherent structural structure beneath the textural surface. A true expression of the chapel depicted in these images included both forms of architectural language. The interplay between the textural and structural languages generates what we consider to be a â€œchapel,â€ or the â€œfigureâ€ we are experiencing. The G eometry of the Structural language of Architecture ( Structure expressed ) Different f ro m the textural language of architecture, the structural language of architecture is strictly objective , schematic, inferred , and three dimensional . The structural la nguage of architecture can be imagined to be the scaffolding that â€œmakes upâ€ the shape of the
167 building. The primary sensible surface properties of elements that inform this scaffold building are the fold lines and corners that occur in an environment or object . One of the key characteristics of the structural language of architecture is our ability to form categories . Categorization is our ability to categorize the fragments from our experience of textur e into similar identifiable groups . As mentioned, the structural language of architecture is concerned with forming wholes and entireties from disparate things. The structural language finds its impulse in our desire to form a Gestalt. For example, as we come across a building our attentio n arrest s. W e begin to observe this ONE thing as A thing. As we move from the rawness of the textural experience, we begin to categorize this experience according to things that are similar. From this, we explore the relation of the different parts to the whole and try to form conceptual layers and organizational frameworks that re construct the whole and infer a 3 D schematic model of understanding. So how does this categorization operate? For this, we need to consider the idea of â€œchunking .â€ Chunking is the categorizing method that organizes raw data into patterns. W e start to group and â€œchunkâ€ textural differences into a hierarchy of layered complexity. This development of higher level concepts is analogous to how we see patterns with in a raw stream of data represented as â€œ1â€™sâ€ and â€œ0â€™sâ€. Consider the following two series of numbers: Figure 65 â€“ Two strings of numbers . 0110010110100101111010100 vs. 0010011001100100100110011001
168 Also, to the right of each stri ng of numbers is a graphical representation of each string with the 1â€™s represented as a filled circle and the 0â€™s as an empty circle. As we look at these two strings of 1â€™s and 0â€™s, one may notice within ourself the immediate desire to group or chunk these two strings of data into codifiable structures of similar. In other words, we innately seek patterns . The observer may also intuitively sense that the first string is very difficult to grasp or to form discernible pattern s , while the second string presents some sense of patterning or similarities . The first string of numbers can only be described by literally repeating the numbers according to their specific sequence. In other words, to structuralize this series of information one needs to proceed li nearly through the string of numbers and experience each digit for exactly what it is and where it is in the series . The randomness of the first string of numbers prevents one from inferring a hierarchy of information. In other words, it prevents one from structuring the experience into something that is easily recalled . However, the second number has several levels of organization, groupings, chunks, patterns, symmetries , and hierarchical structure to it ( Figure 66) : Figure 66 â€“ A string of numbers with inherent hierarchies. We can conceptualize and form layers of sub groups within in the second series of numbers . The structuring process c ompres se s this series of numbers into a formula such as ( Figure 67 ): Figure 67 â€“ A series of numbers as a formula (that which structures) . Hierarchy Level 3 Hierarchy Level 2 Hierarchy Level 1 001 0011 0011 001 0011 0011 001 ((00 1) + (2(0011))) x 2
169 Notice that we can codify and compress this series of numbers into a formula. This formula is the structural logic behind the second series of numbers; the formula is the logos . Furthermore, by chunking together things that repeat, we categorize these rep e titions into patterns or chunks which would form higher levels of wholes and concepts. It is important to see tha t hierarchy and chunking express a type of narrative , one that has a beginning, middle, and an end. In the first series of numbers, which is a purely unordered raw textural experience; there is no apparent pattern and no overall beginning, middle, or end. In this unordered series there are only perpetual beginnings. This expression of perpetual beginning is shown to be a crucial aspect of the post modern mindset.161 The notion of perpetual beginning s is also the key design methodology of the textural language of architecture. The process of structuralizing and forming higher levels of organization allows us to form a Gestalt from our experience. This Gestalt is a 3 D model of abstracted logic which forms a communicable â€œwordâ€ that we can share with each other . The desire to form a Gestalt stems from our intuitive ability to sense symmetries, spacing, and patterns . This innate ability to form hierarchies at different scales, which occurs by relating the parts to the whole, allows us to form â€œdeeperâ€ layers of m eaning from the raw textural sense of the series of numbers ( Figure 68). 161 The reader is referred back to the analysis in Chapter II on Deleuzeâ€™s â€œplane of immanenceâ€ whereby there are only â€œhaecceities, affects, subjectless individuations that constitute collective assemblages . which knows only longitudes and latitudes, speeds and haecceities, the plane of consistency or composition (as opposed to a plan(e) of organization or development) .â€ From Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition (London: Continuum, 2004), 286.
170 Figure 68 â€“ Structural and textural in r elation to each other . This deeper meaning is something inferred from the array of textural experience. This deeper structural understanding is the logos of God, according to the Catholic Incarnational worldview. The primary geometric symbol used in the structural language of architecture is the line. This is due to its relationship to folding and the formation of relationships. I n the De re A edificatoria , Leon Batista Alberti refers to the symbolism of the structural language as â€œlineament ,â€ which is the line in the mind of the architect.162 As abstr actions, t hese structural lines concern themselves with smoothness, refinement, and essences. These 3 D line schemas are data compressions of raw information. The structural language of architecture does not concern itself with the marginal for that is the nature of the textual language . The structural language of architecture is concerned only with the smooth, integral , and â€œperfectâ€ image of our experience. In this way, t he structural language of architecture follows rules and forumulas , such as : â€œform follows function; â€ â€œtruth to materials ; â€ â€œtruth against the world; â€ â€œless is more; â€ â€œa house is a machine for living in ; â€ and â€œpurity of form.â€ Many of these are the mantras of modernism. In addition to the structural language of architecture being concerned with lines , it is also concerned with the hierarchical connections and levels of scale that these lines make and 162 John S. Hendrix, â€œLeon Battista Alberti and the Concept of Lineament,â€ School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation, no. 30 (2011): 30, http://docs.rwu.edu/saahp_fp/30. Structure forms hierarchies of scale and layers of meaning Texture senses symmetries, spacing, and patterns of sameness and difference Hierarchy Level 3 Hierarchy Level 2 Hierarchy Level 1 001 0011 0011 001 0011 0011 001
171 produce. In other words, these lines indicate higher levels of order ing . For example, in Arnheimâ€™s structural net illustration above, the lineaments combine each center of attraction into relationships of a whole . Figure 69 â€“ Arnheimâ€™s â€œs tructural n et .â€163 These lineaments allow us to form categories from the particular centers expressed on the textural surface. Once we have established the relationships and ratio between the particular centers, we can begin to establish that we are looking at some â€œthingâ€ and that â€œthingâ€ might belong to a category , species, or figure. These categories are called â€œ figures â€ in this research. The structural language of architecture is logocentric since it relies heavily upon the identification, l ogic , and clarit y between the relationship of the centers of attraction. It builds individual experiences in to universal wholes that are easily understood. In this way, it tends to reject the personal and particular in preference for the universal. In other words, it seeks oneness over and against manyness and does so by speaking univocally about architectural meaning. 163 Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye , 13.
172 The typical design methodology and geometri c goal of the structural language of architecture are standardized, mechanized, and â€œone size fits all.â€ This standardization occurs typically through uniform and monotonous repetition of the grid. The interior of Light of the World offers a clear example of this design methodology â€”structure expressed. In Light of the World one can see how t he structural language of architecture is used to create the smooth, identifiable, uniform, controlled, and perfect whole . With this intended clarity as a goal, the structural language of architecture must repress differences, complexity, and mystery. The G eometry of the Figural Language of Architecture ( Figure e xpressed ) The figural language of architecture is heavily present in Catholic sacred architecture because it offer s an appropriate architectural expression of the analogical (unfol ding/enfolding) nature of the relationship between man and God. The figural language of architecture also speaks to the idea of intention, final goal , and purpose to the textural and structural experience. The figural language combines the particulars of t he textural with the universals of the structural into a figure. The figural language of architecture synthesizes by means of analogical reasoning, that is, it says this particular thing is like this universal thing. In short, the figural language of archi tecture is the buildingâ€™s â€œwhatness.â€ It is what the building is understood to be that the beholder infers from the textural and structural interplay. When we experience textural difference and infer the structural framework that connects t hese textural fo rces, we begin to identify what the things are . For example, we say it is a â€œcube,â€ a â€œbox,â€ or a â€œski slope church .â€ Pythagoras considered geometry as the â€œfigured numbers.â€ Pythagoras illustrates the difference between numbers (texture) and geometry (str ucture) and identity (figure) by the illustrating numbers as â€œpatterns and dotsâ€ ( Figure 70).
173 Figure 70 â€“ Mathematics as Figures; triangle numbers, square numbers, and rectangle numbers .164 Likewise, certain geometric symbols align themselves with the figural language of architecture . This idea is similar to the series of numbers illustrated earlier, where by num bers are the â€™sâ€ and â€œ0â€™s,â€ and geometry is the configuration of the â€œ1â€™sâ€ and â€œ0â€™sâ€ and the figural is the combination of these two understandings. In the example above , the i nfinite stream of numbers , of which mathematic s is, has been enfigured into larger structural patterns of organization, i.e. , a triangle or square. Do es the universal logic exist in in these patterns ? Or are they just raw numbers that we abstract into pattern s? Does this logic exist in the logic but is only hidden from our view? Alternatively , are the figures of the triangle and square just figments of human construct ? The post structuralist, deconstructivists, and post modernists would argue â€œyes ,â€ these figurings are only human constructs . Furthermore, they contend that only the raw textural experience is â€œtrueâ€ or universal. In contrast, t he ideal ist and modernist would argue that the â€œtriangleâ€ and â€œsquareâ€ are â€œtrue,â€ and the textural difference is irrelevant. Different to each of these views is the Catholic worldview that sees both/and which allows for both forms of expression to occur and does not favor one over the other dialectically, rather this both/and is accomplished through analogy . 164 Paul Calter, Squaring the Circle: Geometry in Art and Architecture (Emeryville, Calif: Key College Pub, 2008), 6. â€œTriangularâ€ Numbers â€œSquareâ€ Numbers
174 Fractal geometry is a prime example of how the figural language of architecture speaks to both the universal structure and the particular texture . Fractals do so because they are concerned with a geometric expression that are in between whole and irrational numbers ; they are in between smooth and rough, chaos and order, texture and structure, finite and infinite. F ractal geometries express ed the dynamic interplay between the unfolded raw textural language of architecture ( sarx ) and enfol ded smooth structural language of architecture ( logos ) . Likewise, fractal geometries give visual expression to the transitional and inbetween space that exists between man and God. The formation of this fractal like transitional space is crucial to the ritual of the mass since it aids in forming a deeper understanding of the relationship that exists between man and God. In this way, the â€œ unfolding/enfoldingâ€ nature of fractal geometry captures the dynamic relationship between the divine Original and man, t he created image.165 At once, fractal geometric expressions are â€œlikeâ€ and â€œu nlikeâ€ God, and this like/unlike viewpoint is only achievable through analogical reasoning. The primary geometric of Catholic sacred architecture is fractal like. This fractal expression is due primarily to the nature of fractal geometry as being an approp riate expression of the both/and of Catholicism. As a geometry of roughness, fractal geometry resides between the raw textural chaos of meaningless impulses, and idealized smooth geometries formed by the intellect. In this way, fractal geometry is appropri ate to Catholic sacred architecture since fractal geometry measures and makes visible the in between realm of texture and structure , fragment and whole, chaos and order . Fractals express both the inherent structural language of their transformations, and t he visual , textural 2.5dimensional aspect of these manipulations. For 165 Clyde Lee Miller, â€œCusanus, Nicolaus [Nicolas of Cusa],â€ in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , ed. Edward N. Zalta, Summer 2017 (Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 2017).
175 example, the result of this unfolding/enfolding process is the revelation of the underlying structure of the process ( Figure 71). Figure 71 â€“ Unfolded texture (left) and Enfolded f orm (right) .166 A fractal reiteratively unfolds lines which produce an excellent geometric expression of the unfolding/enfolding analogy since the visual patterns that fractals make through geometric transformations. Fractal geometries encapsulate the very essence of this thesis . It is appropriate that fractals would be used by architects to express the signs and symbol of heavenly realities. Fractals achieve the dialectically impossible task of earth revealing heaven, by analogically a llowing the beholder to visualize both the textural and structural structures of buildings. Interestingly, fractal geometries are highly present in Catholic sacred architecture, and their presence crosses differing time periods, cultures, and architectural styles. 166 Illustration, Peter Raedschelders . http://users.math.yale.edu/public_html/People/frame/Fractals/Vlinders.gif (accessed May 1, 2018). The 2.5D textural aspect of a â€œsnowflakeâ€ fractal The inherent structural aspect of a â€œsnowflakeâ€ fractal
176 The figural language of architecture forms a buildingâ€™s unique identity and individuality while also expressing a hidden structural logic. For example, the figuration of a flower reveals its inner structure and organization through heightened colors and shapes which entices a bee to seek it out and to find it. This heightening of the inner structure through textural expression helps the flow er to distinguish itself apart from the other parts of the plant. Louis Sullivan offers a poetic descript ion of the intent of figuration in his Ornament in Architecture : â€œA n individuality as marked as that which exists among men, making them distinctly separable from each other . therefore signify the highest expression and embodiment of individuality .It is the â€œunfolding of the soul.â€167 Architect Louis Sullivan offers an informative illustration of the figural language as fractal like in his â€œAwakening of the Pe ntagonâ€ ( Figure 72 ). Figure 72 â€“ Louis Sullivan , â€œAwakening of the Pentagon .â€168 Here, Sullivan â€œplasticizesâ€ two dimensional forms with fractal textures through the addition of floral patterns . This process of unfolding the soul of the pentagon, texturalizes the structure with gradients and shadow s . In a metaphysical sense, Sullivanâ€™s textu r aliz ation of structure with figura l elements is the unveiling of the objectâ€™s more perfect and tru er self. Sullivanâ€™s figural expression reveals itself as the efflorescence of the inner structural language of ar chitecture. 167 Louis Sullivan, â€œOrnament in Architecture,â€ accessed March 13, 2018, https://www.readingdesign.org/ornament in architecture/ First pub lished in The Engineering Magazine , 1892. 168 Louis Sullivan, A System of Architectural Ornament , 1st ed. (Eakin Press, 1967), 4.
177 Similar to allegory and other figural languages of speech in literature , the figural architectural language at once reveals and conceals ; it unveils and veils the true nature of the object. Enf iguration is the raiment , efflorescence, and radiance that heightens our sense of the underlying structural language . Additionally, figuration individuates the building from universal forms while it also speaks to these universal ideals. Figuration also allows one to sympathize w ith universals by making them uniquely individual. Figuration is the return to the material and textural , but now with a new understanding of the structural order of the object. Once we have grasped the structural language of the experience, we seek to ado rn and ornament what we understand. Lastly, enfigurement deals with the analogical and comparative relationships that exist between texturalization and structural ization. For example, it relates the human experience to the part whole relationship. Enfigure ment finds express ion through geometric forms that are fractal like allegorizations of natural forms and personifications of human beings. In this way, enfigurement uses the concept of narrative storytelling to relate the particular to the universal, man t o God. For Catholics, this finds a prime example in the Incarnation of Christ, the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Ornament in Incarnational Terms The ornamental pattern of Catholic sacred architecture attempts to not only symbolize the Word bec oming flesh, but also emphasizes the importance of dwelling within this paradox through narrative, allegory, and storytelling. The figural design method expres se s the dynamic relationship that exists between conceptual ideas like texture and structure , the part and the whole, oneness and manyness, finite and infinite, and man and God. It literally and figuratively places humanity in between these two conceptual realms of finite and infinite . It accomplishes
178 this expression primarily through the use of analogical reasoning, geometric proportion, and personification. The enfigured design approach neither overwhelms the beholder by speaking univocally of the structural whole which comes from analytical refection (pure structure ), nor does it speak equivocally a s to a chaotic assemblage of equalized parts that comes from direct experience (puretexture), rather the enfigured design approach expresses a sense of fullness betwixt and between these two concepts.169 It does so by dwelling within the transitional space that forms between univocal oneness and equivocal manyness. From this point of reasoning, the messiness of the real, the finite, and the immanence of nature can offer a glimpse of the infinite and transcendent nature of God. In fact, by allegorizing this expression, it offers a fuller glimpse than the either/or of pure texture and pure structure . This allegorization is the traditional, classical, and enduring design patter n of Catholic sacred architecture. In contrast, the modern and postmodern design approaches show their affinities for either of the two polar extremes; they either emphasize pure textural methods or pure structural methods. By overemphasizing one approach over the other, the modern and postmodern design methods strain oneâ€™s attempt to form analogical perspectives of their expression, and that is intentional. As a particular building presents itself to us, it â€œ speaks â€ to use via its material expression. What the building â€œsaysâ€ is the message that the beholder must interpret. In other words, the beholder reverses the textural process by reenfolding the display of the building before them into structural understandings. In other words, the architect, through the building, unfolds an enfolded idea, and the beholder re enfolds it into some form of meaning. This dynamic exchange 169 Turner expands upon Arnold van Gennepâ€™s notion of liminality, whereby there is a middle stage to rituals when the participant â€œstands at the thresholdâ€ between their former identity and the new one established by the ritual encountered. Victor Witter Turne r, The Forest of Symbols (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967).
179 is the communication process that occurs between the architect, building, and beholder. From a secular and material point of view, a bui lding may speak solely to its material self, its autonomy, its fragmented ness, and its otherness â€”its immanence. From a spiritual, religious, and final cause point of view, a building must speak beyond itself to oneness, final ness, fullness, and wholeness â€”it transcend s the material . Either way, for a building to be coined â€œ architectureâ€ it must speak of some â€œthing,â€ whether that â€œthingâ€ transcends itself or whether that â€œthingâ€ is itself. In summary: t he textural language associates primarily with the tw o dimensional surface distinction we make between sameness and difference . In this way, the geometric language of the part, fragment, texture, distinction, contrast, matter, and autonomy become the primary vocabulary of this language. The textural language of architecture uses the process of transformation which manifests forms; it transforms universal forms or schemas into matter ; it is literal in its quest for material causes; it is immanence , and it is the unfolding of forms between sameness and differen ce. The structural language of architecture associates primarily with the three dimensional spatial distinction we make between identifiability and mystery. In this way, the geometric language of the whole, symmetry, Plutonic and Euclidean solids, and completeness become the primary vocabulary of this language. The structural language of architecture uses a process of transfiguration which manifests figures; it transfigures particulars into universals and makes figures out of particulars; it is rhetorical in its quest for final causes; it is transcendence , and it is the enfolding into figures between identity and mystery .
180 Microscopic dust There exists the need to explain the distinction between the structural lines in the mind of the architect and the material expression of that idea in the building . This distinction has a long history in architectural theory as Professor John Hendrix comments on Leon Battista Albertiâ€™s â€œlineament .â€ Hendrix notes , â€œThe distinc tion between mind and matter plays a key role in architectural design throughout the history of Western architecture.â€170 W e can describe the distinction between the idea in mind (lineament/schema) through the analogy of a letter, the letter â€˜ g , â€™ being laser printed on a piece of paper ( Figure 73) . g Figure 73 â€“ Microscopic view of a laser computer print, showing the unique 'dusty' ink pattern171 . A laser printed letter is perhaps one of the cleanest means we currently have for printing a clear, clean, precise, or â€œ pure â€ letter on a sheet of paper. The precision of laser light increases the clarity and identifiability of the shape on the paper. The laser printed letter is as close to the structural language as we can get with printing technology. At one level of scale, the material representation of ink on paper corresponds extremely well to the schema or the idea in the mind 170 Hendrix, â€œLeon Battista Alberti and the Concept of Lineament,â€ 1. 171 Left photo, http://www.cycleback.com/printsexamination/thirteen.html. Right photo, (right) http://www.bit101.com /blog/wp content/uploads/2010/08/news_400x.jpg (accessed March 3, 2018)
181 of a â€œ g â€ letter. However , no matter how clear and how pure of form that this technique produces, the reality is that matter has to be scattered and unfolded so that the form can be revealed . This scattering appears as microscopic dust shown in the middle and right image of Figure 73. In this example, the sign unfolds the enfolded signified and in betwee n we achieve the symbol â€“using the terms of this thesis, the textural language unfolds the structural language . F or the idea of the letter â€œ g â€ to become visible , it needs to become this letter â€œ gâ€¢â€ and not that letter â€œ gâ€¢â€ The microscopic dust particularizes the universal idea of a perfect letter â€œ g . â€ These dust patterns are the figuration and particularization of the idea of a line â€”they are the textural aspects of this particular line. For Catholicism, the question of what are we trying to symbolize is not an either/or proposition that must choose between texture and structure . Rather, t he mo re enduring pattern in Catholic sacred architecture is the both/and expression of form , texture, and figure, Word and flesh. For Cat holics , there is the ideal and final form of reality, and there is the matter of life which unfolds that idea through narrative, storytelling, and allegory. Catholic sacred architecture is trying to express both realities â€”the pure idea with matter unfolding it â€”the ideal whatness of a structural idea along with the particular thisness of each church. Continuing with the laser printed â€œ g ,â€ Catholic sacred architecture typically does not brush away the microscopic dust, rather it enhances it, amplifies it, an d celebrates it. The microscopic dust is the â€œ enfleshment â€ of the Word . It makes the underlying form Incarnate. O rnament applied to structure is the primary means for expressing this aspect of reality. The microscopic dust of architecture is the ornament o f filigree , frames , Gothic finials , tracery ; the moldings of cornices, bases, trim, and openings; the tracery along the ribbing of arches; and the fractalized frames around figures depicted in stained glass windows.
182 The microscopic dust sits â€œin betweenâ€ the form (Word) and the textural expression of this form (flesh) and produces a radiant bond between the figure and the background. This dust rests, connects, and binds the â€œ g â€ to the physical world. It makes the perfect idea of what a â€œ g â€ is â€œdwellâ€ on th e sheet of paper. We cannot experience the â€œ g â€ dwelling unless we have the scattering of it and unfolding of the idea in the material world. Gothic churches are a prime example of this fractal like unfolding/ enfolding process . The result is an architectural style that exudes fractals. * Figure 74 â€“ Filigree and tracery as fractal like â€˜microscopic dust.â€™ Catholic sacred architecture relies heavily upon fractal like geometry to express the both/and of Catholic theology and the Incarnational principle . To fu rther understand this, it is necessary to review more examples that span Catholics architectural styles and time periods. To do this, we will perform a h istorical c ase s tudy on the presence of f ractal g eometry in Catholic s acred a rchitecture and illustrate its r elationship to Catholic c osmology .
183 The Presence of Fractals in Catholic Sacred Architecture In the mid 1800â€™s , writing in The Stones of Venice, English art historian John Ruskin pointed out three virtues that a building must have: (1) that it act well ; (2) that it look well ; and that it speak well .172 Defining a building that acts well and looks well is difficult enough, but how exactly does one define a building that speaks well ? Now layer on the need for that building to speak about heavenly realities , and one has just described the chall enge of designing an effective Catholic church. T he US Council of Catholic Bishops in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal expressed the need for a church to effectively communicate ideas by reiterating , â€œThe places and requisites for worship should be truly worthy and beautiful, signs and symbols of heavenly realities .â€173 This excerpt describes not only the need for a church building to perform well but also the need for it to speak of a symbolic message. S ymbolis m e nfigur es a building with iconography and symbol s ; else they become only meanin gful as an assembly hall. Over the centuries, Catholic churches have developed a unique method of expression that communicates rather abstract ideas, such as beauty and meaning. Furthermore, the figural architectural language is used to communicate these ideas across vastly different cultures and time. So, perhaps the most crucial of Ruskinâ€™s three virtues is for a Catholic church to speak well. This section is a historical case study analysis of the methods by which churches express Catholic thought. This research is relevant because the Catholic Church identifies itself as having four distinct markings; they are one (unified), holy (set apart), catholic (universal), and apostolic (continuous) . For a Catholic church to possess these marks it must be singular in meaning, unique in its informational message, universally understood, and have a continuous heritage. 172 John Ruskin, â€œThe Stones of Venice, Ed,â€ JG Links, New York: Da Capo, 1960. 173 Bishops, â€œGeneral Instruction of the Roman Missal,â€ sec. 288.
184 Given this clearly defined description, one might expect the design of Catholic churches to remain constant, and yet they change over time, sometimes dramatically. Is there a universal commonality or a universal form to a Church? Social events happen , technological advancements occur , political views change, and varying theological interpretations emerge, but one aspect remains the sam e, Catholic churches predominantly embrace ornamentation. Moreover, this ornamentation produces fractal like geometric patterns as can be seen in Figure 75. Figure 75 â€“ Richard Silver, Vertical Churches , 2017.174 174 Church 1 Church of the Transfigurat ion, Krakow Poland. Church 2 Parish of St. Augustine, Vienna, Austria. Church 3 Wangfujing Catholic Church, Beijing China. Church 4 Church of St. Francis Xavier, New York. Photo, Richard Silver Source: http://www.richardsilverphoto.com/vertical chu rches/i87cnmwj6dx0lkebo3ecvomkvv9sp1. (accessed May 15, 2018. Used with permission).
185 These four panoramic photos of Catholic church ceilings illustrate the dynamic fractal patterning that occurs through ornamentation across culture, time, and location. Now, compare these photographs of â€œverticalâ€ churches to the imagery generated from a fractal generation software ( Figure 76 ). Figure 76 â€“ Computer generated Grand Julian IFS Fractal Images (left & middle left), Basilica S. Ignazio, Rome, Italy , 1650, ( middle right ) ; St. Mary's Cathedral, Yangon, Myanmar , 1899 (right) .175 In these images , one can see the striking similarities between the two Grand Julian IFS fractals and the photographs of the Catholic church ceilings. These two church ceilings come from Europe and Asia and represent Mannerist Baroque and neoGothic styles. Each of these ceilings exhibit s an underlying and repeating pattern which is articulate, expres sed, and made visible through the ornamentation of this structure . Also, these ceilings are fractal, not only because they have self similar geometries used throughout, but, more importantly, they have details at many 175 Fractal images created by Ross Hilbert using the Fractal Science Kit, used with permission. Vertical churches photographs by Richard Silver , used with permission .
186 different levels of scale. For example, if we were to zoom in on either of these churches, we would find more details exposed, just like what would happen if one were to zoom into the mathematically generated fractals of the Grand Julian IFS images. Another example of the use of fractal geomet ry to unfold and enfolded element is to analyze the patterns of varying Gothic columns. Figure 77 â€“ Fractal Koch Snowflake (left) , and s everal v arious s ections through Gothic church c olumns (right ).176 The Koch Snowflake is a fractal generated from a mathematical fractal equation that begin s with a triangle and them proceeds to unfold itself by dividing each side in half and then re inserting a replica of the triangle for each side. The following diagram illustrates th e fractal unfolding of a point ( Figure 78): Figure 78 â€“ Six Iterations of the Koch Snowflake .177 176 Koch snowflake by Stephen Baker. Column sections from https://etc.usf.edu/clipart/6100/6174/gothic_cols_1_lg.gif . (accessed April 3, 2018). 177 Derived from animated gif by . Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/Von _Koch_curve.gif .
187 Here, the structural language of a point unfolding into a twodimensional area as a triangle which unfolds into the 2.5dimensional texture. The structural language or logos of the point is being â€œenfleshedâ€ with geometric figuralizations of itself. In other words, the material expression of the point begins to fillout the structure o f the triangle and give it depth and texture. It is this textural language that we can see and sense, while it is the structural language of the abstract â€œpointâ€ that we understand. Each column of a Gothic church, or of any Catholic church that possesses this pattern . Each column is a structural point unfolding into a textural area which makes the f igure of a column. Even though churches contain the expressions of a particular religionâ€™s view, the patterns discovered have relevance to the greater pursuit of architecture. I n the article, Fractals and Picturesque Composition, Andrew Compton, suggests , â€œ studying fractals might help explain traditional rules of composition which otherwise seem today to be arbitrary and formalistic.â€178 The exists a significant presence of fractal geometry throug hout the buil t artifact of Catholic churches. Likewise, these fractal patterns in their presence and persistence reveal some insight about the people who built them , how they build , and which architectural principles were successful. The importance of a Catholic church to communicate Church theology is paramount to its effectiveness as a device to fulfill spiritual needs. Architect Michael Rose in Ugly as Sin states this well: â€œIf a Catholic church building does n' t reflect Catholic theology and ecclesiology, if the bui lding undermines or dismisses the natural laws of church architecture, the worshiper risks 178 Andrew Crompton, â€œFractals and Picturesque Composition,â€ Environment and Planning B 29, no. 3 (2002): 465.
188 accepting a faith that is foreign to Catholicism.â€179 This comment reflects the importance of a Catholic church that goes beyond a merely functional building or meeting hall. Likewise, a Catholic church must reflect this theology and worldview since that is the role of a sacramental device. Th e following study analysis finds fractal ordering an d its unifying component, ornamentation, are the primary means by which a Catholic church symbolizes Catholic cosmology. Also, the universality of ornamentation in Catholic churches raises the questions: Why are Catholic churches ornate? Is ornamentation t he defining characteristic of a Catholic? The answers must emerge from a careful study of the built expression of Catholics. Finally, this chapter attempts to answer the question, â€œWhat is the relationship between the presence of fractal geometrical order ing in Catholic sacred architecture and Catholic cosmology?â€ This casestudy will trace the presence of fractal geometrical ordering principles in Catholic churches by focusing on two categories: (1) a review of the Catholic worldview , and (2) a case study analysis of Holy Ghost Church, Denver, CO . Since this study seeks to define a relationship between geometry and philosophical ideas, it is therefore necessary to define the following topics: the nature of ornament, the nature of Catholic cosmology, the na ture of man, and the nature of order. This review will form the theoretical basis upon which the diagrammatic analysis of Holy Ghost Church will occur. a) The Nature of Ornament In the book, The Nature of Ornament , author Ken Bloomer describes the purpose of ornamentation as being an instrument that helps man to psychologically breakdown fragments of 179 Michael S Rose, Ugly as Sin: Why They Changed Our Churches from Sacred Places to Meeting Spaces and How We Can Change Them Back Again (Sophia Inst Press, 2001), 12.
189 perceived reality and to recompose them into newer meanings.180 He derives the psychological aspects of this claim for noted psychologist Donald Winnicott. Bloomer contends that ornamentation reframes oneâ€™s perception of the world and reorganizes it toward an alternate view. He also suggests that often ornamentation e xists at threshold in architecture and it mediates between two opposing elements. Bloomer explains this further; â€œ In order to mediate among things, the mechanisms of ornament must divide, transform, and reconventionalize the articles of mediation as well a s the meaning implicit in the states in which they were born. This particular activity creates metamorphoses, which obey the laws of ornament .â€181 For example, when two opposing elements confront a person, say a wall , and a door, the ornamental frame between the door and the wall mediates between the two of them. O rnamentation integrates the door frame with the wall and provides additional meaning to the transitional space and unifies the two elements into a single whole. More specifically, it unifies functional elements and infuses both of them with additional meaning. Ornament breaks down and fragments the elements it adorns and allows for the mental reframing of newer meaning for the user. A clear example of thi s is the front portal to Charters Cathedral in France. (see Figure 79.) 180 Kent Bloomer, The Nature of Ornament: Rhythm and Metamorphosis in Architecture (New York: WW Norton & Company, 2000), 86. 181 Ibid.
190 Figure 79 â€“ A photo demonstrating how o rnament m ediates between w all and door , Chartres Cathedral , Chartres, France, c1220.182 In the front portal of Chartres Cathedral, the transition from exterior to interior and from the wall to the door is heavily layered with imagery and symbolism. In this case, the symbolism prepares the inhabitant by re framing their mindset before entering into the â€œheavenly cityâ€ of the church interior. With this understanding, the entire church building functions as one large ornament and becomes a device that mediates the transition between God and man , heaven and earth . This 182 Photo, T. Taylor. n.d. Photograph of the front portal of Chartres Cathedral. Retr ieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Chartres_cathedral_porch_of_BVM_N_T Taylor.JPG (accessed April 13, 2017).
191 method of breaking down ide as and recombining them into newer meanings is one of the primary means by which ornamentation expresses Catholic thought. Bloomer expands on this concept further: Our memories and imaginations extend to realms, including material ones, beyond the building. As Donald Winnicott points out, we cannot even develop ourselves or our cultures without periodic movements into psychological spheres and moments of transition. These are the vital inbetween spaces of nonnegation. Such inbetween spaces are the limited domains of ornament, which if distributed carefully do not displace the domain of utilitarian reality but enhance it .183 As seen in Figure 79, the portal of Chartres Cathedral enhances the functional relationship between the wall and the door. Through the use of symbols, the portal layers Catholic cosmological meaning on top of the doorâ€™s purely utilitarian and structural meaning. With this in mind, the analysis portion of this research will focus on the use of ornamentation at the transitional elements of a building, such as the exterior to the interior, the opening of a window to the wall, or the connection of the column to a roof structure. Finally, to understand the particular message that a Catholic church must convey, the remaining review will, from a Catholic viewpoint, cover the nature of these topics: cosmos, man, and order. b) The Nature of the Cosmos The Catholic v iew on cosmology is the thought relevant to this research. Interestingly, the etymology of the word ornament stems from the Greek Kosmos, which means to â€œto arrange,â€ â€œto order,â€ and â€œto adorn .â€184 Being that ornamentation shares the same etymological root as the word cosmos, it is essential to this research to define Catholic cosmology. Therefore, this section focuses on the literature that defines Catholic cosmology. 183 Ibid, 208. 184 Ibid, 17.
192 Cosmology is the study of the universe and its causes. The primary source for Catholic cos mology comes from Thomas Aquinas , a doctor of the Catholic Church. Aquinas â€™ Summa Theologica synthesized Catholic thought as: 1. The cosmos or universe exists. 2. The existence of the cosmos has a cause. 3. That cause is God.185 In 1879, Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical Aeterni Patris , identified Thomasâ€™ work as the official philosophical and theological system of the Roman Catholic Church (Leo XIII 1879) .186 This decree reinforces worldview that the cosmos has an author, a cause, and order to it . This summary is the Churchâ€™s perspective. This ordered cosmos is the â€œ heavenly realities â€ mentioned previously that a church must convey. Pope Benedict XVI, in an address to the members of the Pontifical Academy, stated that the universe is â€œfar from originating out of chaos, [it] resembles an ordered book; it is a cosmos.â€ Therefore, the structural language of architecture plays a crucial part in means by which Catholics figure their world. Interdependent of the idea of an ordered universe is the idea of unity and wholeness. The Church describes herself as one of â€œ catholic unity and invincible stability .â€187 Unity is the essence of the Church , a nd the corpor e al world is a masterpiece of order and harmony , essential unity . Th is view of unity leads the review towards the Catholic philosophy on the corporeal world and manâ€™s place within it. 185 Feser, Aquinas: A Beginnerâ€™s Guide . 186 Leo XIII, Restoration of Christian Philosophy: Aeterni Patris: Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XIII (1878) (Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media, 1997). 187 Catholic_Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. (Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011), sec. 812.
193 c) The Nature of Man The Churchâ€™s philosophy on the nature of an ordered universe and manâ€™s existence within it is one of her most enduring philosophies .188 It has existed in one form or another from the earliest formation of the Churc h. This philosophy originates in antiquity with the writings of the Greeks with a special alignment with Aristotle . Catholic theology expands upon these ideas during the Byzantine and Scholastic era, and culminates in the Middle Ages with Thomas Aquinas .189 To some degree, all of Catholic theology builds from a Thomistic foundation. Aquinasâ€™s philosophy on the nature of man, similarly to Aristotle, states that the soul is the substantial form of the living body .190 Stated more simply: man = body + soul. In other words, man is both the configuration (body) and configured configurer (soul).191 The key concept to take from all of this is that Catholic identifies manâ€™s nature as a substantially unified whole. The Incarnation exemplifies t his body soul unity , whereby Christ is the â€œultimate norm of any relationship between God and manâ€ as a â€œhypostatic unionâ€ between the divine and human, universal and concrete.192 This understanding of substantial unity is otherwise known as hylomorphism in an Aristotelian Thomistic sense , and it is the principle position of the Catholic Church on the nature of man.193 Now that the Churchâ€™s view on the nature of the cosmos and man are understood, this leads the revie w towards Her understanding of the nature of order and its application to architecture. 188 Daniel Robinson, Human Nature in It s Wholeness: A Roman Catholic Perspective (Washington, D.C: Catholic University of America Press, 2006). 189 Feser, Aquinas: A Beginnerâ€™s Guide . 190 Gyula Klima, â€œThomistic â€˜Monismâ€™ vs. Cartesian â€˜Dualism,â€™â€ Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 10 (2007): 92â€“112. 191 Eleonore Stump, â€œNonCartesian Substance Dualism and Materialism without Reductionism,â€ Faith and Philosophy 12, no. 4 (2010): 505â€“31. 192 Joseph Palakeel, The Use of Analogy in Theological Discourse: An Investigation in Ecumenical Perspective (Roma: Pontificia universit g regoriana, 1995), 84 â€“85. 193 Feser, Aquinas: A Beginnerâ€™s Guide .
194 d) The Nature of Order Circa 1443, architect Leon Battista Alberti (14041472) wrote the ten book anthology De Re Aedificatoria (On the Art of Building). This work became the first thesis on the theory and practice of architecture and quickly became the model for building methods from the Renaissance onward. His theories on ornamentation are substantial. In fact, Alberti spends four of the ten books in De Re Aedificatoria on the nature of ornamentation alone. The principal term Alberti uses to describe ornamentation is concinnitas (skillfully joined or put together). He explains: It is the task and aim of concinnitas to compose parts that are quite separate from each othe r by their nature, according to some precise rule, so that they correspond to one another in appearance . . . . Neither in the whole body or in its parts does concinnitas flourish as much as it does in Nature herself; thus I might call it the spouse of the soul and of reason . . .. Everything that Nature produces is regulated by the law of concinnitas , and her chief concern is that whatever she produces should be absolutely perfect .194 Albertiâ€™s description of concinnitas relates the parts to the whole by follow ing a law that is regulated by Nature. What is this law? Rudolph Wittkower's classic study , Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism , describes Albertiâ€™s notion of concinnitas as â€œa rational integration of the proportions of all the parts of a building in such a way that every part has its absolutely fixed size and shape, and nothing could be added or taken away without destroying the harmony of the whole.â€195 Again, Wittkower describes elusive â€˜rules and lawsâ€™ that generate unity. C oncinnitas is the 2.5D of fractals and the figural language of architecture. C oncinnitas used the analogical means of reasoning to form meaning. Finally, Alberti must have been aware 194 Leon Battista Alberti et al., On the Art of Building in Ten Books (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1988), 422. 195 Rudolf Wittkower, Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism (WW Norton & Company, 1971), 447.
195 of Aquinasâ€™ philosophy on the nature of the cosmos and man. In fact, in Aquinas â€™ in his description of beauty , he uses the similar term consonantia. For Aquinas, consonantia involves â€œharmonyâ€ and â€œdue proportion.â€196 A rchitectur al ornament continuously s eeks u nity and wholeness, but the clear definition of either remains abstract. Alberti does not stand alone in his struggle to define wholeness and the â€œ laws of nature . â€ Over the centuries, many have theorized an d philosophized on what these laws are. More recently, in the book The Phenomenon of Life: The Nature of Order , architect and prominent theorist Christopher Alexander defines the â€œ law â€ of nature as â€œ centers ,â€ centers that generate wholeness. For Alexander states : view of a building as a whole means that we see it as part of an extended and undivided continuum. It i s not an isolated fragment in itself, but parts of the world which includes the gardens, walls, trees, streets beyond its boundaries, and other buildings beyond those. And it contains many wholes within it â€“ also unbounded and continuous in their connections. Above all, the whole is unbroken and undivided..197 However, running contrary to Alexander and Albertiâ€™s definition of wholeness is the fact that buildings are compiled from fragmented, ununified, divided, and individual parts. How then are they unified into a whole as Alexander and Alberti suggest? What architectural device manages to unify fragmented parts into a whole? Bloomer, Alberti, and Alexander suggest that thi s unification is the primary function of ornamentation. Alexander expands the definition of wholeness by developing the following fifteen principles of wholeness in architecture , of which are the primary tools of ornament : 1. Levels of scale 2. Strong centers 3. B oundaries 196 Denis McNamara, Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy (Liturgy Training Publication, 2009), X. 197 Christopher Alexander, â€œThe Phenomenon of Life: The Nature of Order, Book 1,â€ 2004, 80.
196 4. Alternating repetition 5. Positive space 6. Good shape 7. Local symmetries 8. Deep interlock and ambiguity 9. Contrast 10. Gradients 11. Roughness 12. Echoes 13. The Void 14. Simplicity and Inner Calm 15. Not separateness Alexander posits that the more of these fifteen characteristics that an object possesses, the more wholeness it will contain . Furthermore, he claims that humans have an innate attraction to objects with high levels of wholeness. Often this list of fifteen principles can be daunting since everything in the world has each of these features to some degree. However, is there a tool or mathematical principle that can be used to identify natural order? Recent theories in mathematics may help define the laws of na ture, unity, order, and wholeness. The review of l iterature review leads to the current development of fractals . The term f ractal graphical ly display s mathematical functions as developed by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot. The discovery of fractal geometry has made it possible to explore and measure the roughness that exists in nature. Mandelbrotâ€™s discovery has further developed into the field of fractal geometry .198 The term fractal comes from the Latin verb frangere , which means "to break ." It shares the same root as â€œfraction ,â€ which is a number that lies between integers. These terms, fraction, fracture, break, and recursion ( re conventionalize ) are all words used by Bloomer to describe the mechanics of ornamentation and Albertiâ€™s concin nitas . However, even though fractals involve fragments and isolated parts, their recursive nature results in the emergence of a 198 Benoit B Mandelbrot, The Fractal Geometry of Nature (Macmillan, 1983).
197 unified whole. In fact, fractal mathematics results in forms that closely follow the rule of nature, perhaps more closely than A lbertiâ€™s insistence on Platonic forms of sphere, cube, and triangle: all of which Alberti claims is the true order behind natureâ€™s forms. Another feature of fractal formulas is that they result in numbers that stretch to infinity. T he se formulas have been known for a long time. Plato placed them in the lower realm of changing dynamics and labeled them as â€œflux,â€ which in the Greek is â€œdiarrhea.â€199 Aristotle also understood these formulas and described them as â€œinfinity + infinity = infinity, which is â€˜self annihilatingâ€™ and should, therefore, only be approached but not calculated.â€200 Perhaps Aristotle banned dynamic and recursive formulas due to the fact that they are extremely labor intensive to calculate. Perhaps they were dismissed more out of convenience than as something of non existence. With the onset of a computerâ€™s ability to calcul ate formulas ad infinitum , Mandelbrot was , for the first time , able to calculate these banished â€œ monster â€ equations. In doing so, Mandelbrot made an interesting discovery; the formulas generated graphical patterns that remarkably resembled natural features . Mountains, trees, landscapes, and other organic forms grew out of these â€œ monster â€ formulas. In fact, he was able to demonstrate that fractal patterns exist throughout all of nature. Perhaps this is the elusive law described in Albertiâ€™s and Aquinasâ€™ conc innitas . To further understand fractal patterning, it helps to look at nature since they are present in almost every aspect of the material world .201 One of the easiest ways to comprehend a fractal pattern is to think of the coastline along the ocean , a head of cauliflour, or a lightning bolt ( Figure 80 ). 199 Ron Eglash, African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design (Rutgers University Press, 1999). 200 Ibid, 205. 201 Mandelbrot, The Fractal Geometry of Nature .
198 Figure 80 â€“ A photo showing fractal patterns in nature .202 In these examples, one can see the key characteristic of a fractal pattern, that is, the inability to define the edge where the pattern starts and ends. Furthermore, a s one magnifies the image , they find the same patterns in lower scales as would be found in the larger scale view . This similarity at various magnifications demonstrates two closely related characteristics of fractals: 1) They 202 Webcoist. 2008. http://webecoist.com/wp content/uploads/2008/08/fractals in nature.jpg . (accessed October 2, 2017) .
199 show complexity at every magnification; 2) Their edges and interfaces are not smooth but are either perforated or crinkled.203 This naturally occurring pattern allows objects to interlock between uppe r and lower levels of structural hierarchy . Figure 81 further illustrates what a fractal is : Figure 81 â€“ E. Roberts , Examples of f ractal patterns .204 From left to right, the seed shape is hexagon, triangle, square, and triangle. A fractal algorithm subdivides the edges of the seed shape, inserts a scaled down self similar shape, and then mathematically repeats the process towards infinity. T he resulting form is similar to the original, but now it has transitional edges that reflect the original seed shape. In this way, each smaller part resembles the whole. To the right of these shapes is another sample of a Koch curve where the fracturing an d re inserting process occurs on a line from the top down. Fractal ordering reflects the idea of wholeness in that all of the parts reflect the larger whole at various levels of 203 Nikos A Salingaros, â€œFractals in the New Architecture,â€ Archimagazine [ineraktyvus] , 2001. 204 Untitled illustration of fractals. http ://www cs faculty.stanford.edu/~eroberts/courses/soco/projects/200809/modeling natural systems/Fractal1_1000.gif (accessed November 26, 2010) .
200 scaling. Finally, a s with ornamentation, fractal patterns exist on the edges and inbetween spaces of elements. To further aid in our analysis , this research will use the list of essential factors that defined a fractal as described in African Fractals by mathematician Ron Eglash. Eglash states that the essenti al elements of fractal geometry are: (1) recursion ; (2) scaling ; (3) selfsimilarity ; (4) infinity ; and (5) fractal dimension .205 With this list, fractal concepts offer the ability to quantitatively and qualitatively describe the roughness of the material world, something that has eluded scientist, mathematicians, and architects for centuries. e) Summary of Historical and Literary Findings Todayâ€™s theoretical pursuits in architecture ha d all but dismissed the use and effectiveness of the classical architectural orders that express a sense of unity. The recent shift away from unity is a topic of discussion am ong Poststructuralists as William S. Haney II (2009) says: Western tradition of â€˜the metaphysics of presence,â€™ Derrida deconstructs all theoretical models that would explain the diversity of human experience in terms of the ideals of universality. While modernists such as Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot have expressed nostalgia for an age of faith and wholeness, postmodernists such as Derrida and Roland Barthes celebrate fragmentation as liberating and even exhilarating (p . 19). However, has the wholesale dismissal of traditional architectural design methods abandoned underlying knowledge? Modern buildings are identifiable by their lake of ornamental linkage between scales, and their resulting nonfractal nature. Nikos Salingaros contends that it has: â€œ T raditional architecture, on the other hand, including that in a Classical style, tends to be explicitly fractal. B uildings of all periods and styles express f ractal subdivisions and scaling, and 205 Eglash, African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design.
201 this crucial characteristic divides contemporary architecture from much of what has been built before . â€206 Perhaps through inquiry and analysis of enduring buildings , one might, as Professor Antoine Picon in his book Ornament suggests, formulate â€œa rewarding framework for man and society. . . What we need today are rules, not styles, r ules that may help us to attribute meaning to our actions .207 Fractal geometry and theory offers these rules for meaning formation. I t is determined that the key principles of Catholic thought that a Catholic church needs to be expressed are: (1) man is a substantially unified form of body and soul who exists in a universe ordered by God; (2) wholeness is the primary characteristic of the cosmos, man, and architectural ordering; (3) fractal geometry provides a theoretical framework from which wholeness can be qualitatively defined. At this point, we will perform a narrative exposition case study analysis of Holy Ghost Catholic Church (1949) located in Denver, CO. The analysis will focus on how the architect used fractal ordering and ornamentation in the foll owing building components: floor, wall, opening, column, and ceiling. This list will be the limit of components analyzed in this study. Holy Ghost Catholic Church is chosen because the researcher has rare access to it and has been working for some time wi th its pastor, Father Chris Url. Also, the architect Jules Jacques Benedict was the architect for the Archdiocese of Denver, where he designed three significant churches: Christ the King Chapel, Holy Ghost Church, and St. Catherineâ€™s Chapel. Benedict has close to seventy five buildings built in Colorado, and many are nominated for preservation on the National Historic Register, including all of his churches. According to historians Laurie and Thomas Simmons (1997), Benedictâ€™s religious buildings are â€œ. . . representative of the work of a 206 Nikos A. Salingaros, â€œArchitecture, Patte rns, and Mathematics,â€ Nexus Network Journal 1, no. 1â€“2 (1999): 75â€“86. 207 Picon, Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity , 149.
202 master architect, for their high artistic values, and as significant examples of specific architectural styles, including (but not limited to) many of the revival styles representative of Benedictâ€™s Ecole des Beaux Arts tra ining .â€208 These two qualifiers , and the fact that no study of Holy Ghost Church has occurred before , makes Holy Ghost an ideal sample for this research. The data collection entails an onsite photographic survey of the interior sanctuary area. The qualitative analysis of findings entail s a diagrammatic drawing of each of these photographs to highlight the ordering of Holy Ghost Church. These diagrams provide data to support the comm entary on whether or not Holy Ghost fulfills its requirement of expressing Catholic cosmology. This study is not intended to be a definitive statement that proves all the reasons and principles that went into designing Catholic churches. Rather, the case i s built to understand the physical history of the structure and to set within the context of a larger ancestral and philosophical history that underpins its architectural meaning. Prominent Colorado architect, Jules Jacques Benedict, who designed Holy Ghos t Church, shared his views on church architecture in the Denver Catholic Register (1925): The fact remains, however, that unless the Church revives the practice of symbolizing its thought by means of the language of art, which all can read, and which has been evolved because of a spiritual demand, it will as completely pass away as a means of architectural expression as other formulas which were once of widespread interest to the laity .209 Benedict was clear in his objective for churches to express Catholic thought through symbolism. His work provides a local example of how churches express Catholic thought , and the analysis of his work can shed light on the research question. 208 R. Laurie Simmons and Thomas H. Simmons, The Architecture of Jules Jacques Benois Benedict in Colorado, 2005, 75. 209 Ibid, 28.
203 As mentioned, this analysis will focus on the mediating principles of ornamentatio n among the following building components of Holy Ghost Church: floor, wall, opening, column, and roof. The commentary will focus on two questions: (1) Do the patterns contain the fractal properties of recursion, scaling, self similarity, and infinity? (2) How well does the ornamentation unite opposing elements into a unified whole? Figure 82 presents several photographs that were stitched together, projected onto a flat elevation, and then diagramed.
204 Figure 82 â€“ An i nterior photograph of Holy Ghost showing side aisle self similarity and levels of scale . Photo, Stephen Baker . Section A of the diagram depicts the self similar (increasingly smaller copies of itself) relationship of the arched shape in the lower window. The window which is scaled and duplicated into the two Stations of the Cross then scaled and duplicated into the upper window, then scaled and duplicated to form the marble trimmed arched that frames the side altar, and then terminated into the arch spanning the columns. This ordering pattern which uses duplicated
205 framed arches exists in Section D as well. However, each of these arches scales down to a single individual cente r point and is not translated across the wall as in Section A. The elevation is unified through the use of fractal ordering because, to varying degrees, it meets the following four fractal requirements: Recursion : Section A and D contain the recursive use of the same shape for the windows, Stations of the Cross, trim elements, arches, and clerestory windows. Scaling: each of the elements scale at varying levels in both sections Self similarity : the pattern possesses copies of the original arch shape and is scaled for each element Infinity : this is a mathematical concept, and most architectural elements cannot physically scale to infinity. However, the numerous levels by which an element scales and repeat s implies a sense of infinity. Section A and D only scale through four levels , and the level of scaling between the windows and the Stations of the Cross are minimal. However, if one looks at Section A in the photograph, there is a level of scaling down to a single vanishing point that does add a sense of continuous scaling and infin ite depth.
206 The detailed photograph in Figure 83 in demonstrates how ornamentation is used at the transition al points between buildi ng components. Figure 83 â€“ A detail of the side elevation photo showing the transition between wall and opening alongside a similar condition at Chartr es Cathedral, France . In this case, the use of ornament provides a unifying transition between the wall and the opening. Here, the repetition of the arched elements creates continuity on a smaller scale. This continuity occurs between Section A and B o f the Holy Ghost exampl e . Inserted in between the arched shapes are rounded elements and carved elements that provide gradients of shading in the ornamental trim. This e xample of ornamentation not only provides the mediation between wall and opening , but it does so in a recursive and self similar way by repeating copies of the arch in molding details . All of these architectural treatments are characteristics of fractal geometry . For example, each arched window and Stations of the Cross has an ornamental frame which surrounds the Cross element. The design of the frame is similar to the frames of Sections B and D. Finally, in Figure 83 the transition from wall to opening in Chartres Cathedral is shown
207 alongside the example in Holy Ghost to demonstrate a larger and more ornate example of the same metamorphosis created by the ornamental trim. From a structural perspective, the trim is essentially useless . H owever, from a unifying, ordering, and symbolic perspective, i t serves the crucial role of mediating between opposing elements. This mediation aspect of the trim reiterates the unified and ordered cosmological meaning that a Catholic church needs to express . Now the exposition will move to the main altar area of Holy Ghost Church. Figure 84 is a photograph taken from the main nave looking towards the sanctuary. Figure 84 â€“ An i nterior photograph of Holy Ghost showing the main aisle and self similarity and levels of scale. Photo, Stephen Baker .
208 The diagram to the right shows similar recursive patterns as the side elevation. The main sanctuary is unified through the use of fractal ordering because, to varying degrees, it also meets the following four fractal requirements: Recursion : Sections A Thru D contain the rec ursive use of the same shape for the wood reredos (A), side opening (B), arch over the tabernacle, sanctuary apse arch (C), and main structural arch (D). However, most of the arch shapes are centered around a common point and do not translate in position as do most fractals Scaling: each of the elements scale at varying levels with a significant difference between each level, more so than in the side elevation due to the numerous times the arch pattern is re used Self similarity : the pattern possesses self similarity by the repetitive use of an arched shape in each scaled element Infinity : this is a mathematical concept, and most architectural elements cannot physically scale to infinity. However, the numerous levels by which the elements are repeated and scaled in this view does imply a sense of boundless continuity. Additionally, if one looks at the center of Section A in the photograph, there is a single vanishing point from which emanates the continuously scaled arch pattern resulting in the sense of infinite depth. Th i s repetition works to combine all if the different parts into one unified expression that focuses attention on the tabernacle. Now the analysis will focus on whether or not the use of ornamentation in this view functions as metamorphosi s and mediator ( Figure 85). The analysis of this view will focus primarily on the gradient flow of ornamental molding starting from the outer topmost arch down toward the tabernacle in the center. A gradient from black to white is overlaid on the photograph to show this progression. This view clearly shows the use of ornamental molding at the transitional edges between planar elements of the building. Section A shows the molding transitioning between the smooth wall down to the grand arch, similar to the previous side elevation example in Figure 5. However, several different ornamental events occur in this view: Section B shows the addition of surface ornamentation via painted stars ; Section C adds the literal inscription of a verse from the Bible ; and Section C thru E continues the star patterning in
209 the ceiling. The use of surface ornament creates a continuous visual connection between the separate ceiling planes. This visual connection provides a sense of harmony as opposed the nonpainted surface transition of the upper wall in Section A. The transition at Section A is symbolically different as it depicts the delineation of the assembled people entering into the sacred realm of the sanctuary. Figure 85 â€“ Photograph from the main aisle demonstrating the mediating function of ornament . Photo, Stephen Baker . Once the user has transitioned into the sanctuary space, the buildingâ€™s ornamentation works to reframe the meaning of the building through the use of heavenly imagery. In this case,
210 ornamentation is used extremely well as a device that unifies building pla nes by mediating, breaking down, and re assembling building elements into newer meanings. Section D is interesting in that it provides a fractalized edge between the very planar vertical surfaces of the walls into the curved planes of the pointed arches. T his ornamental molding achieves vertically what the ornamental trim on the arch in Section A does as well. It mediates between the sharp transition of man in the lower realm and the heavens above. However , the effect in Section D is more gradual than in Se ction A due to the natural fractal patterning in the marble walls below Section D versus the smooth painted wall in Section A . f) Conclusion Successfully ornate spaces provide visual ly and haptic ly sensible elements, which in turn establish connections betwe en the object and the subjective projection of the observer. The ability for architecture to express unseen form, to transition through scales, and to cognitively cross map one experience to another ; this is the function and purpose of ornament . Ornament s erves to express and heighten the ritual experience. Finally, since Catholicism maintains a unique understanding of the unified nature of body and soul, Catholic worship spaces must be ornate and express this unified nature . They should offer a unified environment that promotes a relationship between a buildingâ€™s beautiful form and the ornate material pleasure derived from it ; a place where the mental and physical are nourished and inspired. As a sacramental, a Catholic Church stands as an analogy for the beauty that is in God creation. A Catholic church promotes , radiates, sanctifies, and reveals the ontology of manâ€™s existence within an ordered cosmos. There is a connection between the use of ornamentation and our contemporary idea of fractals. The mechanics of ornamentation also supports the concept of metamorphosis as mentioned in the book The Nature of Ornamentation. From the observations of Holy Ghost Church it can be seen that through ornamentation, the meaning is dissolved into fragments only
211 to be reformed and differently combined into emerging and future realities .210 The simplest theory to fit all that has gone before might be to suppose that the â€œ visual world is an unlearned experience, th at it is meaningless when seen for the first time, and that what one learns is to see the meanings of things. â€211 210 Bloomer, The Nature of Ornament: Rhythm and Metamorphosis in Architecture . 211 Gibson, The Perception of the Visual World, 200.
212 ENFIGURING Now, consider the means for enfiguring the structural understanding of a post and lintel construction type into the figure of an arch ( Figure 86) . Figure 86 â€“ S tructural p ost and l intel enfigured into an arch . From left to right, these illustrations depict a post and lintel structure that is figuralized through the subdivi ding of its segments . This design approach transfigures the inorganic square and plasticizes it into the organic arch. This example is akin to the mathematical desire to â€œ circle the squar e â€ and has a history since Pythagoras began geometr ic thought .212 One of the primary means for en figuring the structur al aspect of architecture is to use the process of subdivisions ( Figure 87 ). Figure 87 â€“ The process of s ubdividing a 2D f orm . 212 Calter, Squaring the Circle: Geometry in Art and Architecture , 4. level 0 level 1 level 2 Structuralize d Figuralized
213 As the illustration demonstrates, the subdividing process involves levels of organization, which, as shown earlier, is a characteristic of the figural language of architecture. Likewise, the process of subdividing involves hierarchical levels of transformation which forms a hierarch ical history to the arch. The subdivision process proceeds by taking the rectilinear form (level 0) and dividing each segment of the 124 line equally in half. These halfway points (12 a nd 34) now define the Bezier handles for the second level spline curve ; this is level 1. In the diagram, the process is repeated a second time to achieve a level 2 subdivision. The midpoint of the blue line, from point 123 to 234, is the location of the curve control vertex (1234), while points 123 and 234 locate the Bezier handles for the final spline curve. The resulting spline is the figuration of the initial form of the 1234 line. Su bdivi ding segme nts is the basi c process of enfiguring a pure form (level 0, the black lines) , into a gable roof (level 1, the green line) , and finaliz ed into a Romanesque arch (level 2, the red line). Furthermore, the subdivision process operates threedimensionally as well ( Figure 88 ). Figure 88 â€“ The process of enfiguring (s ubdividing) a 3D f orm . The process of subdividing and enfiguring the form is wha t Christopher Alexander identifies as building levels of centers that are bound together to for m a sense of a greater whole. Each level of subdivision adds another level of centers or vertices to the whole. As Arnheim illustrates, level 0 level 1 level 2 level 3
214 these centers provide the textural sense of the structural lines that connect them into a figure.213 Through figuration, what starts as four centers or vertices has now become a hierarchical network of ten vertices. This hierarchy of centers is what is c all ed â€œarchitecture thickness.â€ We can see numerous expressions of the subdivision or en figuration process all throughout Catholic sacred architecture and architecture in general. Below is an example from J.J. Benedictâ€™s Christ the King Chapel in Denver, CO. Figure 89 â€“ The f iguration of an arch . 213 Referring to Arnheimâ€™s radiating cent ers of attraction figure shown in Chapter V, Rudolf Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), 13.
215 This example shows the resultant arch and t he subdividing process of enfigur ing the schematic rectangle. This figure illustrates the structural language and the figural language of archit ecture. This example is unique in that the brickwork of the arch also expresses the intermediate steps that were taken to form the figural arch opening. In this way, the ornamentation of the bricks form s an allegorical narrative that depicts the story of t he process that the opening proceeded through. In fact, one can see the peak that forms in the level 1 subdivision, which is the gable shape . Also, the dark brick lines radiating out from the top of the arch indicate the Bezier control vertices along the curve which almost touch exactly at the midpoints of each subsequent line segment as shown in the last series of images in Figure 89. Benedict also expressed the significance of primary vertices by adding column capital details where heavily weighted vertices on the curve would exist. The emphasis of vertices is an emphasis on the textural language of architecture since vertices and points are the primary geometric elements of the textural language. This example of enfiguring a structural rectangle via the process of s ubdivision is the motivation behind the use of the aedicula.214 An aedicula is a small house or shrine around a figure. The term aedicula comes from the L atin , meaning â€œsmall house .â€ The terms aedicula and edify share the same Latin root of aedis , which means â€œdwelling.â€ Furthermore, edify is a combination of aedis and facere which means â€œmake.â€ Also, the full definition of edify is to â€œ instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually .â€ So, in a sense, an aedicula is a small 214 John Summerson, Heavenly Mansions and Other Essays on Architecture (New York: WW Norton & Company, 1998). Summerson makes the compelling claim that all of architecture stems from the desire to house the body as in the childhood desire to play house underneath the dining table.
216 dwelling that edifies, improves, and instructs on the inhabitant and object dwelling within the aedicula. The root of all architecture is to improve or instruct about the nature of dwelling. T he formation of these aedicul e s generates architectural spaces that one can enfigure, that is, project oneself into space and imagine dwelling within it ( Figure 90) . Figure 90 â€“ Aediculas that enfigure the human person . The simplest example of an aedicula is the post and lintel structural element, whereby two columns hold a beam which s pan s over an opening resulting in a n inhabitable space. The essence of a Gothic Cathedral is the construction of a universal structure that is enfigured with aedicul e s into a â€œh eavenly mansionâ€ of human figures edified through the use of aedicul e s .215 215 Summerson makes this claim in ibid.
217 Figure 91 â€“ The cacophony of aedicul e s in gothic architecture . These m ansions of heavenly souls express the importance that Catholics place upon the human body as a manifestation of the eternal nature of the human soul. Likewise, this process can be extrapolated into the third dimension to make the aedicula into a canopy as is done in Berniniâ€™s baldachino at St. Peterâ€™s Basilica in Rome or the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials in Washington, D.C. Figure 92 â€“ Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials that enfigure the human person.
218 The enfiguration of an aedicule occurs even without a figure placed within it. In these situations, the beholder is allowed to mentally enfigure the space by projecting their own embodied sense into the space that is created by the structure and texture of the columns and canopy . Louis Kahn eloquently describes our ability to see into the aedicula and to feel and the connection between these two senses as: I thought then that this first feeling must have been touch. When you think of it, it probably is the first feeling. Our whole sense of procreation has to do with touch. Touch desired to be so much in touch that eyesight came from touch. To see was only to touch more accurately. And then I thought these forces within use ar e beautiful things, which you can still feel although they come from the most primordial, unformed kind of existence. It is still retained in you .216 Our sense of sight al lows us to project our embodies sense into spaces , and , in return , we can imagine the feeling that we would experience if we were to venture to that place. In other words, we imagine ourselves entering that space, and if we were to enter that space, what n ew knowledge would we gain from that vantage point. This emptied span and the enfiguring process is the essen c e behind the design of a n open arch or col onnade ( Figure 93 ) . Figure 93 â€“ The human body e nfiguring an arch . 216 Ka hn, Louis Kahn: Essential Texts , 268. From his lecture at Pratt Institute (1973).
219 T he structural language of an opening can be enfigure d by projecting our embodied sense into that space and imagine inhabiting or dwelling there. The key desire here is that if we were to enter that space, what new information would we gain from that vantage point? Also, by projecting oneself into the arch, one can virtually â€œfeelâ€ what it would be like to be there. In essence, we seek to touch that space, but there is the distance between us and the distance between so we can enfigure it to imagine the feeling of being in that space. We know more about the environment, but this visual knowledge i s reliant upon a tactile sense. A key aspect of Catholic sacred architecture is th e idea of an enshrinement . To â€œenshrineâ€ is to â€œplace (a revered or precious object) in an appropriate receptacle,â€ and â€œpreserve (a r ight, tradition, or idea) in a form that ensures it will be protected and respected.â€217 Some synonyms to â€œenshrineâ€ are â€œembody, incorporate, immortalize.â€ To enshrine and to incorporate is to make an idea corporeal â€”this is the â€œmatterâ€ of Albertiâ€™s lineame nt s and the flesh of Johnâ€™s â€œ Word made flesh .â€ In the example of the arch in the Christ the King C hapel , the square frame 217 Google Dictionary, s.v . â€œenshrine,â€ accessed July 9, 2018, https://www.google.com/search?q=Dictionary#dobs=enshrine .
220 that sets up the structure for the opening is the logical structural ordering principle (schema), while the arch is the material and corporeal enshrinement (figuration) of the body . The aedicule creates the rhetorical effect of enshrining, protecting, revering, and sanctifying the human figure. The aedicule can also be the entire building ( Figure 94 ). Figure 94 â€“ Interior of St. Catherine Chapel as an aedicule which enfigures the body . Photo & i llustration , Stephen Baker. The same enfiguring process occurs with contemporary design styles . However, the effects of a aedicula are less about center or revering the human form expressing inward, then as they are about the human form expressing outward, such as the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, AZ ( Figure 95) .
221 Figure 95 â€“ Exterior of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizon a.218 Figure 96 â€“ Interior of the Chapel of the Holy Cros s in Sedona, Arizona.219 218 Photo, Savanah Stewart , accessed June 1, 2018, https ://imgc.artprintimages.com/img/print/print/savanah stewart chapel of the holy cross by marguerite brunswig staude red rock country sedona arizona usa_a l 89466554990875.jpg?w=550&h=550. 219Photo, Jon Berghoff, accessed June 1, 2018, https://i.pinimg.com/or iginals/7b/06/50/7b0650536ce8eb9b7e4ef87aaaba453e.jpg.
222 These examples illustrate the enfiguring process whereby we imaginatively project our sense of embodiment into the scene to â€œfeelâ€ what it would be like to inhabit that space . Both of these chapels illustrate the importance of our ability to project an embodied feeling into a space. In 1914, Geoffrey Scott, in his Architecture of Humanism , made references to this enfiguring process by stating: Weight, pressure, a nd resistance are part of our habitual body experien ce, and our unconscious mimetic instinct impels us to identify ourselves with apparent weight, pressure, and resistance to our own experience. W hile discussing the topic of building scale, Scott continues: In any building three things may be distinguished : the bigness which it actually has [mechanical measurement], the bigness which it appears to have [visual measurement], and the feeling of bigness which it gives [bodily measurement]. The last two have often been confused, but it is the feeling of bigness which alone has aesthetic value.220 It is the feeling of bigness, or the enfiguring of ourselves into space so that we might infer the feeling of inhabiting it that has aesthetic value alone. Expanding upon Scottâ€™s feeling of bigness, it is the feeling of â€œbeing therenessâ€ that alone offers aesthetic value. The sense of â€œbeing therenessâ€ is the enfiguring projection that we use to infer about our environments. Take for example St. Catherine chapel in All enspark, CO ( Figure 97). 220 Geoffrey Scott, The Architecture of Humanism: A Study in the History of Taste (New York: WW Norton & Company, 1914), 171, 173.
223 Figure 97 â€“ An e xterior photograph of St. Catherine Chape l , Allenspark, CO, J.J. Benedict . Photo graph, Stephen Baker. The aesthetic appeal of this small chapel is inherent in the many ways that we can enfigure it. For example, there is the sense of the aedicula in the primary set of windows along the eastern faade ( Figure 98 ).
224 Figure 98 â€“ Enfiguring the aedicule of the eastern facade of St. Catherine . There is the overall sense of repose that we feel when enfiguring ourselves into the entire building ( Figure 99). Figure 99 â€“ Enfiguring the entire chapel to feel a sense of repose. Illustration , Stephen Baker.
225 We gain a sense of potential prospect if we enfigure ourselves into the form of the tower. We imagine the view and new information we would gain if we were to inhabit that space ( Figure 100). Figure 100 â€“ Potential prospect if we enfigure ourselves into the form of the tower . Illustration , Stephen Baker . We can also enfigur e a sense of weight that the mountain scene applies to us via the grand disconnect of scale that exists between them and the chapel. There is a sense of refuge or the seeking of protection within the chapel. There are several other elements w ithin the form of the chapel that afford us a sense of prospect or potentiality for new information if we were to inhabit those spaces ( Figure 101 ).
226 Figure 101 â€“ A sense of prospect or potentiality for new information . Illustration , Stephen Baker. Figure 102 â€“ The feeling of the sublime. Illustration , Stephen Baker .
227 Figure 103 â€“ T he compilation of enfi gured meanings . Illustration , Stephen Baker. As one can see, this chapel offers many different ways by which we can envision and enfigure ourselves into the space. Most of these affordance s are presented to us through the chapelâ€™s structural language. It is now useful to explore how the chapel affords us information structurally.
228 St. Catherine Chapel â€“ Allenspark, CO This chapter offers an analysis of the structural language of architecture as demonstrat ed in the Chapel of St. Catherine of Sienna . The Chapel of St. Catherine of Sienna (Chapel on the Rock) is in Allenspark, CO ( Figure 104). Figure 104 â€“ Exterior of the Chapel of St. Catherine of Sienna (193436) . Photo by Stephen Baker, July 2014. Figure 105 â€“ Interior of the Chapel of St. Catherine of Sienna (193436) . Photo, Stephen Baker, July 2014.
229 Colorado architect, Jacques Jules Benoit Benedict designed St. Catherine , and it was dedicated in 1936. It is the chapel for what was the youth retreat center of Camp St. Malo. The chapel resides in the Rocky Mountains between Boulder, CO and Estes Park, C O . Finally, St. Catherineâ€™s is registered with the county of Boulderâ€™s historic registry. Our primary concern in this example is the immediate sense of differing texture which arrests the beholder. F or some â€œ thing â€ to be presented as another â€œt hingâ€ it needs to possess some structural integrity, something that holds it together over time. This sense of integrity, stability, and strength has been a key expression in architecture since its beginning. James Joyce, in his A Portrait of the Artist as a Yo ung Man, offers a keen description of our first sense of another thingâ€™s structural integrity accordingly: What is audible is presented in time, what is visible is presented in space. But, temporal or spatial, the esthetic image is first luminously apprehe nded as selfbounded and selfcontained upon the immeasurable background of space or time which is not it. You apprehended it as ONE thing. You see it as one whole. You apprehend its wholeness. That is INTEGRITAS.221 The chapel of St. Catherine offers a surprising expression of structural integrity by standing apart from its surroundings as one approaches the building by car ( Figure 106 ). 221 James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Oxford University Press, 2008), 181â€“182.
230 Figure 106 â€“ Approach to St. Malo along Highway 7. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2014. One approaches St. Catherine along highway 7 after a significant journey through winding roads. Heading north and just before one arrives upon the chapel, one is presented with the textural presence of Mt. Meekerâ€™s 1 elevation. If one is unaware of the chapelâ€™s existence, they will be surprised by it as one arrive s immediately upon it along with a descending part of the highway. At this point, the view quickly opens up to a vast panorama. Seated at the base of this prospect is a little chapel ( Figure 107 ). Mt. Meeker Hgwy. 7 Northbound
231 Figure 107 â€“ Initial View of Chapel from Highway 7 . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2014. Part of the initial arrest that occurs when one comes upon the chapel from highway 7 is the immediate recognition that some â€œ thing â€ exists against the background texture of the trees and mountains. There is also the extreme contrast in scale between the forest, Mt. Meeker, and this little â€œ thing â€ protruding up in the foreground. All along t he journey, our view of the background has been primarily that of evergreen trees flowing in a constant stream across our visual plane , and the difference afforded by the chapel is surprising . In some sense, thi s flow tree texture creates a sense of oneness, a forest of trees, but in another sense , it is an overwhelming sea of background noise . The chapel offers a nice reprise from the constant flow of trees. When one arrive s at the chapel , they are shocked or arrested by a stark difference of the chapel against this background of trees. The sheer difference of scale offers a sense of the sublime due to our difficulty in fully comprehending or conceptualize the scale difference between Mt. Meeker and the chapel.222 To help illustrate the idea of difference, one can process 222 Burke attributes â€œdifficultyâ€ as a prime factor in the effect that infinity has on generating pleasing objects Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful... (FC and J. Rivington, Otridge and son, 1812), 106â€“ 107.
232 the photo of the chapel to take out all of the color contrast and to heighten the edges so that we can see in a value only aspect the star k contrast that occurs in the chapelâ€™s form ( Figure 108). Figure 108 â€“ â€œFind Edgesâ€ Photoshop f ilter applied to the photo of the c hapel . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2014. When we see the edges highlighted in the photon, t he clear contrast of some bounded â€œ thing â€ becomes apparent since the chapel edges offer a strong contrasting boundary edge. Here, the chapel roof and sides stand in clear difference to the boundlessness of the background noise of the trees. As noted, our first level of understanding is conferenced with difference, and in the chapel this comes primarily through the difference created by its outlining shape. Since we have not experienced the building over time or from various points of view, we have to rely upon the immediate initial two dimensional plane to detect the chapelâ€™s otherness or â€œthingness.â€ Figure 109 illustrates s ome of the chapelâ€™s difference, thisness, and boundedness.
233 Figure 109 â€“ Boundedness of St. Catherine Chapel . Illustration , Stephen Baker.223 Similar to the chapel, we can identify â€œMt. Meekerâ€ through its boundedness and differentiation from the clear sky. We identify the mountainâ€™s â€˜shapeâ€™ when its limits are graspable, contained, or limited. The immediate two dimensional array of information that flows across our vision is primarily concerned with detecting difference and our ability to single out this object from that 223 I have applied a High Pass image filter to this image which retains the edge details where sharp color transitions occur and suppresses the rest of the image. I then traced the outlines of high edge contrast to emphasize the contrasting integrity of the structure viewed against the varied â€œnoiseâ€ of the forest and background elements. Secondary edge details are highlighted to show the contrast between the stable structure of the chapel against the ch anging elements of the mountain in the background, forest, and stream.
234 object. At t his level of understanding, we are not immediately concerned with forming abstract structural concepts. Noted psychologist James Gibson identifies this immediate sense as the seeking of invariants against the variant background. Furthermore, Gibson contends, â€œ The information in ambient light does not consist of forms and colors but of invariants. â€224 Here, Gibson isolates the immediate textural experience that we have and suggests that it does have an important role to play in the formation of meaning. The invariants that we see are patterns that remain stillâ€”they have integrity and â€œstandâ€ a gainst the varying and changing background. Finally, Gibson makes the following enlightened observation, â€œ What modern painters are trying to do, if they only knew it, is paint invariants, i t is not abstractions, not concepts, not space, not motion, but invariants that should interest them.â€225 This is a crucial claim that supports the argument the modern and post mode rn design methodologies are seeking the effect of the textural experience. In other words, these design methodologies seek to hold the beholder within the sublime feeling that we get before we form structural and figural understandings. The classical photo graph of a Dalmatian in a G arden by R. C. James illustrates Gibsonâ€™s notion of invariants ( Figure 110). 224 James J Gibson, â€œThe Ecological Approach to the Visual Perception of Pictures,â€ Leonardo, 1978, 227. 225 Gibson, â€œThe Ecological Approach to the Visual Perception of Pictures.â€
235 Figure 110 â€“ The Dalmatian by R. C. James . ( left), the same image but with the dog highlighted from the background (center), and parts of the Dalmatian shown separately (right) .226 Upon initial observation, the image on the left appears simply as an unfolded accumulation of spots, but over time, we enfold a Gestalt (figure) of a Dalmatian which quickly becomes almost impossible not to see. This ima ge is an example of the â€œholisticâ€ rule of Gestalt psychology and our innate tendency to form figures after we structuralize textural experiences . Wertheimerâ€™s theory of the Gestalt identified the formation of wholes as a process that is guided by the laws of â€œ closure , â€ â€œ proximity , â€ â€œ continuity ,â€ and the â€œ common fate â€ of movements of parts of objects.227 These â€œlawsâ€ are the means by which we structuralize the raw data flow of textural experience into figures or Gestalts. Proceeding from the immediacy of the textural difference created by the invariants of the chapel , we immediately lean towards form ing wholes from our sensory input. We have the impulse to abstract what the other object is. W hat drives this impulse? This impulse stems from our conature or connaturality with otherness. We understand ourselves as being a bounded and structural whole, a person, and we assume that other things, if they are to be considered a â€œthing,â€ share in this structural integrity. Worringer identifies this law of abstraction as â€œan 226 Barb ara Nordhjem et al., â€œEyes on Emergence: Fast Detection yet Slow Recognition of Emerging Images,â€ Journal of Vision 15, no. 9 (2015): 2, doi:10.1167/15.9.8. 227 Max Wertheimer, â€œLaws of Organization in Perceptual Forms.,â€ 1938.
236 intellectual necessityâ€ that is â€œimplicitly contained in our own human organization.â€228 In contrast, our sensory knowledge of otherness can be an unidentifiable accumulation of individual segments . This can be seen if we deconstruct or texturalize the whole of t he Dalmatian photo into disparate parts that do not form identifiable relationships, as is shown in Figure 110. Figure 111 â€“ The D almatian photo t exturalize d into autonomous parts .. 229 In this way, the whole experience of the Dalmatian completely unfolds . In other words, the Dalmatian has been texturalize d by fragmenting the whole and geome trically manipulating the parts into a new â€œthing .â€ Even in this example, there is an aesthetic appeal to the texture and rhythm of the Dalmatian photo fragments. In this example, the whole of the Dalmatian is atomized and the parts become pure texturaliza tions and invariants in and of themselves. The sublime playfulness that this process creates in us is appealing since it triggers in us the pleasurable desire to â€œfigureâ€ out the pieces of the puzzle. There is as much of an aesthetic appeal to the sublime figuring out of a puzzle as there is in the beautiful clarity we discover when we complete the puzzle. The sublime feeling is any form of understanding that we derive from these fragments as they remain fragments that effect our senses. One is s tuck at the level of 228 Wilhelm Worringer, Abstraction and Empathy: A Contribution to the Psychology of Style , ed. and trans. Kegan Paul (1967) (London: Routledge, 1910), 20. 229 Nordhjem et al., â€œEyes on Emergence: Fast Detection yet Slow Recognition of Emerging Images,â€ 2.
237 sensory knowledge since one cannot codify the experience by saying what it is ; this is the sublime. Th e prevention of forming wholes is a key design characteristic of post modern and deconstructivist design methodologies. It also finds its impetus in some of the works of modern architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe , and Le Corbusier . Wrightâ€™s use of the grid as the â€˜seedâ€™ for geometric manipulations or unfoldings to produce textural effects is shown in Figure 112. Figure 112 â€“ Wright's use of a grid as a generative s eed .230 Wright used the structural language of the grid to enfold the unfolding building materials in a process that results in something not traditionally recognizable. It is an early form of proceduralism since it does not start with a preconceived final form of a house, rather it lets the result occur through process and transformations. Wrightâ€™s methodology is very similar to that of the Gothic cathedral design methodology, in that both have an underlying grid or â€œcanvas: that structuralizes the process. Wright â€™s affinity for Gothic design is not a secret, he often espoused 230 Beeby, â€œOrnament,â€ 14 .
238 its beauty. However , traditional and enduring design patterns in Catholic sacred architecture, have a tendency and propensity to exhibit a unified whole form , as in the grid structural orderi ng system, but then they figuralize it with figural and representational art and allegorical figures. This last step was criminalized by the early modernists since they were espousing a materialistic worldview that consists of only matter and force; a worl dview that rejects final forms, intention, rhetoric, soul, and final causation. Moreover, as a materialist, Wright needed to shed all rhetorical references to final forms and therefore the human soul, something he achieved later on in his career. Along wi th the textural language of architecture, the chapel of St. Catherine illustrates the structural language of architecture very well by standing as a whole in difference to the vastness of the panorama. However, at a smaller scale, it does not separate from the background since it uses stone similar to what is found on the site. This forms a blurred realm of difference. For example, the transition space between the base of the chapel and the rock that it sits upon is very obscure. The rustication of the base becomes very difficult to determine this is existing rock from the chapel base. At this point , we have moved into the imaginat ive playfulness as we try to distinguish the difference between the stones of the rock and the stones of the base of the chapel . We enter into a comparative dialogue at this junction. Where does the chapel start and where does it end? There is this thickened transitional space where the imagination is allowed to play and wonder. Since the rustication of this building is obscured, we continue our desire to understand through a lack of identifiability. This area engages our innate impulse to apply universal concepts of wholes to this particular experience, but resolution to this question is not given. This mystery engages our desire t o enfigure the space and use figural languages by saying, â€œT he chapel has â€˜grownâ€™ out of the rock of the site.â€ At this point , the paradox between
239 this chapel and what it is has reached a maximum , and we begin to analogically compare it to other memories of other experiences that we have had. In this way, we are now into the imagination of wholeness through analogical thinking. At this point , we have begun to compare this experience of the chapel with past experiences. We can also extend this line of reasoning to the gable roofs, whereby , the slopes of the gable roofs emulate the peaks of the pine trees and the peak of Mt. Meeker. As one can see, t his process of enfolding the unfolded proceeds very quic kly. An even clearer example of extreme bounded presence can be seen in the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona â€™s (Figure 113).
240 Figure 113 â€“ Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona.231 Here, the chapel expresses extreme contrast and differentiation. At the scale of the entire building, the chapel is clearly expressing that it is not that of the rock formation it sits on. There is a very think line of transition between the chapel and the rock, unlike the base in St. Catherinâ€™s. The lack of a thickened transitional space between the building and rock formation is aesthetically appealing , at one level . However, it appeals to us on a more conceptual level due to its clearly identifiable and delineated parts â€”this is this , and that is that. There is little mystery 231 Photo, Savanah Stewart . Accessed June 1, 2018, https://imgc.artprintimages.com/img/print/print/savanah stewart chapel of the holy cross by marguerite brunswig staude red rock country sedona arizona usa_a l 89466554990875.jpg?w=550&h=550.
241 involved in this thin transitional space. This clarity of division appeals to the analytical side of understanding t hat desires the clarity of either/or over the obscurity of both/and. It is important to understand that our determination between parts of a building, occurs at various levels of scale. The Chapel of the Holy Cross achieves clarity rather well at the scale of the whole building. However, if we were to be in very close proximity to the wall of the building, we would be confronted with a monolithic field of red sandstone. With our field of vision being almost filled with just red sandstone, we would be challe nged to form any sense of identity since it e ngulf s oneself in an almost pure textural sense. This effect is similar to the sameness of the blank sheet of white paper. Similarly, i t is like standing nose to a white drywall wall, pretty quickly one would be bored with the monolithic stimulus and begin to question, â€œSo what ?â€ What is the â€œpoint?â€ Or, more appropriately, â€œWhat is the difference?â€ This experience would be similar to only having the textural parts of the Dalmatian photograph without the prior knowledge of the first photograph of the whole Dalmatian (â€œaâ€ Figure 114). Figure 114 â€“ Parts of the D almatian , s andstone w all, and r ock s how ed s eparately . At very close proximity , one only has the textural sense o f the building and they must refer back to the overall form of the building to form any meaning. No new information presents itself . In this way, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a â€œone liner,â€ that is, we only get a sense of wholeness at the overall scale of the building, not to mention the personal experience inside the building is monofocused from one perspective point of view. a b c
242 In c ontrast, St. Catherine chapel has the individualization of the stones at the personal level and human scale of experience. Each individual stone offers a proportional analogy of sameness at this close scale with the scale of the whole. We can conceptually and physically â€œgraspâ€ a stone in the wall and in doing so, we figuratively grasp the whole chapel . Each particular stone is an analog or proportional piece of the overall whole of the building; this particular part relates proportionally to the universal whole. This proportional and analogical relationship is a natural outcome of masonry and stone construction. The experience of a monolithic field of sandstone ( â€œbâ€ in Figure 114) does have some relationship to the entire building, but it is tenable; it is not on a conceptual level or graspable level, it is more on the e ffectual level of understanding â€”sandstone ness. We will dive into these points later in our indepth a nalysis of the Cathedral of the Angels. As the view changes while one travel along highway 7, the chapel, in its simplicity, stands against the complexity and vastness of the background setting. Figure 115 â€“ Hidden Creek adjacen t to the r ock f oundation of St. Catherineâ€™s Chapel . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2014.
243 At this point, we begin to assess the subelements of the building. Our attentiveness and â€œbeholdennessâ€ moves from the immediate apprehension of the whole into a realm of reasoning between the parts. Stability as One Aspect of the Structural language of Architecture Since t he Catholic Church describes herself as one of â€œ catholic unity and invincible stability , â€ it is important to understand the role of stab ility and its correlation to the structural language of architecture.232 Stabilitas or Mobilitas ?233 Vitruvius covered the whole range of architectural concerns when he coined the phrase â€œ Utilitas, Venustas, Firmitas " around 15 BC .â€ Utilitas (utility) refers to convenience and commodity of use. Venustas (beauty) naturally involves the aesthetics. Firmitas (stability) refers to the strength of construction. Vitruvius further expands on firmitas by stating, â€œ Dur ability will be assured when foundations are carried down to the solid ground and materials wisely and liberally selected.â€234 The terms â€œfirmness,â€ â€œdurability,â€ and â€œstabilityâ€ are synonymous and often interchang eable. However, the term stabilitas is more aptly applied when describing sacred architecture for two reasons: it is a basic human need , and it is a foundational mark of the Catholic Church. a) Stabilitas is a Basic Human Need Humans have a deeply rooted need for a sense of place, belonging, and home. â€œThe soul is no traveller ,â€ notes Ralph Waldo Emerson in Self Reliance, â€œthe wise man stays at 232 Catholic_ Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, sec. 812. 233 This section is a revised edition of an article f irst appearing in â€œ The Institute for Sacred Architecture Journal, â€ Volume 26, Fall 214. Revised and used by permission. 234 Vitruvius, The Ten Books of Ar chitecture (London: Harvard University Press, 1914), 17.
244 home with the soul, and when his necessities, his duties, on any occasion call him from his house, or into foreign la nds, he is at home still.â€235 The soul seeks to be stationary and at home. Stabilitas describes a place that has the quality of being securely and immovably fixed in place. Humans have understood the permanence of place for centuries due to the physical and t echnological limitations of oneâ€™s mobility. By the turn of the twentieth century, manâ€™s mobility went through significant changes, and with it grew a â€œnew spirit.â€ This new spirit was in no doubt driven by the vast increase in oneâ€™s mobility due to advance ments of machines. Culture and art searched diligently to find ways to express this newfound spirit of the age. Modern architects championed new ideas centered on locomotion, such as the free plan, curtain walls, pilotis , and ramps. Swiss born architect Le Corbusier designed houses and buildings inspired by ocean liners. Frank Lloyd Wright captured Americaâ€™s love for the automobile in his designs and ideas. Modernists, whether consciously or not, disliked design principles that went contrary to the spirit of mobility â€”ideas such as stability, centrality, and symmetry. Their true intent revealed itself when Wright, at an American Institute of Architects convention in 1952, declared a â€œwar on architecture as a box.â€236 Todayâ€™s postmodern era consists of internet super highways, hotspots, Wi Fi, social networking, avatars, email, c hat, texting, cyber cafs, antennas of every nature, super mega everything, and a whole multitude of technologies that allow for even greater mobilitas ; a 235 Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance (Dodge Publishing Company, 1900), 12. 236 Emily Bobrow, â€œFrank Lloyd Wrightâ€™s War on the Boxâ€ (The Economist: More Intelligent Life.com), accessed January 21, 2013, http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/frank lloyd wrights war boxes.
245 virtualis mobilitatem (virtual mobility). The hyper modern world is a hypedup version of the former modern era. Even though mobility has increased, and geographical location has physically become less relevant, human beings increasingly insist on some sense of place. As Professor David Morley at Goldsmiths University of London states, â€œAlso contrary to the claim that networked mobility overcomes geography, is the prevalence of the question, â€˜Where are you?â€™ by which many mobile phone conversations begin.â€237 This example demonstrates that one can virtually be anywhere, but at the same time humans have the deep ly rooted need to know where they are in the world. One cannot deny this reality, and sacred architecture plays a prominent role in providing for the need of a sense of place . The triumph over the limitations in mobility is taking a toll on oneâ€™s sense of sacred space. The sense of place has never been more relevant. As Gerald Schlabach, associate professor of theology at the University of Saint Thomas, so wisely puts matters at the end of Unlearning Protestantism: Sustaining Christian Community in an Unstable Age: It is not by abandoning oneâ€™s tradition or superficially adopting othersâ€™ traditions that the gift of an enlarged community becomes possible in an age of globalization. It is rather by living fully and authentically within oneâ€™s tradition, by pra cticing a form of stability that true community flourishes in an unstable age.238 Humans find stabilitas by living fully and authentically within oneâ€™s sacred tradition. Furthermore, t he human need for stabilitas is responsible in part for the rising acceptance of architectural movements like New Classicism and New Urbanism. These design principles find 237 David Morley, â€œWhatâ€™s â€˜homeâ€™ Got to Do with It? Contradictory Dynamics in the Domestication of Technology and the Dislocation of Domesticity,â€ European Journal of Cultural Studies 6, no. 4 (2003): 440. 238 Gerald W Schlabach, Unlearning Protestantism: Sustaining Christian Community in an Unstable Age (Brazos Press, 2010).
246 their roots in tradition, order, and stability. Modernism succeeded in its war on architecture as a box but at the cost of denyi ng the basic human need for stability. Part of this resurgence of traditional (stable) building methods is rooted in the 1970s as a response to modernismâ€™s failures, as explained by Dr. Mark Gelernter at the University of Colorado Denver: â€œPeople sought cu ltural roots after the uproar [of the revolutionary 1960s], and the sense that they belonged to something stable and meaningful. Architects began to appreciate that the traditional architectural styles expressed desired continuities, not revolutions.â€239 In a world of ever increasing fluctuation, designers are ever more seeking a sense of belonging, a sense of permanence of place, and a sense of the sacred. Noted Norwegian architect Christian Norberg Schulz reinforces this when he states, â€œHuman identity presupposes the identity of a place, and that stabilitas loci , therefore is a basic human need.â€240 Rebel , as one may, human nature cannot be avoided. b) Stabilitas is a Foundational Mark of the Catholic Church Throughout t he history of the Church, she exp resses stabilitas in her architectural expression. In the sixth century, Saint Benedict introduced the principle of stabilitas loci (stay in one place) as one of the cornerstones of Western monasticism. On the manner of admitting brethren, Saint Benedict states, â€œ Let him who is received promise in the oratory, in the presence of all, before God and His saints, stability.â€241 This addition to his Rule provided the members with a profound sense of meaning in the world. He added this vow in the midst of the declining years of the Roman Empire and the breakdown of the family social unit. Saint Benedict sought to establish for his monasteries a stronger community and an extended family. To Saint Benedict , 239 Mark Gelernter, A History of American Architecture: Buildings in Their Cultural and Technological Context (Manch ester University Press, 2001), 281. 240 NorbergSchultz Christian, â€œGenius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture,â€ Rizzoli, New York , 1980, 180. 241 George Cyprian Alston, â€œRule of St. Benedict,â€ 58, accessed January 17, 2013, http://www.newadvent.or g/cathen/02436a.htm.
247 the virtue of stabilitas loci seemed utterly lost in other established orders. As the British Benedictine George Cyprian Alston states , â€œYet without that element of stability insisted upon by Sa int Benedict, viz: the â€˜common lifeâ€™ and family spirit. In ad opting a system essentially Eastern to Western conditions, Saint Benedict gave it coherence, stability, and organization, and the verdict of history is unanimous in applauding the results of such adaptation.â€242 T he principal vow of stabilitas allowed Benedictâ€™s monasteries to flourish during the turmoil of the sixth century. Sacred architecture can learn from this and flourish as well in an ever increasing world of mobilitas . According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, st abilitas is foundational to the Catholic Church. He states in his exposition of the Apostles â€™ Creed , â€œThe Church has four essential conditions, in that she is one, holy, catholic, and strong and firm ( fortis et firma ).â€243 Her solidity, which comes of the foundations on which she is builtâ€”namely, Christ and the Apostles â€”appears outwardly in the fact that neither persecutions, errors, nor the assaults of the devils have been able to overturn her. The Vatican Council consecrated this doctrine when it recalled that the Church, because of her sanctity, her catholic unity, and her triumphant perpetuity â€”invictam stabilitatem (unflinching stability) â€”is herself a great and standing motive of credibility and an irrefragable witness of her divine mission.244 Church buildings, as symbols of faith, must stand as a witness of her divine mission and demonstrate her â€œtriumphant perpetuityâ€ and â€œunflinching stability.â€ This concept repeats throughout Church history. The First Vatican Council teaches in Pastor 242 Alston, â€œRule of St. Benedict.â€ 243 Thomas Aquinas, Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum the Apostlesâ€™ Creed, ed. and trans. Joseph Kenny (New York, 1939), http://dhspriory.org/thomas/Creed.htm. 244 Charles Journet, The Church of the Word Incarnate (Eternal Word Television Network, 1955), http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/chwordin1.htm>.
248 aeternus , â€œ T he Church is built on a rock and will continue to stand firm until the end of time ( ad finem saeculorum usque firma stabit ).â€245 Stabilitas reinforces the Churchâ€™s eternal and sacred nature. Christianity has a distinct perspective on the notion of place because Christians accept the words in the Gospel of Johnâ€” â€œthe Word was God (Gk. Logos ) (Jn 1:1) .â€246 The Gospel writer further reinforces this with â€œAnd the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (Jn 1:14) .â€ Th e literal interpretation is, â€œHe pitched his tent among us.â€ The pitching of a tent requires a dwelling fixed in place, and , through the Incarnation, God fixe d Himself in place within humanity and manifested Himself in physical form. By taking the physical nature of man in the past, and by taking on physical nature in the present through the Eucharist, Christ became and becomes present here on Earth. He provides a bearing point from which the Christian can venture and orient themselves within the world. For the Christian, there is a center, a fixed place, an axis mundi (a point of connection between heaven and earth), and permanence of sacred place. This realization provides sacred order to the Christianâ€™s soul. He orders his world around this knowledge and his soul is no longer left to wander through the desert. The Incarnation convinces him that while traveling in the world of ever increasing mobilitas , he is at home still. The Christian world is not perpetually in fluctuation, and sacred architecture as a reflection of the Christianâ€™s worldview must sit firmly on the foundation of Christ . The use of the term stabilitas versus firmitas implies a greater sense of actively withstanding current forces; by definition, â€œstabilityâ€ is â€œThe ability of an objectto maintain 245 Michael Davies, â€œI Am with You Always,â€ accessed January 21, 2013, http://salbert.tripod.com/Lexiamwya6.htm. 246 NABRE, NABRE, Revised Edition (C harlotte: Saint Benedict Press, 2010), chap. John.
249 equilibrium or resume its original, upright position after displacement, as by the sea or strong winds.â€247 So when discussing sacred architecture in todayâ€™s strong winds of increasing mobility, one might s ay, â€œ Utilitas , Venustas , Stabilitas ." 247 â€œThe Free Dictionary,â€ accessed August 24, 2014, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/stability.
250 THE FIGURAL ROLE OF ORNAMENT Harvard Professor Antoine Picon begins his book Ornament with the haunting question, â€œWhat if architecture were ultimately about ornament?â€248 In some ways, there is something simultaneously liberating and disturbing about Piconâ€™s proposition. It is liberating in the fact the primary role of the architect is to either adorn a building or make a building an ornam ent. If this is the primary role of the architect, they are freed from the many other tasks they take on. Piconâ€™s question is also disturbing since at the dawn of the Modernist movement Adolph Loos effectively criminalized ornament and anyone who practiced it as traditionally understood.249 Likewise, Clement Greenberg declared in 1939 that all narrative and figural representations in archit ecture a s â€œkitsch ,â€ and that the only proper way for art to not become the derogatory lawn gnome of kitsch was for it to seek the â€œavant garde perpetually .â€250 This quest to avoid any representational or hierarchically identifiable structure leads us away from traditional notions of beauty and points towards the aesthetics of the sublime. Through the sublime, we seek the emotions and sensual feelings that are evoked by the nongraspable and notions beyond the limits of our mind.251 Likewise, Avant guard works of art seek to be purely self referential and to avoid any transcendental aspect of art. The Avant guard seeks a level of pure immanence i n which we must consider architecture in and of itself without any reference to tradition or subject. 248 Picon, Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity , 9. 249 Loos, Opel, and Mitchell, Ornament and Crime . 250 Greenberg, â€œAvant Garde and Kitsch.â€ 251 Immanuel Kant, Kantâ€™s Critique of Judgement , 2nd ed. revised (London: Macmillan, 1914), http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1217.
251 In a sense, the Avant guard turns away from the understandable nature of beauty by avoiding smallness, smoothness, and clarity.252 These are the primary characteristics of ornament . T he design means for transforming a building into architecture are primarily ornamental. In this way, all architecture is an ornament , and the means for transforming a building into architecture are ornamental. With regards to Catholic sacred architecture, Picon assesse s that Catholic churches are about ornament. That is, they are about referring to something Other than what they are. Likewise, the role of an architect designing a Catholic church is to adorn and reveal a final, glorified, and transfigured form of a building. Therefore, the prim ary role of the architect is to produce effects that affect us. The role of a Catholic church architect is to heighten the meaning of a building, that is, to make a building â€œarchitecture?â€ I share the view of noted historian Oleg Grabar when he suggests: â€œGood architecture is always meant to be an invitation to behave in certain ways; it always adorns life, and, some exceptions notwithstanding, does not require the emotions surrounding whatever one does in a building, including looking at works of art.â€253 Likewise, Grabar contends, â€œArchitecture is a true ornament (). Without it, life loses its quality. Architecture makes life complete, but it is neither life nor art.â€254 This position is similar to Picon, in that Grabar identifies the role of architecture and the architect as one who produces emotions outside of the mechanical, electrical, structural, and functional systems of the bui lding. Currently, the architect is suffering from an identity crisis since so many aspects of the design of a building are contracted out to consulting engineers. This release of these design aspects to so 252 Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Subl ime and Beautiful.... Burke offers a concise summary of the differences between the Sublime and the Beautiful in his chapter on â€œThe Sublime and the Beautiful Compared.â€ 253 Oleg Grabar, The Mediation of Ornament (Princeton University Press Princeton, 1992) , 193. 254 Ibid.
252 many players leaves less and less for the architect. Furthermore, if the industry does not recognize the aesthetic role of the architect, then even more of the architectâ€™s role will be reduced to merely construction management. However, even this role is being further contracted out â€”th e architect losses t heir value. So, our quest is laid out before us. We seek to help to define the role of the architect and that of architecture, but, more specifically, we seek to define the role of the architect as being in charge of aesthetics, aesthetics that are primari ly ornamental. With this in mind, the following thesis will help understand the role of ornament and how a building become more than just a building, in other words, how a building forms meaning. Now that we have established the definition of the figural l anguage of architecture, it is important to understand the role that ornament plays in the meaning of Catholic sacred architecture. The figural language of architecture provides the mean between the textural and structural language s of architecture. Likewi se, ornament, as traditionally applied, resides within the means and transitional spaces of opposing building elements. This section will explore the notion of transitional spaces and their role in Catholic sacred architecture. Ornament â€™s Role in Catholic Sacred Architecture 255 Throughout history , ornament has served as a powerful means for defining memorable places. Professor Kent Bloomer suggests that architectureâ€™s â€œfailure to pay reverence to its legacy of ornament has until recently contributed to the w eakening of the modern project of 255 This is a revised edition of the published paper â€œBETWEEN SEEN AND UNSEEN: The Transformative Nature of Ornament and Its Role in Creating Transitional Spaces in Catholic Sacred Architecture,â€ for the 2014 Annual Conference of the Society for Catholic Liturgy (Presented October 4th 2014). Publish in Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal , 2015, vol. 19.1, pp. 7989).
253 developing memorable places.â€256 He further claims that ornamentation â€œprobably constitutes the quintessential language of place.â€257 Bloomer, in citing Henri Focillonâ€™s The Life Forms of Art , suggests that â€œornamental art [was] perhaps the first alphabet of human thought to come in close contact with space.â€258 However, the proper use of ornamentation has been debated since its inception.259 Shortly after World War II, the curriculums of architectural education remov ed ornament as a subject. Professor Bloomer notes that this change has widened the divide between the once unified subjects of art and architecture, having the effect of saying, artists make art and architects design buildings, which implies that architecture is not art.260 Often the decision to minimize the use of ornament sometimes comes at the expense of making enduring and memorable places. Today, the word ornament has reached the level of a pejorative. The rhe torical attacks often consider ornament to be superfluous, excessive, effeminate, deviant, im moral , savage, criminal and deemed an unnecessary for an â€˜honestâ€™ architectural expression of our times.261 The most prominent argument against the use of ornament â€“as traditionally understoodâ€“was architect Adolph Loosâ€™ Ornament and Cr ime .262 Taken at face value, Loos appears to be against all forms of orn amental expression. However, as Trilling states, his â€œsocalled rejection of ornament was a 256 Bloomer, The Nature of Ornament: Rhythm and Metamorphosis in Architecture , 131. 257 Kent Bloomer, â€œThe Confounding Issue of Collaboration between Architects and Artists [The University of Oregon Science Complex],â€ Places, 7(4) , 1992, 60, http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/0v98v4ts. 258 Bloomer, The Nature of Ornament: Rhythm and Metamorphosis in Architecture , 10. 259 David Brett, Rethinking Decoration: Pleasure and Ideology in the Visual Arts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 260 Bloomer, â€œThe Confounding Issue of Collaboration between Architects and Artists [The University of O regon Science Complex],â€ 58. 261 Bloomer, The Nature of Ornament: Rhythm and Metamorphosis in Architecture . 262 Loos, Opel, and Mitchell, Ornament and Crime .
254 rejection of ornament as practiced in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries [emphasis in original].â€263As history shows, the use of ornament has waxed and waned in its intensity of use. However, one thing remains constant, the use of ornament, in one form or another, is present throughout every generation. It is innate to human expression. A brief visual survey of Catholic churches shows no exception to the continuous use of ornament in the Churchâ€™s ritualistic settings. The Churchâ€™s 2,000year long history is filled with examples of architectural ornamentation that expresses the vibrancy of the â€œCatholic imagination.â€264 This history demonstrates the Churchâ€™s unique understanding of the unified r elationship between a buildingâ€™s beautiful form and the ornate material pleasure derived from it. Perhaps this correlates to the Churchâ€™s understanding of our substantially unified bodies and souls. There is no such thing as an unadorned Catholic church. S o, what exactly is the role of ornament in Catholic churches? Ornamentation in Catholic sacred architecture serves to increase a buildingâ€™s emotional impact upon an individualâ€™s transformational process during the liturgical ritual. This claim is supported by reviewing the theory and definition of ornament; explaining the psychology of transitional space and objects; connecting the psychology of transitional spaces to the transitional stage in ritual; and demonstrating, through example, the metaphorical and transitional nature of ornamentation. Ornament Defined Since the terms ornament and decoration are interchangeabl e, it is necessary to clarify what constitutes the definition of ornament. According to Bloomer, the word ornament derives 263 James Trilling, Ornament: A Modern Perspective (Seattle & London: University of Washington Press, 2003). 264 Greeley, The Catholic Imagination.
255 from the Latin ter m ornare , which means â€œto equip,â€ and ornamentum , which means â€œto put into a ritual or ceremony in order to honor.â€ Ornament also derives from the Greek (cosmetics), â€œwhich means skilled in adornment,â€ and from the Greek kosmein , which means â€œto arrange or adorn.â€ The terms cosmetics and ornament also derive from the Greek kosmos , which means â€œorder.â€265 As will be demonstrated, cosmos and order have the closest relation to the term ornament. Another way to distinguish between the terms o rnament and decoration is to consider decoration as the entire ordering system within which ornament is an element(s). For example, we decorate Christmas trees with ornaments, and in most cases, ornaments are subordinate to the decorative and orde ring system to which they belong. It is important to note that ornamentation â€“the act of decorating with ornaments â€“completes the object being decorated . Ornaments complete a Christmas tree , and the tree no longer remains just a pine tree. It transforms thro ugh the use of ornamentation. Now, to understand how ornaments relate to order in architecture, we need to understand the relationship between beauty and ornament from an architectural point of view. Leon Battista Alberti (1472), who is often considered the father of the architectural profession, identified in his De Re Aedificatoria ( On the Art of Building in Ten Books ) , two things that are necessary for a great building â€“beauty and ornament.266 Alberti contends that ornament â€œcompletes a buildingâ€ and that â€œno man would allow them [buildings] to be naked of ornament.â€267 He continues with the body analogy by stating, â€œFirst we observe that the building is a form of a body, which like any other consists of lineaments and matter, the one the product 265 Bloomer, The Nature of Ornament: Rhythm and Metamorphosis in Architecture , 15â€“17. 266 Leon Alberti, On the Art of Building in Ten Books (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1988). 267 Robert Tavernor, On Alberti and t he Art of Building (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), 43.
256 of thought, the other of Nature.â€268 He concludes that â€œa well maintained and well adorned temple is obviously the greatest and most important ornament of a city.â€269 Alberti does not limit the definition of ornament to smallscale decorative elements of the building but considers it as something that can also be on the scale of an entire building. Albertiâ€™s definition places ornament within the continuum of various scales and allows ornamentation the ability to transiti on throughout all building scales. As will be demonstrated, buildings that are considered more memorable provide a multilayered and continuous transitional experience across many levels of building scale. Professor Nikos Salingaros suggests that â€œthe func tion of ornament is to guarantee that every architectural region interacts with the user at any distance. The success of urban space [and architecture] depends on this interaction.â€270 Scaling, subdivision, ornament, and fractals are devices by which architecture establishes and maintains a connection with us through all levels, from the entire building down to the microscopic details of the materials themselves.271 One of ornamentationâ€™s more crucial role is to provide this â€˜connective tissueâ€™ of ordered continuity as one transitions through a buildingâ€™s various scales of experience. For a Catholic church, the sense of wholeness and continuous order is a sign and symbol of heavenly realities, which is a basic requirement of a Catholic church.272 On one level, ornament serves to connect oneâ€™s fragmented experience of space, while on another level, ornament works to reveal the hidden beauty of a building. According to Alberti, 268 Ibid, 42. 269 Alberti, On the Art of Building in Ten Books , 194. 270 Nikos A. Salingaros, Principles of Urban Structure (Amsterdam: Techne Press, 2005), 43. 271 Ibid, 52. 272 Denis McNamara, â€œThe Church as a Sacramental Building,â€ 2012; Catholic Church, Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture, and Worship (USCCB Publishing, 2000).
257 ornament reveals, embellishes, forms an â€œauxiliary light,â€ and makes visible the invisible form underneath by â€˜clothingâ€™ it with ornament.273 The â€˜beautyâ€™ of a building is the underlying ordering, structure, and abstract form of its layout. Ornament, in its br oadest terms, encompasses the material aspects of a building. Beauty and ornament can be understood more philosophically as being the buildingsâ€™ structural order and material causes substantially unified in the final cause of architecture. O rnament allows for the abstracted form to be sensed, experienced, and expressed. Furthermore, it is only through the material expression of ornament that the abstract realities of order, structure, and form can be revealed . Alberti confirms this by stating, that in the designing of a building, â€œit is quite possible to project whole forms in the mind without any recourse to the material.â€274 These two ideas, beauty and ornament, are separated only for purposes of clarification, while in practice no one would ever let a building go out â€˜nakedâ€™ of ornament. A buildingâ€™s hidden and unseen structura l order must be â€˜clothedâ€™ with matter to be sense able. In this case, Alberti considers ornament as the material put upon the structure of the building. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright expresses a similar idea when he discusses what he calls integral ornament : So, in the same uncommon sense integral ornament is the developed sense of the building as a whole, or the manifest abstract pattern of structure itself [emphasis added]. Interpreted. Integral ornament is simply structure pattern made visibly articulate and seen in the building as it is seen articulate in the structure of the trees or a lily of the fields. It is the expression of inner rhythm of Form. 275 273 Tavernor, On Alberti and the Art of Building, 43. 274 Tavernor, On Alberti and the Art of Building. 275 Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Frank Lloyd Wright, The Natural House (New American Library, 1970), 64â€“65.
258 For Wright, integrated ornament is th e â€œ imagination giving natural pattern to structure [emphasis in original].â€276 Wright make the same correlation to the textural and structural languages of architecture as espoused in this study. Furthermore, Wrightâ€™s â€œstructure patternâ€ suggests that the role of decoration and ornament is to subdivide larger surfaces into smaller, more comprehensible amounts of surface information. Patterned surfaces help one â€˜graspâ€™ the hidden structure of the larger whole , the building . So, if this is the task of orn ament, then how does it help one transition from materiality to the abstract understanding of heavenly ideas? For this , we look to psychologist Donald Winnicott. Transitional Space Psychoanalyst and pediatrician Donald Winnicott spent the majority of his practice observing the early development of infants and the characteristics of adolescents at play. He developed a theory based upon the metaphor of a â€œtransitional spaceâ€ and â€œtransitional objects.â€277 The theory dissolves the experiential barrier that maintains a separate objective and subjective realm. It does so by identifying that the infant enters into a transitional space when they start to realize that they are separated from their mother. As the infant discovers the world of â€œnot meâ€ and learns to cope with the idea that the mother is no longer a physical part of hi s or her being, they develop an attachment to physical objects as a means to symbolize their prior connection with their mother. This transitional space offers the infant a safe, nonjudgmental place for â€˜reality testing .â€™ The blanket, pacifier, and thum b are a metaphorical stand in for the mother as the infant progresses in their self awareness. The mother accepts the transitional object and allows the illusion to continue while the infant progresses. The important thing is that within 276 Ibid. 277 Donald W. Winnicott, Reading Winnicott (London New York: Routledge, 2011).
259 this transitional sp ace, symbols are created and imbued with meaning.278 Sooner or later the child surpasses the need for the transitional object as they become secure in the â€œmenot meâ€ reality.279 Winnicott further describes the transitional space as â€œan intermediate area of experiencing, to which inner reality and external life both contribute. It is an area that is not challenged because no claim is made on its behalf except that it shall exist as a resting place for the individual engaged in the perpetual human task of keeping inner and outer reality separate yet interrelated.â€280 This task is the realm of the imagination. This process continues throughout adult life and takes form in the arts, culture, and religion. Ornament plays a similar role as it becomes a transitional object that keeps inner and outer reality separate yet interrelated through its re combinatory nature. Ritual Process The psychologi cal process of separation, transition, and acceptance bears significant parallels to the stages of religious ritual. Ethnographer Arnold van Gennep in The Rites of Passage identified three stages that are present in most rituals; preliminary, liminality, a nd post liminality. Liminality stems from the Latin word , meaning â€œ a threshold .â€281 Anthropologist Victor Turner expanded upon Gennepâ€™s idea of the liminality stage and rephrased it using the term transition stage. Much like Winnicott, Turner describes the transition stage of a 278 Kathryn L Rehberg, DW Winnicott and the Dark Night of the Soul: A Literature Review and Theoretical Analysis (ProQuest, 2008), 26. 279 Rehberg, DW Winnicott and the Dark Night of the Soul: A Literature Review and Theoretical Analysis . 280 Donald W. Winnicott, â€œPlaying and Reality,â€ Tavistock, London, 1971. 281 Word search â€œlimen.â€ Merriam Webster Online, â€œMerriam Webster Online Dictionary,â€ 2009, http://www.merriam webster.com.
260 ritual as a place where the individual is considered â€œbetwixt and between.â€282 That is, they are between oneâ€™s prior awareness of themselves and their sought after awareness for which they hope to achieve. During this stage, the presentatio n of words of wisdom, knowledge, imagery, sensory events, and even illusions stimulate the transitional process within the participant. Turner describes the transitional stage as â€œa process, a becomingeven a transformation.â€283 This stage offers many similarities to Winnicottâ€™s transitional space and the function of ornament. As with all rituals, the Catholic mass contains a transitional stage that occurs during the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Comm union Rite. In particular, the Liturgy of the Word includes teachings, stories, parables, and allegories often overlaid with deeply abstract and symbolic ideas. All of the phases of the Mass become memorable partly because of the material and the sensory r ole played by the sacred environment. Meissner, in his book Psychoanalysis and Religious Experience, offers a vivid explanation for why this is so. He states: Such symbols, even in their most primitive and material sense, serve the articulation and maintenance of belief that are important for the human experience of believing. Human beings are, by and large, incapable of maintaining a commitment to something so abstract as a religious belief system without some means of real â€“sensory, visual, or auditory â€“concretization. The individual Catholicâ€™s belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist could hardly be maintained , or at least could be maintained only in extreme difficulty, if participation in the Eucharistic liturgy were not surrounded with a panoply of concrete symbolic expressions of what is basically a highly theological and suprasensory understanding.284 282 Louise Carus Mahdi, Steven Foster, and Meredith Little, Betwixt & between: Patterns of Masculine and Feminine Initiation (La Salle: Open Court Publishing, 1987). 283 Victor Witter Turner, The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual , vol. 101 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1967), 94. 284 William W Meissner, Psychoanalysis and Religious Experience (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984), 181.
261 Meissnerâ€™s explanation clearly desc ribes the importance of the sacramental and visibly ornate nature of Catholic worship spaces. Ornament, expressed through the materiality of Catholic churches, creates the concrete symbolic expression of highly theological concepts. Meissner echoes Winnico tt when states that a symbolâ€™s meaning is understood â€œonly to the extent to which such symbols become part of the transitional realm of the believerâ€™s illusory experience.â€285 So if ornament is to embed meaning into our experiences, we need to propose a means achieved . Embodied Architectural Metaphor The primary means by which we connect to Catholic sacred architecture is through embodied architectural metaphor ( Figure 116 ). Figure 116 â€“ The transitional process . Metaphor , in its most general understanding , is the mapping from one domain to another. Metaphor exists within the transitional space as the mental process for how transitions occur. Psychology Professor Arnold Modell suggests, â€œMetaphor not only transfers [emphasis in original] meaning between differe nt domains , but by means of novel recombinations metaphor can transform meaning and generate new perceptions. Imagination could not exist without this recombinatory metaphoric process.â€286 Ornamentation is known for its re combinatory nature. For example, the foliage border of the chapel entrance morphs from human figures to symbols, fruit, architectural elements, and abstract patterns. 285 Ibid. 286 Arnold H Modell, Imagination and the Meaningful Brain (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003), 27. Transitional space Embodied metaphor Objective Subjective
262 Figure 117 â€“ J. J. Benedict, Entrance to Christ the King Chapel , Denver, CO . P hoto, Stephen Baker, 2016. Cognitive Linguist Professor George Lakoff makes a compelling case for the metaphorical nature of cognition by making a connection between metaphor and religion. He states : The mechanism by which spirituality becomes passionate is metaphor . An ineffable God requires metaphor not only to be imagined but to be approached, exhorted, evaded, confronted, struggled with, and loved. Through metaphor, the vividness, intensity, and me aningfulness of ordinary experience becomes the basis of a passionate spirituality. An ineffable God becomes vital through metaphor The vehicle by which we are moved in passionate spirituality is metaphor . The mechanism of such metaphor is bodily. It is the neural mechanism that recruits our abilities to perceive, to move, to feel and to envision in the service not only of theoretical and philosophical thought, but of spiritual experience.287 Ornament embellishes, heightens, and signifies architectureâ€™s ability to initiate the cross mapping process from materiality to subjectivity. Johnson supports Lakoff by stating, â€œThe 287 George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought (New York: Basic books, 1999), 567â€“568.
263 reason that conceptual metaphor is so important is that it is our primary means for abstract conceptualization and reasoning.â€288 One of the primary characteristics of ornament is that it is often located within a buildingâ€™s areas of transition. For example, architect Louis Kahn noted, â€œthe beginning of ornament comes with the joint.â€289 A prime example of this is the northern entrance portal at Chartres Cathedral ( Figure 118). Figure 118 â€“ Cha r tres Cathedralâ€™s Northern Transept Porch with a w indow of the s acristy in the background, c.1310.290 T his example exists at the transitional threshold (joint) between exterior interior and sacred profane , clearly shows the ability for the illusory, symbolic, and material nature of ornamentation 288 Mark Johnson and Tim Rohrer, â€œWe Are Live Creatures: Embodiment, American Pragmatism, and the Cognitive Organism,â€ Body, Language and Mind 1 (2007): 17â€“54. 289 Kahn, Louis Kahn: Essential Texts . 290 Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7f/Chartres_Cathedral_North_Porch_ NW_2007_08_31.jpg/800px Chartres_Cathedral_North_Porch_NW_2007_08_31.jpg (accessed July 18, 2017).
264 to impress upon oneâ€™s imagination. The architectural act of joining the initiall y separated realms of exterior and interior provides an opportunity to initiate the transitional stage of the ritual. The portal at Chartres helps with this by offering metaphorical ideas expressed through images and patterns that can then be cross mapped with oneâ€™s subjective mindset. The portal physically and metaphorically takes a â€œmenot meâ€ position. That is, at once it is a building entrance while at the same time it also not a building entrance; it is a storybook. The entrance portal at Chartres Cat hedral also demonstrates how ornamentation visually transitions the superhuman scale of the Cathedral down to the humanly graspable scale. This transitional character i stic of ornament makes the portal embody able by allowing one to connect, not only visually with the building, but more importantly, through tactile experience. Embodiment comes through the material and physical contact of the skin, whether actual or imagined, and is a pr imary method for sensing and understanding reality and our place within it.291 Architecture has the unique opportunity to become embodied by offering graspable and humanized objects that assist with the â€˜in betweenâ€™ experience. Just as anthropologist Turner describes the purpose of ritual as a process that â€œgives a visible form to an inward and conceptual process,â€292 so does the ornate portal at Chartres. In doing so, the imagination uses our unique ability to use metaphor to cross map our understanding from one realm to another resulting in the expansion of oneâ€™s awareness of objective reality. Ultimately, texture and texturalization is the nature of ornament. Just as ornament does for Oleg Grabar , t exture â€œenables a direct, immediate encounter between viewers and art objects from any culture and time period .â€ Texture is an ag ent â€œthat [is] not logically necessary to the 291 Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses . 292 Tu rner, The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual , 101:96.
265 perception of a visual message but without which the process of understanding would be more difficult â€“ [texture] in fact often draw us into a work by strengthening the pleasure derived from looking at it.â€293 293 Grabar, The Mediation of Ornament .
266 CASE STUDY The application of this conceptual framework to a specific Catholic church is the focus of this chapter . Here , the conceptual framework demonstrating the dynamic interplay between the textural , structural , and figural languages of architecture will be used to interpret a significant and contemporary work of Catholic sacred architecture: The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels â€“ Los Angeles, C A. This case stud y i l lustrates the current design methodology of post moderni sm , and it stands in stark contrast to the endur ing pattern of Catholic sacred arch itecture. Furthermore, t he Cathedral emphasi zes , more or less, the te x ture expr e ssed design appr oa ch . The L.A. Cathedral is a good example of the textural language of architecture as being the primary method for design. Furthermore , this casestudy serves as a springboard to talk about the other two design methods since it houses many artifacts and artworks that promote these methods. The Cathedral of Our L ady of the Angels â€“ Los Angeles, CA The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is in downtown Los Angeles, CA ( Figure 119).
267 Figure 119 â€“ Exterior of the c athedral on N. Grand Ave . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels , by architect Rafael Moneo , opened in 2002. The cathedral is considered to be a good example of latepostmodern design tendencies . Since the cath edral challenges all preconceived notions of what a Catholic church traditionally expresses, it offers an opportunity to discover what qualities are missing so we can judge what makes it distinct. Likewise, this building is chosen by some architects and sc holars as an ideal example for what makes a â€œgoodâ€ Catholic church , and, likewise, many architects an d scholars chose it as a good example of what makes a â€œbadâ€ Catholic church. This building is as passionately defended as it is opposed. To further underst and why this building is so passionately favored and so passionately opposed, this study will apply the thesis that meaning in Catholic sacred architecture is formed through the dynamic interplay of textural , structural , and figural architectural languages. This study illustrates that the design methods used in the Cathedral are such that they intentionally tr y to deny one the opportunity to form an overall structural and figural analogies of understanding
268 from their expe rience, and, by doing so it is an expression of absence at the loss of presence. This expression of absence deviat es from most other Catholic cathedrals and churches , whereby their focus is primarily on presence offset by deep absence. If we were to plot t he characteristics of this building onto the thesis diagram as shown in Figure 30, the building seeks absence. It does so by us ing difference as the primary design app roach ( Figure 120) . Figure 120 â€“ Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels plotted on the t hesis diagram . Furthermore , by using design techniques that seek difference, the building denies one the ability to form a conceptual understanding of the building . In the overall structure of the building, it denies an identifiable form. This obscurity happen s at almost all levels of scale throughout the building. In this way, the Cathedral requires one to take an either/or approach to form understanding rather than the traditional both/and of Catholicism. Therefore, this building does not exhibit similarity with the enduring design patterns found within Catholic sacred architecture. The enduring pattern is a dynamic mixture of textural , structural , and figural Presence drives understanding A bsence drives exploration Structural Figural Textural Cathedral of the Angels
269 langua ges by using design methods that express sameness , difference and identifiability and mystery. In Incarnational terms, the Cathedral abandons the Word in exchange for the only the Flesh, and intentionally disconnect s the Flesh from any overall figur al unde rstanding of the building . So, let us proceed through a phenomenological interpretation of this building to support these claims. The researcher visited the Cathedral during a 2016 conference of scholars for The Society for Catholic Liturgy. Many of the p eople present at the conference were discussing the building as it sat in plain view from the conference center ( Figure 121). Figure 121 â€“ Rafael Moneo , The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels from the plaz a. Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. There appeared to be an overwhelming consensus tha t this cathedral was not a good Catholic church. One surprising response to the building came from Professor Sister Esther Mary Nickel . A fter experiencing the inside of the church, she said that it made her â€œmad and angry.â€ One of the more prominent questi ons provoked by the building was, â€œWhat is it?â€ I even heard, â€œ What was the architect thinking?â€ These questions of whatness offer a clue as to the struggle many had
270 with the experience of this building. Not being able to form an overall structural and therefore figural analogy of the building meant that the building lack s what the Scholastics called quidditas or whatness . According to our thesis diagram, this building lacks sameness and identifiability which arrive at an awareness of pres ence. Also, I was asked if I thought it was beautiful . M y response was that it was not, but it was mysterious, different, chaotic , and sublime , and that was its goal . Now, if we are looking for an easy building to criticize since it does not fit our customary understandings, then the Cathedral is the perfect choice. However, one must be hesitant to jump on the popular bandwagon to negatively criticize it . In fact, there are many aspects of this building that are admirable. Instead, we seek to understand the Cathedralâ€™s approach to forming meaning at a deeper level in the hopes to find out w hy there is such high regard, as well as such high dis dain for this building from Catholics . Figure 122 â€“ T he c athedralâ€™s f loor pl an . Illustration , Stephen Baker . View in Figure 123 View in Figure 121
271 As one can see from the plan in Figure 122, there is a systematic attempt to refrain from designing any objective or identifiable figures . Each element of the building resists sameness , which according to our thesis diagram when we interpret the building structural ly it leads to identifiability . In other words, everything is different , so we find it hard to form an identifiable or hierarchical structure to the building ; there are very little characteristics of the building that can be categorized as similar. For example, there are parallelograms, rhombuses, and many varied polygons with almost no identifiable forms of Euclidean geometry to th em (except where practicality forced it around the elevators ). Interestingly, those areas of parallel and identifiable forms are hidden from view. Almost no wall has a 90 angle . This is intentionally done since a 90 angle implies angular symmetry (45/45 or cardinal directions). This creates a sense of mystery between the objects , and symmetry begins leads to identifiability since it implies a hierarchical structure, left/right. Since the building avoids sameness i t spurs the â€œWhat is it?â€ question. In this way, the building entices one to learn, to know, and to explore if further in the promise , that if one does , they will further arrive at the answer to â€œwhatâ€ this building is. Since they are no observa ble similarities in the shapes, we can say that it emphasizes difference and autonomy. In this way, the building speaks of absence via the use of textural difference and mystery. The mystery, evoked by the lack of identifiab ility , invites one to explore the buil ding. At the floorplan viewpoint, it leads us towards a sense of absence, hence the question, â€œ What is it?â€ The primary design metho d for achieving absence is through the use of asymmetry, difference, and stark contrast. These methods preven t one from generating a clear structural idea or concept of th e overall building. These design characteristics emanate throughout the Cathedral since almost every wall, window, stair, furniture piece, pew, and floor plane individuate s through
272 fragmentation and differences in shape. By using this design method, the building unfolds into parts, so much, that there are no recognizable categories of similar shapes which would form a hierarchical understanding from oneâ€™s experience of the building . One key way t hat we can try to abstract out higher levels of understanding is by generating a parti diagram, plan schema, or Gestalt of the building ( Figure 123). Figure 123 â€“ Parti diagram of the Cathedral of the Angels . T his illustration show s the parti diagram of the cathedral as three polygons overlapping at various angles. A parti diagram is an architectâ€™s way of drawing an image schema for the overall conceptual idea of the building . Even with this diagram, we still find it difficult to codify or intellectually grasp the overall concept of the building. The schematic image, or dir ectional thrust of each rectangle, is depicted as arrows expanding f ro m the centroid of each rectangular shape.
273 This building is like the numeric string of â€œ1â€™sâ€ and â€œ0â€™sâ€ that had now apparent ordering or patterning from which w e could chunk into higher levels of structural organization since t he Cathedralâ€™s parti diagram cannot be as easily grouped or chunked into higher levels of similar parts. Each part of the parti diagram stands individually apart from the other; there is no sameness, only difference . If we use the method of verbally describing the parti diagram as a means for measuring how complex it is, the description of the Cathedral would be very long. O ne must specifically indicate the starting location of each red line and its vector angle . Each one of these descriptors would be different from the other and not grouping could occur , and the description would be very long. Since the Cathedral does not allow higher levels of structural organization to form, there is only a steady flow of raw textural information and fragmented parts. This is the geometric alphabet of the textural language of architecture. If one continually tries to structuralize the experience of the Cathedral into concepts, hierarchies, or wholes, they find that they cannot , and they eventually arrive at information overload. This overl oa d causes the frustration and anger that Sister Nickle refer r ed to in her impression of the building. The definition of the sublime is associates with t his inability to grasp something. In thi s Cathedral , the intent is sublime absence since t he Cathedral resists conceptual presence and insists on absence. Throughout oneâ€™s experience of the building, we strive to form concepts that transcend beyond the sense , while the building insists on us contending with its immanence. I n other words, the beholder must contend with every surface, shape, form, and space as a being in and of itself . This experience is the textural languages used in this building. The overall structural language of â€œcathedralâ€ does not exist or remains veiled in an ungraspable mystery .
274 Throughout oneâ€™s experience of the cathedral , they are consistently required to realize that each aspect of the building exists as an autonomous being. Moreover , since each entity is attempting to express its sovereignty, each building element must work to deny the presence of subparts and its relationship to the larger whole. The building is seeking an atomistic and materialistic worldview and expression. If these autonomous parts organized into similar categories , they would indicate the presence of a greater whole , the definition of the beauty, for beauty is found in the whatness ( quidditas ) and categorically ideal. The building uses t his design tactic in many ways. For example, at the entrance, one is presented with a large singular and almost monolithic treatment of walls with parts interjected at various locations ( Figure 124 ) .
275 Figure 124 â€“ Entrance to the c athedral plaza. Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. The darkened cross that punctures the mass is positioned without similarity to the other elements in the wall, for example, the horizontal line and the holes from t he construction ties. Here we must intuit that the darkened void along the bottom allows on to enter, it affords enter ability without the traditional idea, symbolism, or identification of a portal or arch. As one enters the plaza, the austere presence of ONE thing arrest s the viewer ( Figure 125) . 1
276 Figure 125 â€“ View from the plaza e ntry . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. The buildingâ€™s bounded â€œonenessâ€ demands attention. Since it exists, stands, and contrasts against the blue background; this object must have some form of integrity. The quest to form a conceptual whole continues as the building entices one to approach. Fr om this view, one can see a good demonstration of what is meant by the unfolded textural surface of the building.
277 Figure 126 â€“ The u nfolded t extural e ffects of the Cathedral . Photo, Stephen Baker, 2016. As shown in Figure 126, t he Cathedralâ€™s textural patter n is very similar to that of an unfolded piece of origami paper ( Figure 127 ) and the textural example of the â€œ stuff â€ found on the desk in Figure 60.
278 Figure 127 â€“ The t extural e ffects of u nfolded pieces of origam i.294 However, notice in the origami images, there are various patterns with bilateral symmetry to them. In the Cathedral, this bilateral symmetry is lacking. By the use of symmetry, one can almost re fold the origami sheets into a figure in oneâ€™s mind. Likewise , in the origami patterns , one get s a sense of it folding into some â€œthingâ€ because of the bilateral symmetry in the fold lines. 294 Source: https://i.pinimg.com/564x/65/16/f8/6516f8de5fa462933 D 612a58da2a456d.jpg (accessed February 10, 2018). The textural effects of t he Structural language The Figural Language
279 The overall form of the building lacks a sense of similarity between elements. In fact, the only particularly identifiable element is the symmetrical cross beams that appear in the dark window box viewable along the courtyard faade ( Figure 128 ). Figure 128 â€“ The cross e lement in the courtyard f aade . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. Even this identifiable cross like shape remains just a shape and resists being a n identifiable figure. If this cross like shape presented an identifiable figure, it would indicate the notion of an author or architect intending a meaning to the cross shape. There is a lack of narrative beyond what it is, two steel beams intersecting in a schematic image. Put differently , the cross shape appears almost accidental since it could just as easily be a structural support for the building. The use of parallel lines, symmetry, and repetition of similar forms expresses sameness in this building ( Figure 129 ).
280 Figu re 129 â€“ Similarity in some parts of the building . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. When the building uses manipulations of similarity and sameness, it allows for a sense of relationship or hierarchy to each part. However, each panel is identical which allows very little variation between each panel. For example, as a wall panel turns a corner or abuts an opening, that panel acts indifferent or is ambivalent to this change. The panel persists in its shape as an identical panel with no apparent difference to its shape at the intersection. When one experiences manipulations such as symmetry and sameness, we can sense an inherent order , and w e identify a pattern. In other words, we sense the hand of a designer having placed the parts into a symmetrical or similar relationship. Through sameness and symmetry, we are most easily able to empathize with a building, that is, we can see and project the feeling of oneself into the building , w e identify with it. The use of symmetry and sameness a llows us to form a conceptual understanding from our experience. In contrast, the Cathedral has almost every architectural element standing in complete autonomy from each other. We can
281 imagine that each building element, wall, window, ceiling, and floor pl ane has been atomized apart from each other into distinct and separate forms. It emphasized manyness over oneness. Each building elements demands from the beholder that they see it for exactly what it is; a wall is this wall and not that wall. W hen arrivi ng upon the Cathedral, one notices the buildingâ€™s resistance toward the hierarchical arrangement of parts, symmetry, and simplified ordering ( Figure 130). Figure 130 â€“ Entrance a pproach to the Cathedral . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. In this regard, the building minimizes oneâ€™s ability to predict how to navigate into, though, or around this building. Therefore, the design must rely heavily upon blatant symbolism or identifiable markers to â€œpointâ€ you in the right direction. How does one enter this structure?
282 There is a bright yel low arrow with a dark opening in it, this almost literally says, â€œEnter hereâ€ ( Figure 131 ). Figure 131 â€“ The Cathedral â€™s entrance portal . P hoto, Stephen Baker , 2016. To support this, the shadow lines of the canopy and the palm trees of the courtyard reinforce this indication of the entrance . The entrance of the Cathedral is ominous and stands in stark contrast to the vibrancy of the building in the southern California sun. This level of starkness is nonexistent anywhere at the observer level of this building, except here. This contrast hints a t a place of refuge , penetration , and entrance . Here exists the only exterior ic onography or recognizable
283 figure i n what appears to be a dress , habit, or robe . The lines of the black metal cladding not only lead oneâ€™s eyes to this architectural ly incorporated figure but also play with our perception of perspe ctive by illusively giving a sense of further depth . In contrast to the rest of the exterior, the entrance portal does have symmetry to it. This symmetry is primarily due to the necessity of function because the entire metallic frame can open as one giant door . This la r ger door encompas se s the smaller doors shown here. The gap between the bottom of the black metallic large doors hint s at this functionality. Some i dentifiability is allowed at this point, but the resistance to it is still present because the figure does not use traditional sig ns to indicate who the figure is . For example, is it the Blessed Virgin? Is it an angel with the gold metal cladding as its wings? Does the hint of a crescent moon indicate who it is ? The hole where a halo traditionally s its around the head hints at i t being the Blessed Virgin Mary, but at this point , a mystery remains . The desire to discover more i nf ormation heightens upon entering this â€œporta l â€ and the desire to retreat out of the heat of the sun . This combination offers a sense of fascination to the experience which does entice one to explore and to become involved with this building. Since the initial â€œwhatnessâ€ of the building is not clear from the outside . However, knowing â€œwhatâ€ this building is not be answere d from the outside. The exterior resists all forms of traditional signals except for the singular sculpture that is visible above the entrance. As one approaches the doors, a surprising discovery occurs through the presence of further iconography. In this way, the building offers a level of continued understanding at the human scale, something that is intentionally missing at the scale of the whole building. ( Figure 132).
284 Figure 132 â€“ One of the smaller entrance doors to the Cathedral . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. One find s it easy to form a devotional attachment to these doors. They have rendered a structural object, a door, into a figural expression with cultural meaning. The doors are a good example of â€œenfigured.â€ If one had to make a purely aesthetic decision would they willingly throw these doors out versus the cross like shape window box from before?
285 As one enters the Cathedral, a moment is needed to adjust the eyes to the change in light intensity . From this point , one can see a force d perspective that tells the observer were t o proceed ( Figure 133 ) . Figure 133 â€“ Entrance h allway to the Cathedral n av e . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. However, frustratingly, the perspective lines do not terminate on an identifiable element, rather they terminate at the side element of a larger furniture piece shown obscured by the walls on the right side of the view (1). There is no rest for the observe r in this view. Beyond this lighted line in the ceiling, there is little in the space that indicates more information about this it other than it being a long rectangular void. Again, we are led to climb a sloping ramp that enhances the idea that we are ar riving at a view that will offer more information and illuminate our intellect about this space. T he obscured views on the right add to the m ystery with pools of light indicating openings that would offer further exploration. These create a jalousie effect of light and shadow on the ceiling and floor which indicate that one could enter in between these columns. Finally, at 1
286 the end of this perspective is an ornate furniture piece (a relic of a reredos) that is halfway visible. This obscurity of â€œwha t it isâ€ enhances oneâ€™s desire to proceed further into space ( Figure 134) . Figure 134 â€“ Entrance h allway l eading to the c athedral n av e . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. From this view, one can start to see the construction lines and the impressions the formwork ties left into the concrete walls (1). Through substructuring, the monolithic nature of the concrete walls provides some level of smal ler scale figuring. Likewise, by hinting at its construction process, these details provide a mild attempt to introduce some hierarchical integrity to the massive forms. These details also demonstrate expression of the structural integrity of the massive f orm. In other words, they reveal the form â€™ s inner integrity or its â€œhow itis made ness.â€ However, the jump in scale between the concrete texture, circles, lines, and overall shape of the wall is drastic. Most notably is the absence of forms, patterns, and details that are within the scale of the human hand. Therefore, the columns primarily express a sense of magnitude and power because they favor the expression of their overall primitive form over the smaller scaled 1
287 figuring of that form. These columns are a good example of â€œ enfolded.â€ Also, the spacing between each of the columns offers no sense of repeating pattern, so in the the plan , the columns defy hierarchical structuring ( integritas ) which leads to identifiability ( claritas ). Where the light is coming from between these columns is pleasantly revealed as offering a vantage point into the nave of the sanctuary. This view offers a hint of an illuminated prize that exists at the end of our journey. However, even these views are pressed down by angled wa lls to limit the amount of legibility and identifiability one can achieve from this vantage point ( Figure 135). Figure 135 â€“ View between the v ertical s hafts into the m ysterious s pace beyond . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016.
288 As one arrives at the end of this hallway, we can identify the previously obscured furniture piece to be a museum like salvaged reredos ( Figure 136 ). Figure 136 â€“ Artifact of an identifiable reredos on the left and traditional Catholic liturgical elements on the right . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. In the discussion of hierarchies and levels of scale, one find s that the example of the reredos helps to demonstrate the enduring pattern of â€œenfiguredâ€ of traditional Catholic sacred architecture. This quality is something lacking in the Cathedral. This a rtifact offers a fine example of how structuralization along with figuralization creates a piece of art that is cherished and preserved, just as it is in this building ( Figure 137 ).
289 Figure 137 â€“ Levels of s cale and structural language of the r eredos . Illustration , Stephen Baker.
290 As this illustration demonstrates, similar elements of the reredos can be grouped while connecting structural lines which depict their relationships. Each layer of organization stands in relation to the other as a depth based hierarchy. In this way, each part can be â€œ grasped â€ in relation to the whole. The self similarity and symmetry allow for the hierarchical development of a whole element, the reredos, its whatness . In comparison to the plan parti diagram developed earlier ( Figure 123 ) . The Cathedralâ€™s overall theme denies this layered relationship. The overall structure and hierarchy are then enfigured with representational figures of floral patterns, saints, columns, and ornate capitals. Now, if we just built the colorful diagrammatic of the structural language, we would have a very modern style building. However, on top this structure, and integrated within it are the figural, rhetorical, narrative, and allegorical depictions of plants and people. A lso, to the right of the reredos ( Figure 136 ) is a space that accommodates traditional Catholic elements. Even the building acknowledges the need and desire for Catholics to hold onto and cherish these figural elements. However, unlike the reredos example, these spaces could hold anything do the universal nature of raw geometries used to create these spaces. Since the columns schematize into shape s and form s , they are no â€œt hingâ€ Perhaps that is what Sr. Nickle found so frustrating with her experience of the building. The building is very intentionally and forcefully denying Catholics any traditional forms of Catholic artistry or narrative. An identifiable Catholic churc h is a recognizable construct where the walls, windows, and experience are not just for housing artifacts but are themselves symbolic, allegorical, and ornaments that speak to Catholic tradition and narrative. In this cathedral, tradition and narrative is an appliqu d ornament or reserved in niches for preservation. The building itself is trying to be one all egory or ornament, and is â€œbuilt in such a manner that the structure and method of
291 construction do not dilute the ornamental impact of conception.â€295 The strong avoidance of identifiability and hierarchical inte grity means that this building is a textural expression formed; it is a â€œduckâ€ in terms of Learning from Las Vegas . The designerâ€™s intent to avoid any identifiability is explicitly made present in the way the traditional, identifiable liturgical elements are placed museum like throughout the church. This contrast between building and artifact poignantly illustrates the differing design approaches. The very fact that these elements, which possess the enfigured pattern, are saved and cherished as museum piec es within this church tells us something significant of the Catholic imagination. Likewise, the fact that representational sculptures fill these niches rather than shapes and forms of raw materials tells us what is cherished by Catholics. These figural, natural, and identifiable elements contrast with the schematic and abstract forms of the building. Nowhere is the more prominent than in the nave of the church where one finds large tapestries of representational artwork ( Figure 138 ) . 295 Beeby, â€œOrnament,â€ 13.
292 Figure 138 â€“ Panoramic photo of the s aint s t apestry along the n ave of the Cathedral . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. Time and time again, one hears that the most memorable part of the Cathedral was these tapestries. Again, anything figural, allegorical, or narrative in nature adheres to the building in a removable fashion. The integration of the figural elements is not at all integrated with the over all structure in a way similar to what occurs in the reredos. If by chance the Cathedral ever needs to be demolished, it will be the tapestry and reredos that are salvages, preserved, and cherished. Just like the struggle to through away the crucifix trink et, it will be difficult for Catholics to discard these figural elements of this building. As in t he reredos, there are narrative elements, i.e. , the statues, that integrate into the hierarchical structure as another element. The reredos also has a similarity between the figural and structural form which adds to the overall â€œwhatnessâ€ of the object. It possesses harmony between the parts and the whole, Aquinas would say it possesses consonantia.
293 Figure 139 â€“ View down the c entral aisle of the s anctuary . Photo, Stephen Baker , 2016. There is a general sense of being â€œpushedâ€ through this building. This sense stems primarily from the lack of identifiable structure to it. Typically, in Catholic churches , there is an underlying ordering to the building that can be ready almost immediately. On a metaphysical level, this ordering is the â€œpullingâ€ of Divine order. After all, God orders chaos. There is a Divine Intellect behind all things , and the metaphors we use for this are geometric principles, such as a cube, circle, triangle, and fractals . One of the more troubling aspects of the design is the depression of the altar predella into the ground. One travels downward into the sacredness of the space. The counters the notion that oneâ€™s view is greatly illuminated and expanded upon when reaches the mountaintop. By going down, it seeks an inward refuge within its vast cavernous walls, rather than the traditional enlightenment associated with ascending in elevati on. By architecturally forcing the beholder to rely solely upon their intuition and textural sense to form any understanding from their experience, the architecture is saying that must
294 contend with every â€ and â€ as it presents itself , as illustrated in the series of numbers example earlier in Figure 65. This approach levels each beholder down to their base or primal level of understanding. Maritain says that our a bility to form meaning at this level requires the use of â€œprimordial intuition.â€ He identifies this form of intuition as: B oth the intuition of my existence and of the existence of things , but first and forem ost of the existence of things. When it first takes place, I suddenly realize that a given entity man, mountain or tree exists and exercises this sovereign activity to be in its own way, in an independence of me which is total, totally self assertive and totally implacable .296 Maritain also calls the origination of knowledge â€œ prephilosophic ,â€ â€œintuitive,â€ and â€œprimordial.â€ Furthermore, he contends that the effort of modern thought, from Descartes to Kierkegaard, â€œtends to such an awareness of the specific naturalness of man â€™ s knowledge of God, definitely more profound than any scientifically developed logical process, and an awareness of the primordial and simple intuitiveness in which this knowledge originates. â€297 Our natural inclination to understand flashes from an â€œintuitive graspâ€ and â€œprimordial intuition of existence.â€298 The Cathedral of the Angles engages this intuition within us , however, it struggles to move past it into conceptual knowledge which is dependent upon structural inference. So, in some ways , a sense of gratitude is due to the architect of this building. A sense of gratitude since they have reminded us of our intuitive sense of God and that we have not lost it. This building reawakens our innate desire to know since it presents itself as something immediate unknown. It demands that we use intuition to understand it. This intuitiveness is something that Venturi and Brown identif ied as what modernism lost. The problem is that it makes the entire experience of God, through this church, unknowable on a conceptual level â€”we 296 Jacques Marit ain, Approaches to God, ed. and trans. P. Oâ€™Reilly (Harper & Brothers, 1954), 1â€“15, http://inters.org/Maritain Way Approach God#_edn3. 297 Ibid. 298 Ibid.
295 are left only with fleeting feelings produced by textural effects. Because of the buildingâ€™s resistance to being structuralized , the sense of anger and frustration of this building is duly deserved. By denying any sense of rest or repose which is afforded by conceptual and structural understanding of the building, one is left stimulated but angered. It is the lack o f organizational layers that form higher conceptual understanding which leaves within Heraclitian flux of raw information . The building lacks sameness which leads to identity by overemphasizing difference which leads not just to mystery but anxiety . Ultimately, the overemphasis of difference leads to absence since we struggle to grasp the wholeness of the building . The Cathedral of the Angels could use a lot more presence to the existence of an identi t y , the identifiability a nd presence of the Word component of the Word becoming Flesh of the Incarnational Principle . The corpus, the image of Christ, needs to be put on this â€œcrossâ€ of a church so that it might endure and find deeper meaning with Catholics. The building itself needs more of what the tap estry presents.
296 CONCLUSION As in the example of the crucifix and the cross discussed earlier, Catholic sacred architecture, and the imagination that informs it, finds a multitude of differ ent forms of expression. However, they all can be summarize d as falling within the range from purely textural , the purely structural , and somewhere in between as figural . Moreover, as tangible things are never entirely pure, all forms of expression ultimately fall between these two binaries of opposition. For exam ple, the Cathedral of the Angels, even though it resists structural understanding at every moment, must possess structure to remain â€œstanding.â€ As a reminder, this spectrum of architectural languages is aptly illustrated in the crucifix and cross illustration ( Figure 140 ). Figure 140 â€“ The spectrum of architectural languages: purelytextural, figural, and purely structural languages of architecture . Photos, Stephen Baker. Likewise, t he expression of these three architectural languages can be seen through th e built artifact of Catholic churches. At times, Catholic churches favor the more sensual nature of the textural language of architecture, as in the lavishly ornate Baroque or Rococo churches. O ther times , the entire structure melts into a textural collage of affect, as in the Church of the Jubilee. Other times, Catholic churches favor the more structural expression, as in the austerity of Textural (Flesh) manyness Structural (Word) oneness Figural (Man & creation is like God) wholeness
297 Cistercian churches. However, most of the time, Catholic sacred architecture favors a third, in between expression of the figural representation of humanity , Creation , and the body of Christ . In summary of this claim, three examples are offered: Figure 141 â€“ Three churches spanning the spectrum of architectural languages . Photos, Stephen Baker. These three interior photos illustrate this spectrum of architectural languages. Each church falls within the spectrum : 1) T he Cathedral of the Angles attempts to express the purely t extural language of architecture; 2) Light of the World attempt s to express the purely structural language of architecture; 3) Holy Ghost Church attempts to express the figural mean between . Moreover, i t is the figural language of architecture which finds the best correlation to the both/and of Catholicism since it seeks the mean in between opposition as a source of meaning. The meaning in between is accomplished through Catholicismâ€™s acceptance of analogical reasoning as a valid and powerful means of knowi ng God. The figural and analogical mean between is t he enduring patte rn that seeks to represent the form of Christ , the supreme image of God, and the liturgy as the mediator dei (the mediator of God) . I n other words, a Catholic church uses representational , anthropomorphic , and figurative means of expression to imbue Her churches with meaning . This analogical form of meaning and sense of being resonates with the Catholic imagination and worldview . It is only through figural expressions that we see the image and personhood of Christ . However, a Catholic Cathedral of the Angels Holy Ghost Church Light of the World
298 church is not to be a photographic representation of a human person. A Catholic church is a â€œfinal image ,â€ one that speaks to the soul of the person inhabiting and experiencing the building. It must go beyond the merely physical and rawness of matter. This final, rhetorical, and intentional image provides analogical meaning that goes beyond its purely literal use and extends it into the realm of allegorical interpretation and understanding . Furthermore, it is the display of a figural narrative in architecture that connects Catholics to it . The final image of figurative languages must go beyond it self as being just a textural piece of wood and plastic arranged in a structural cross shape. It i s only through the figural meaning of the crucifix to which Catholics form an enduring attachment. In other words, the rhetorical intent or the figural expression of a Catholic church, inclusive of the structural function of the mass, must be considered if it is to endure . We live in a world divided between a materialistic worldview that sees a rose as just a rose and a building as a machine, and another worldview where all is in flux , and the only basis for understanding is sensual . We find ourselves engag ed in the perennial debate between H eraclitus â€™ â€œall is fluxâ€ and Parmenides â€™ â€œoneness,â€ which finds competing answers from Plato and Aristotle. The Catholic Church is no different. It contributes to Western Civilizationâ€™s ongoing conversation as through the debate between Augustine and Aquinas. However, the Catholic answer is unique in that is accepts this dynamic paradox, but She finds a source of meaning through analogy. Through analogical reasoning the paradox is not synthesized into oneness, but left as the sameness found in manyness, and meaning found through interrelationships. The Catholic Church does so through the key analogy of the figure and personhood of Jesus Christ. For Catholicism, the soul is the mean between body and mind.
299 Catholic sacred architecture resides within a fuller worldview where things are textural expressions of an unseen structure and logic. In this worldview, Catholic sacred architecture is enhanced with a plentitude of figural decorations: a column is an apos tle; the ceiling is a symbol of heavens; the front door is a portal to the New Jerusalem ; the very stones cry out unrefrained in their praise of the person and figure of Jesus Christ.299 The stones of chapels, churches, and cathedrals tell the story and poi nt to the beyond of mere matter ; they express the spiritual and final nature of the human person. Catholic churches must courteous enough to speak to the soul of humanity. Fulton Sheen calls expression that goes beyond mere matter â€œ c ourtesy ,â€ and from this sense of courtesy is b orn the sens e of holiness. Courtesy speaks to the soul and dignity of anotherâ€™s personhood. Sheen su m marizes our current crises eloquently when he states: Now the stones are silent, for modern man no longer believes in another world; they have no story to tell, no meaning to convey, no truth to illustrate. When faith in the spiritual is lost , architecture has nothing to symbolize; similarly when men lose the conviction of the immortal soul, there is a decline in the resp ect for the human. Man without a soul is a thing; something to be used, not something to be reverenced . He becomes â€œ functional â€ like a building, or a monkey wrench, or a wheel. The courtesies, the amenities, the urbanities , the gentility that one mortal ought to have for another are neglected once man is no longer seen as bearing within himself the Divine Image. Courtesy is not a condescension of a superior to an inferior, or a patronizing interest in another â€™ s affairs; it is the homage of the heart to the sacredness of human worth. Courtesy is born of holiness, as ornamentation is born of the sense of the holy. Let us see if ornamentation returns to architecture, if courtesy also returns to human manners; for by one and the same stroke, men will have lost their dull seriousness, and will begin to live in a sacramental universe with a divine sense of humor .300 This sense of courtesy represents, acknowledges, respects, and adorns t he â€œotherâ€ as a person. Courtesy, as an acknowledgment of the other as person not as â€œit,â€ is what Catholic sacred 299 In the gospel of Luke, Jesus tells the Pharisees that if his followers are â€œrebukedâ€ or quieted, the m, â€œ if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!â€ (Lk 19:40, NABRE ). 300 Fulton J. Sheen, These Are the Sacraments (Aeterna Press, 2015), 2â€“3.
300 architecture expresses. From this figural and enfiguring view, Catholic sacred architecture allows one to enter into an I /Thou encounter of o ther ness , rather than remaining in the fleeting I/It experience of a thing. It is this re presentation and adornment of Catholic sacred architecture that imbues it with enduring meaning. Moreover, if a Catholic church does not acknowledge the soul through its design, Catholics will inevitably enfigure it with meaning, narrative, rhetoric, and figural expressions that re present the view and belief that all people have eternal souls and that every one is made in the image and likeness of our Creator. It is t he principle of the Incarnation that gives Catholics the basis for their imagination and means for figuring their worlds in the image and likeness of God ( imago dei ). Furthermore, the theology of the Incarnation explains Catholic sacred architecture, for â€œ i f modern philosophy explains modern art, medieval philosophy explains medieval art ,â€ then it is the enduring philosophy and worldview of the Incarnation that explains Catholic sacred architecture .301 Catholic sacred architecture is the figural and â€œlyrical expression of philosophy ,â€ and a theology built and expressed in stone.302 Without this figural expression, a church is a church is a church, and a building is a thing without a soul , and things without sols can be as easily discarded as a sheet of paper with two black lines drawn on it. It is the figural language that completes a building by making it into a sign and symbol of a heavenly reality . It is the acknowledgement that that heaven transfigures earth , and that in heaven so shall it be on earth. From a Catholic perspective, t he figural language of architecture speaks to our souls . Ultimately, it is the expression of humanityâ€™s eternal nature that makes Catholic sacred architecture endure. 301 Fulton Sheen, Old Errors and New Labels (New York, NY: The Century Co, 1931), 120. 302 Ibid, 121.
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