Architecture and Religion (Writing about Religion in the New York Times)

Nice article by Michael Kimmelman on the new Renzo Piano addition of a convent and visitor’s center to Le Corbusier’s 1955 hilltop chapel of Notre Dame du Haut Ronchamp. I’m not sure what to think about the new design. The new design looks very corporate, like an upscale lobby or college dormitory room. It must be all the zinc, concrete, and glass.  And the furntiture that looks vaguely like it was picked up at Ikea.

What strikes more is how religion and the expression of religious values let slip into a secular venue like the New York Times via Art and Design. It’s what Derrida called “religion without religion.” I like the reduction of religion to materials, light, and space. Or is that precisely the corporate effect which I don’t like? “The House of God” meets “Hotel Lobby” (a la Siegfried Kracauser, in Mass Ornament)?

i found the images at:

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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