Architecture and Theology

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James Robertson has commenced doctoral research (supervised by Eamonn Canniffe) on the early architecture of Jack Coia (1898-1981) with particular reference to his churches. In this sketch of St. Peter in Chains, Ardrossan (1938) one can detect the influence of the Amsterdam School, as well as the almost expressionist work of the German architect Dominikus Bohm. Continuity in Architecture looks forward to James’s discoveries on Coia’s work and its relationship to the building programme of the Glasgow Archdiocese.

Information on the later work of the practice is available at C20 Society casework.

As above so below…

The recent article in The Independent gleefully predicting doom on the aspirations of the creators and residents of Poundbury…

“As his Poundbury dream implodes, it never rains but it pours for Prince

…brings to mind the story from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino where the
city planned with reference to the celestial pattern is discovered by visitors to be populated by the monstrous offspring of its shame filled citizens.


Slaves to Architecture


As your correspondents strolled leisurely through Milan after a long and ample lunch, we observed that the city was indeed as ‘tough as nails’, as Yvonne Farrell had remarked. The general lack of exterior detail on the early twentieth century architecture, however, is relieved by some of the earlier survivals such as the Casa degli Omenoni by Leone Leoni (1509-90), where figures and architectural elements are combined for dramatic effect.


Further information click here.

Famagusta, Αμμόχωστος, Gazimağusa


Hacer Basarir, a doctoral student supervised by Eamonn Canniffe, presented a paper at the recent INTBAU conference in Venice. The paper, entitled ”Reflections of change at the crossroads of different cultures: a 700 year old building – St. Nicholas Cathedral (Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque) – Northern Cyprus”, will be published in the conference proceedings later this year. An element of Hacer’s wider research, the paper discusses the French gothic cathedral constructed under the Lusignan dynasty and its conversion into a mosque when the Ottomans occupied Cyprus. The building presents some provocative juxtapositions of cathedral portal and minaret, gothic tracery and islamic screens.




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These paintings of the area around S. Maria dei Miracoli in Venice were produced by Jenny Whittingham in 1997 as analytical sketches for a project in the School. They were produced by painting in acrylic directly onto standard photographic prints, an apparently simple and cheap technique. This was preCAD or before the general interest in and availability of CAD in the School. They demonstrate the value of tracing and transforming images and other base material using hand-drawing or painting to develop a feel for form, space and atmosphere (and chiaroscuro). Of course an ‘acrylic’ or other effect could be produced by the use of filters in Photoshop but the tactile element of the exercise is lost as is the skill of the colourist. Here the transformation is in the hand and mind of the designer.

The worst place in the world to play frisbee


One of two overflows on the dam of the Ladybower reservoir, Derbyshire. The sizes of the steps are distributed hyperbolically meaning that it is impossible to lean over to see the bottom no matter how far down the hole you go, supposing you were mad enough to try. In this regard it resembles the Devil’s Staircase, (see Fractal Geometry of Nature, B. B. Mandelbrot 1983, p. 83). During the war the reservoir was used by 617 Squadron to practice with the Barnes Wallis bouncing bomb.