A Profound and Minimalist Church in Louisiana
This subtle and lovely minimalist sink is not where you might expect it.
In a complex of church buildings in a rural Catholic Parish in South Louisiana designed by Trahan Architects, this is a part of the new Holy Rosary Church.
The almost angelic peace of these buildings struck me.
These are intensely modern and minimalist – and yet with the medieval quality of cloisters.
The sober sight lines suggest the architecture portrayed by medieval artists like Fra Angelico, yet these structures are also modern and minimal.
The architect develops a meditative environment using the limited palette of light colored concrete with plate glass.
These minimalist surfaces draw attention to the play of light on these humble materials.
The complex includes an administrative block, two linear classroom bars, a religious education building.
The buildings form the courtyard in which the oratory is located.
The oratory, or chapel, is the focus of the otherwise orthogonal composition, but is itself skewed to further underscore its importance and to create a sense of expectation.
Light enters through a variety of openings carved from the wall thickness without revealing context or light source beyond.
Cast glass detailing offers a relief from the very restricted palette of poured-in-place concrete with plate glass.
In the humblest details, the obscured presence of light is symbolic of the paschal mystery of Christ.
Neither opulent nor austere, Holy Rosary Chapel presents a thoughtful meditation on sacred spaces and the spatial embodiment of spiritual experience.
The quite extraordinary result is an engaging and profound study in sacred space.