Tuesday, May 6, 2014

6: Comparative Scale: Respect for human scale in B/R churches

Despite the artistry and brilliance that certain B/R churches exude, one thing I did notice over the course of the semester was that, with only a precious few exceptions, human scale was not respected except perhaps in plan. In my opinion, and in the university's opinion, a work of architecture is incomplete and flawed unless it respects human scale.

So I wanted to explore churches in this post, perhaps more generally by examining national styles and regional variants, on the B/R, as well as the circumstances surrounding the construction.

The Italian baroque style tended to produce a myriad of smaller churches for which it was much easier to respect human scale, although in fairness here a much more urban environment exists in many more locals than in Northern Europe and as such planners and architects ought to have been working more with the site than with their users.

The English and French baroque produced numerous churches that, although in equally urban environments, were larger by far. This opportunity was sometimes afforded them by good civic planning or fire, but usually just meant occupying large swathes of cheaper land. Generally larger congregational churches, in my opinion do not respect human scale.

The Germanic baroque certainly offers us a better alternative. Despite the fact that across the empires churches were constructed at all scales, the internal decoration tended to respect human scale.

 Privately constructed and patronized churches, that is to say, churches that did not have a papal or church order for their construction, too, as above here with Asamkirche (St. Johann Nepomuk) tended to work within their context more fluidly.

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