Gothic revival and neoclassicism Essay

Gothic Revival and Neoclassicism were strong architectural motions which occurred during the mid 18th to the terminal of the nineteenth century. In Wellington, these two architectural motions can be seen through the churches of Old Saint Paul ‘s ( OSP ) which is a Gothic Revival church and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart ( MCSH ) which is a neoclassical edifice.

Reverend Frederick Thatcher ( 1814 – 1890 ) designed Old Saint Paul ‘s church in 1866. He was born in Hastings, England and came to New Zealand in 1843. His influences for planing the church were by the ecclesiastical motion and he strongly supported their theories of allowing every stuff used being existent and that Gothic architecture is the lone true architecture ( Alington, 26 )

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Francis ( Frank ) William Petre ( 1847-1918 ) designed Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Petre was born in Lower Hutt in the North Island. He had strong household connexions to the Saint Mary ‘s Cathedral ( Gothic Revival Church ) which had been burnt down in a fire in 1898. This made Petre to plan a new Cathedral in MCSH to tag the site of the burnt down church. Although, MCSH is a neoclassical church and building started in 1899 and was completed in 1901. Petre was influenced by Pugin as Gothic was his first love but subsequently moved into classical basilica design because it was a lower cost and for structural sustainability.

Approaching OSP externally, I felt that the church seemed to be somewhat hidden behind the big trees which obstructed parts of the church at oculus degree. I could hold walked past the edifice without detecting that it was a church as it was so homely. Mulgrave Street is the route running in forepart of the church and it is placed on land degree with no major inclines or lift. ( See Figure 1 for exterior illustration ) The original clients of the church were British Anglican believers and Ecclesiology in church architecture was of import during this period in clip and the believers would hold responded to the edifice with pride as it symbolised British laterality. Today ‘s users are majorly still Anglican believers and the turning figure of believers mean that the church would be used more than at the clip that it was ab initio built.

On the other manus, nearing MCSH was a contrast to nearing OSP. A dominant expansive edifice standing tall on a raised platform rose as I walked towards it. The six exterior ionic pillars with immense bases which are larger than an mean human truly made me experience distinct and powerless. This adds an authoritive label to the church. ( See Figure 2 for exterior illustration ) Catholic believers were the original clients and the same remains today.

The two clearly different churches were designed by their designers intentionally to demo the different religions being practised at each church and how specific elements reveal this. This paper addresses how the ordering rules of the columns in both Metropolitan Cathedral and Old St Paul ‘s reveal that the designers planned the structural component non merely for functional demands, but to congratulate aesthetic values as good.

Columns are indispensable edifice elements which are used both in OSP and MCSH. In OSP the basic map of the square base column is to back up the ribs of the vaults. In MCSH the internal ionic columns are placed to back up the communion table canopy in the sanctuary country. The columns in each church attention deficit disorder to the overall experience with 1s single personal relationship with God.

Approaching through the sideway entry at OSP creates an excess dying delay for seeing the internal of the church at a full graduated table. There is a true definite emotional facet walking through the entryway as it somehow mutely makes one spell on a journey, a journey to God. The columns are noticeable because they are placed near the siting country by the nave so hence when sitting down looking towards the sanctuary, the position is filled with the columns alongside the nave with the presence of unreal visible radiation inside the church. Although, with strictly natural visible radiation coming into the church the columns are surely no distraction when looking at the chancel country because of the duskiness created by the stained glass Windowss. To an extent hides the tall columns and the focal point of the oculus is upon the sanctuary due to the maximal natural visible radiation in the church being maintained in this country. Margaret Alington reinforces: … quality of visible radiation within the edifice is subdued, nevertheless, as a Neo- Gothicists believed that this was suited for their manner of architecture…Natural visible radiation leaves Old St Paul ‘s feeling gloomy… extra lighting is directed throughout the nave and sanctuary countries ( 47 ) .

Today, nearing into MCSH is similar to the come ining into OSP because the new entryway is perpendicular to the sanctuary country and the internal columns appear when looking towards the sanctuary. Two chief ionic columns which support the communion table canopy but there are other cosmetic intent ionic columns like constructions attached to the arched walls. This can be misdirecting because they are non classified as architectural columns because they do non back up anything. The white columns in the communion table from far have a really powerful and elegant expression because it holds the canopy in which a picture of Jesus placed underneath. From a closer position, the size of the columns truly did put my position in graduated table and the inside informations of the Ionic order appeared more clearly.

Historian Margaret Alington explains that “ one of the most dramatic characteristics of the Gothic manner is the relationship between construction and visual aspect. They are as one ” ( 32 ) . This is portrayed through the columns in OSP. Alington besides states that: … it is from these columns that the ribs appear to turn. At their beginning, the ribs encase the columns, and at a greater tallness do they go elements on their ain right ( 38 ) .

Thatcher designed the column set up this manner to follow the Gothic tradition of underscoring tallness. Alington farther references that the “ continuance of the columns, the ribs attention deficit disorder to the organic feeling of the perpendicular growing which the edifice possess ( 38 ) . The Christian psyche experiences uplift as the tallness of the edifice is symbolic during worship ( 38 ) . This is an illustration of the column lending to the edifice in physical footings every bit good as demoing historical thoughts that they can be seen as being representative of. ( See figure 3 for ribs turning from column ) .

Internally, the Ionic order columns are employed by Petre in MCSH to back up up the communion table canopy. The Ionic column is historically defined by Italian designers, as one of three orders built by the Greeks. Many constructions are seen portraying Ionic columns, and illustrations are seen throughout the universe. The Coliseum in Rome, Italy shows a simple Ionic column that has lasted since the original building in 1st Century AD. The Erechtheion in Athens, Greece is besides exhibiting the Ionic column. Dating back to the edifice of these constructions, the Ionic column was an obvious front-runner, when seeking to pass on strength and self-respect. Dr Fil Hearn describes the ionic capital as being “ faintly redolent of feminine coils but abstractly cosmetic all the same ” ( 110 ) . This explains that Petre wanted to exhibit strength and self-respect to the church but at the same clip hold a cosmetic quality to it. This relates to a respectful relationship with God where as in OSP it is a more personal 1. ( See figure 4 columns back uping altar canopy ) .

Gothic architecture is alone in its usage of stuffs. Alington references that: … In mediaeval Europe, the edifice stuff was stone- normally limestone, often sandstone and on occasion granite. This heavy stuff was made to surge to great highs and to experience light in Gothic steeples ( 66 ) .

Although, rock is rare in New Zealand but timber is an available resource and the “ Gothic manner of England was adapted into this stuff ” ( 66 ) . Thatcher smartly manipulated the new wooden elements used inside the church as a replacement to lapidate. New Zealand imou pine lumber is used for the square base columns inside OSP which lead into the ribbed vaults which are besides made from imou pine. Rimu can be used in interior state of affairss for a assortment of elements, without the demand for intervention from decay. Alington writes “ the English colonists bought with them the manner and engineerings of their female parent state ” ( 66 ) . The natural browns of imou pine are present in the columns. This besides gives a homely consequence which finally plays with 1s senses and leads to a worship of personal qualities. ( See figure 5 for coloring material pallet ) . As an consequence of running my custodies down a column, the smooth texture of wood is an indicant that it has been varnished and handled really carefully.

On the other manus MCSH has been made out a much harder structural stuff. It has a ruddy brick and masonry outside and white Oamaru rock in the inside, besides plastered pilasters and concrete was used for greater strength and is weather immune. My decisions of why rock is used for the ionic columns in MCSH and in neoclassical edifices are because of the solidness of the rock. It adds to the overall consequence of the edifice of stand foring strength and self-respect as this was a cardinal chance in classical architecture. Besides, the picture of Jesus under the communion table canopy demands to hold a strong support by the columns. This is symbolic in a manner because the ionic columns act as the strength of the church as this may be the importance for the shelter of Jesus Christ.

The designers of both churches intentionally used telling rules to place the columns to make, axis, symmetricalness, hierarchy, beat and repeat. Both churches include telling rules which overall create an emotional experience on the believer of each several church. Some aesthetic values are besides created in this procedure.

“ Geometry formed the footing of Gothic art ” ( Alington, 54 ) . Thatcher designed OSP with series of squares. Besides the repeat of equilateral trigons were employed by Thatcher to “ symbolize the Trinity, and the quatrefoil being symbolic of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the four revivalists ” ( Alington, 60 ) . ( See figure 6 for program )

The signifiers and infinites of any edifice should admit the hierarchy inherent in the maps they accommodate, the users they serve, the intent or significance they convey, and the range or context they address ( Ching, 320 ) .

Ching is turn toing to the fact that signifiers and infinites should hold a intent in a edifice and they must portray a significance and this is what is done in OSP by Thatcher. The arrangement of the columns creates an axis running through the Centre of the nave and this besides establishes a symmetrical agreement of the columns and infinite. Ching provinces that “ a symmetrical status can non be without connoting the being of an axis ” … ( 330 ) . A hierarchy of the chancel country is besides formed by the columns making a ocular way to look towards when sitting down. This hierarchy is formed by size and arrangement. “ … dominate an architectural composing by being significantly different in size… ( 339 ) , “ … the focal point of a centralized or radial administration ” ( 339 ) . “ Rhythm refers to any motion characterised by a patterned return of elements at regular intervals ” ( 356 ) . This is true because of the form made by the columns in OSP as they are placed at regular intervals on either side of the nave. This creates a sense of order and is delighting to the oculus as one walks into the church. ( See figure 7 for program ) .

The Classical linguistic communication of architecture adheres to impressions of natural order and beauty through harmoniousness and subject and Petre addresses this in MCSH. Symmetry and harmoniousness is achieved by utilizing balanced axis through the edifice. Everything is absolutely balanced ( or was until the Restoration and add-ons in the 1980s ) .Each portion of the edifice stands a mirror image of the other portion – from macro to the micro. This creates symmetricalness which is really aesthetically delighting. Ching references that “ radiating elements such as the composing can be divided into similar halves along a cardinal axis ” ( 330 ) . The Windowss besides match up to their antonyms. Entrances into the edifice base opposite the entryway to the sanctuary. Nothing is random or asymmetrical. The two columns back uping the communion table canopy creates the hierarchy point because the chief picture of Jesus is placed underneath the communion table. Besides because there are merely two proper columns inside MCSH, the remainder which are cosmetic semblances are placed against the arched walls. ( See figure 8 for program )

In comparing, OSP and MCSH have legion telling rules although, MCSH has a really controlled and dignified March to the focal point of the Sanctuary which is foremost manipulated by the narrow columnisation at the exterior portico, with a gait that makes you hurry. MCSH holds a more disciplined order through the agreement of elements than OSP.

For aesthetic considerations Petre used the aureate subdivision in MCSH.

The Greeks recognised the dominating function the Golden subdivisions and the proportions of the human organic structure… they utilised this proportions in their temple constructions ( Ching, 286 )

The aureate section/ratio is besides used in the ionic column. The basal terminal of the ionic column is 0.618 clip larger than the top terminal. This creates a perfect balance for the component which creates visually pleasing qualities and purportedly to be the perfect edifice ratio. The aureate subdivision is non merely present in the columns but besides in the whole church itself. The external face of MCSH is all presented through this ratio and besides the floor and ceiling all use this regulation. This symbolises authorization through flawlessness and order and impacts worship activities in many ways. The sense of flawlessness and order in MCSH discards any sense of private find of God because everything has been discovered through the flawlessness of the edifice.

Similarly, the original floor program of OSP is based on this aureate subdivision. Although that is the lone facet of the aureate subdivision used in this church and aesthetic values thrive through the agreement of elements as discussed before. Thatcher and Petre planned the columns to suit telling rules which suited functional demands and complimented aesthetic values excessively.

Overall, OSP demonstrates the Neo-Gothic manner, following the ecclesiological society and MCSH demonstrates the Neo classical manner following the Ionic order efficaciously. The functional demand of the columns in MCSH is to back up the communion table canopy of which the chief picture of Jesus is placed under and therefore serves an of import function in the church. Meanwhile is OSP the columns are present to back up the rubbed vaults which finally holds the church up. Thatcher and Petre use telling rules such as axis, symmetricalness, hierarchy, beat and repeat to demo ground for each respectable church and to make aesthetic belongingss as good. Aestheticss values were besides apparent through the usage of the aureate mean and this was employed in both churches. The columns presented in both churches contribute to each of the edifices in physical footings every bit good as the historical thoughts that they can be seen as being representative of. The two architectural motions ( Gothic resurgence and Neo-classical ) in the 18th and nineteenth century were apparent in both churches and Thatcher and Petre can be proud with their creative activity of both churches as it is a topographic point for many believers today.