Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Beautiful Church Rebuilding in Madison, Wisconsin

From Matthew Alderman come these very nice photos of the Catholic Student Center at the Univ. of Madison, Wisconsin. Matthew himself designed the exterior at the aesthetic level (i.e. surface, not structure), the chapel architecture, the altarpiece surround, altar, and ambo; the interior decoration and color scheme were developed from his initial concept. Some specific elements of the final design, like the stencil work in the apse are also his; the renderings given below, which we reproduce with his permission via his studio’s Facebook page, give a good sense of his contributions. (The Architect of Record is RDG Planning and Design, and the church interior decoration is by EverGreene Architectural Arts.)

The former structure, now happily reduced to landfill, looked like this, hair clipper on the outside, cylon basestar on the inside. Made in 1968 to replace an earlier chapel from 1909, it proved as well as anything the adage that nothing ages as rapidly as modernity.

The new facility which has replaced it, and was just dedicated this past Sunday, looks like this. The mosaic on the façade by Dony McManus copies the central circle of one of the most famous mosaics in Rome, in the apse of Santa Maria Maggiore.
Views of the new chapel.

Beautiful stencilling work in the sanctuary; the peacock, symbol of immortality, and the book and sword, the symbols of St Paul the Apostle, to whom the center is dedicated.

Here are some of Matthew’s original design proposals.

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