Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Borg have landed

here Illustrating what too much Star Trek can do to architects. Fortunately, in Italy it can't be that hard to find something baroque to avoid the prospect of assimilation. Maybe they could trompe l'oeil it, inside and out, into a masterpiece of Gaudiesque elaborateness.

The windows remind me of the locked adolescent psychiatric unit I once had to visit to attend a case conference on a pupil. Couldn't help thinking how high they were and how the windows lacked ledges, so you couldn't climb out. That was the time when I only got to see the pupil by chance, to have a chat and hand over the card and box of Quality Street from her form. One of her ailments was paranoia and she knew I was visiting.

But I digress...

The architecture reminds me of a trip to Holland a few years ago when one of the concerts was in a similar construction. We arrived as Mass ended to do a concert. (Don't ask...) Anyway, I remember looking round and considering just how inhospitable the design was. Grey is just dreary, depressing. Overcast skies, school uniform, gruel, dust. Name anything beautiful that's grey.

The floor was concrete (of course) with those little sharp pointy stones. There were no kneelers. I'm not alone, I'm sure, in having knelt on marble. That's hard, but concrete with pointy bits? That's actively preventing people from kneeling. What next? barbed wire? A mine field?

The seats were those plastic ones that attach to the floor via a metal post, so rather like a bus station or airport. Functional and not very comfy. Actually, not functional because benches allow you to squeeze lots of people on and small children can get easily from one parent to the other.

The amazing thing was how nice the people were in this church.

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