Posts Tagged ‘church’

Hanging ships

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Western European churches, especially those near or in shipping towns, often suspended a model ship from the ceiling as a symbol of good luck for sailors. The practice is probably most common in Denmark, but is fairly widespread. It would be surprising if the current craze for ship chandeliers in decor (see the ship chandeliers in houses at bottom) weren’t related to this tradition.

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Converted churches, Part 2: Belgium, England, Australia

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Here are three converted churches which seem much more successful than most of the examples in the last post. Above is a 19th century chapel in the Flemish village of Bazel which has been converted into 2 loft-type houses. Thanks to the amazing Office for Word and Image OWI for permission to reprint this photo here – Verne is the photographer. 

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Alvaro Siza

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

This is the Parish Church Complex of Marco de Canevezes, Portugal. It was designed by Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza with Rolando Torgo and completed in 1990. It’s a deceptively simple building. Its most obvious feature is a stunning pair of tall, narrow front doors matched by beautiful pew chairs in the same warm orange wood, but one of its real achievements is the way Siza exploited natural light and the daily movement of the sun to create changing shapes and moods in the altar.

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So you think you’d like to live in a church…

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

When I was a kid my parents had Arlo Guthrie’s record Alice’s Restaurant , a spoken folk song plus narrative set in a converted church in Massachusetts in the sixties, and I knew the full monologue off by heart. Despite that early exposure to the romance of living in a church, I never actually fantasized about doing it myself.

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