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|Location||Collegeville, Minnesota map|
|Date||1953 to 1961 timeline|
|Building Type||church complex|
|Construction System||cast-in-place concrete|
|Notes||Great concrete trees support ceiling in large spaces.|
|Discussion||St. John's Abbey Commentary
"The master plan for this Benedictine Community provides for replacing most of the 22 existing buildings with new and expanded facilities. This will be done step-by-step, one building at a time. To achieve this, a system of shadow planning was developed, whereby the new building, or wing, is placed in the shadow of the old, which is then demolished. The six-stage-transformation of the Community's central quadrangle is illustrated at left.
"The plan aims at a clear separation between the monastic living quarters and the educational units. The two are connected by the important structures they both sharechurch, auditorium, library, and administration building.
"The church and its bell banner are the dominant structures of St. John's. The main floor plan reflects the basic liturgical concepts of the Order: one enters the symbolic center doorway, down the center aisle to the altar and abbot's throne, around which is placed the very large choir for 300. The relation of abbot's throne and monks' choir to the congregation of 1,700 defines the shape of the plan with the altar near the center of the church in plain view of congregation, choir, and large balcony."
from Cranston Jones, captions and introduction. Marcel Breuer: Buildings and Projects 1921-1961. p36.
The Creator's Words
"Colors which you can hear with ears;
Marcel Breuer. from Cranston Jones, captions and introduction. Marcel Breuer: Buildings and Projects 1921-1961. p11.
Sources on St. John's Abbey
"From Maybeck to Megachurches", by Douglas R. Hoffman, ArchitectureWeek No. 61, 2001.0808, p1.
Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. plan and section diagram, p155. 1996 edition available at Amazon.com
Cranston Jones and Marcel Breuer. Marcel Breuer: Buildings and Projects 1921-1961. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1962. NA737.B68A45 1963. LC 62-21001. discussion p11, 36. longitudinal section drawing, f2. plan drawing, f3.
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