Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Modern Light

The Modern Light by deanv41
The Modern Light, a photo by deanv41 on Flickr.

I spent time this afternoon at Saint Mary of the Assumption at Gough & Geary on Cathedral Hill, the penultimate Modernist masterpiece in San Francisco. Completed in 1971, it is often criticized for its washing machine shape, but to experience its interior is to be taken to the heights of Modernism [Structural Expressionist Modern to be precise]. Concrete cloth --climbing hyperbolic paraboloids -- draping the holy cross in stained glass, raised from its center as if in a magic act. The four points meet in solid points but the whole building seems to be taking off when you stand inside the center of it. It is awe-inspiring, thrilling, and everything aspirational architecture should be.

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