Recent Design Work for Orthodox New Mexico

It has been my great joy this summer to devote some of my attention to Orthodox Christianity in New Mexico. Northern New Mexico has a strikingly different history and cultural context than the rest of the United States. It began as a colony of New Spain, an Imperial establishment at the absolute edge of the…

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A Byzantine Church in Wood for South Carolina

For the past year, I have been working to design a substantial new church building for the OCA parish of St. John of the Ladder in Greenville, South Carolina. The parish has acquired an attractive wooded property and wishes to relocate completely. They will need a temple for 250 people and also a parish hall.…

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The Ancient Churches of Spain

I would like to call attention to some of the ancient churches of Western Europe which predate the Great Schism. These churches offer a glimpse of Western Orthodoxy as it once was, and as such, offer us some suggestions for Orthodoxy in the West as it could be today. European churches of the 7th to…

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Contemporary Georgian Art

There is a facebook page called “Contemporary Christian Art” but most people would not notice because it is all in Georgian script.  Although boasting hundreds of pictures of early art from all of Christendom, the most remarkable aspect to those of us who are not in Georgia is how it prominently features contemporary Georgian liturgical…

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Cappella Romana to Sing “in Hagia Sophia”, in California

Cappella Romana will be singing two concerts, Friday and Saturday nights, at Stanford University in California. Friday’s concert in Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall,”From Constantinople to California”, will by the wonders of acoustic technology, replicate the reverberative sound of the Great Church itself (read about the fascinating method employed below). Those lucky enough to have gotten…

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Can Statuary Act as Icon?

There is a long tradition of relief sculpture in the Orthodox Church’s liturgical art tradition, but very little in the way of three dimensional sculpture. Can sculpture in the round act like an icon, leading us through itself to its prototype? Although, for reasons discussed below, the Orthodox Church is unlikely to adopt sculpture in…

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Marble Revetments

Today I would like to call attention to marble revetments, meaning the decorative marble paneling that clads the lower walls of a Byzantine church. It is impossible to overstate the architectural importance of revetments. In the grander Byzantine churches, the marbles covered most of the interior surface, dominating the visual experience of the church far…

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Parekklesion of the Pammakaristos Church, Istanbul

The Church of the Pammakaristos (“All Blest Mother of God”) is a complex of medieval Byzantine structures at the north-west tip of the walled city. It was the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from 1456 to 1587. Today, the 11th-century main church serves as a mosque, but the 14th-century parrakklesion (side chapel) has been restored to its…

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