Modernist architecture as a “denial of craftsmanship, human scale and decoration”

Dr. Joseph Shaw, fellow of the prestigious Royal Society of Arts and Oxford scholar of medieval philosophy, is quoted in relation to St. Peter’s Seminary in Cardross (grade A listed, but decaying and unlikely to be saved) as saying that Brutalism represents the “abandonment of the entire tradition of Christian architecture in favour of something which would have been more at home in the Soviet Union”, which I presume is meant as an insult and a criticism. Furthermore,

“Modernist architecture, with its denial of craftsmanship, human scale and decoration, is fundamentally at odds with the Catholic worldview. The Church does not have a single architectural style, embracing Byzantine, Classical and Gothic, but she does believe in raising the heart and mind to God, not crushing the spirit or exalting mechanical brutality and power.”


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