Architect Predrag Ristich

State in the contemporary Orthodox architecture

pages: 284-287

Abstract

The author feels a deep crisis of the ecclesiastical architecture which has some degenerated tendencies, especially in our country, in which relatively much is being built.. Unfortunately, this trend of building bears all the attributes of the uncontrolled mushrooming and Kitsch. The way out from this situation should be sought in the proper development of the Orthodox architecture, which has its deep roots in Byzantium, as well as in our own Serbian history. Some good solutions were offered by a few strong individual creators whose achievement has a flavor of universality. Everything depends on the creativity of an individual genius. And in the Orthodox understanding we are all called to be God-like and genial inventors and workers, whereas each individual faithful is equally responsible before God and men for his Orthodox Church as the Ecumenical Patriarch himself.

Frank Lloyd Wright has realized the first frame-work for the contemporary Orthodox architecture. By creating the famous Orthodox church in Milwaukee he has become the father of the contemporary organic architecture. The decisive influence updn his creation had his wife Olga Lazovich, the grand-duaghter of the Serbian writer Marko Milyanov. The roots of the contemporary Church architecture are also to be found in the imagination of the Russian futurists (up to 1924). The main shape is the flying saucer. The author sees the continuity of the contemporary Orthodox architecture from the early Byzantine arches »hanging on the Heavens«, in the cupolae of the Serbian; Russian and Armenian mediaeval churches, which look like »Christ's ships«, as prototypes of the modern space-ships ready to take off.

In contradistinction to the Orthodox architecture, the Roman-Catholic architecture strives mainly upwards. Its main contemporary representative is Le Corbusier, with his church in Ronchamps (France), while the best Orthodox achievement is Frank Lloyd Wright's Greek Orthodox church in Milwaukee.

The all-iinclusive character of the Orthodox Church is visualized by its form of a »flying saucer«, in which each individual believer as well as'the whole community together establishes an immediate and intimate relationship with God, while in the Roman-Catholic Church the relationship is established through the vertical line of the belfry tower. The organic '(Orthodox) and unorganic (Roman-Catholic) architecture express architecturally the difference of two faiths.

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