Sunday, June 12, 2016

St. Edwards in Keizer Stresses Light and Sidewalk

Has anyone visited or worshiped at St. Edwards since the new church opened a year or two ago in Keizer off River Road at Claggett?

Memorial Coliseum has been in the news lately, and it occurs to me that the form of St. Edwards as I have seen it in photos is at least a little like the Coliseum.

St. Edward interior - via De Loreto Architecture
(Looking from altar back to narthex)
It's got the big wood arches of an older gabled nave structure. (Look at all that wood!)

But superimposed upon that is a modernist box with huge clerestory windows.

Exterior with moon rising - via De Loreto Architecture
Compare to the Coliseum.

Modernist box with curtain wall - via Portland Architecture
(Image circa 1960, by Julius Schulman)

Interior bowl with clerestory windows - via Portland Architecture
(Image circa 1960, by Julius Schulman)
In both of them there's a glazed modernist box, which provides incredible natural light, enclosing an older form.

It seems like they rhyme a little. Maybe it's just a slant-rhyme, as the box for St. Edwards doesn't extend all the way down to enclose the full width of the arches and nave. But it seems like the solution for clerestory windows is similar.

About St. Edwards the architect says:
Located along River Road on the parish’s 18 acre parcel, two basic architectural actions inform the design. The first creates a pedestrian walkway from the street into the heart of the site that connects the community and structures. This path takes advantage of existing landscaping, gardens and building entries to join the new with the old. The second and most important act involves light. The building is conceived as a lantern, a beacon, to the local community. To that end, the new 12,000sf church consists of a solid base structure above which sits a glass lens enclosing the sanctuary below. It is a direct response to the parishioners’ desire for daylight, transparency and symbol.
And even though we don't have Sunday bus service, there's a bus stop right there!

St. Edwards just visible at left
River Road is awful here and this site is imperfectly walkable. But given the kinds of constraints a church is likely to encounter, it seems like it's a positive move in the right direction.

Have you been to St. Edwards? What's it like? At some point we'll try to do a field trip and report more on the sidewalk connections and relation to River Road.

No comments: