Archive » August 17, 2006
Eye on Santa Barbara
By John Watson
Gothically styled church architecture is archetypical – occupying a central place in the development of western architecture. In medieval times, churches were built primarily of stone and construction often took more than 100 years. Having no systematized understanding of structural engineering, the original cathedrals oftentimes collapsed under their own weight. After studying when and where these collapses occurred, the science of structural engineering emerged.
Trinity Church was designed by nationally recognized architect Philip Frohman, who would later become the primary architect for the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Gothic churches possess a stately grandeur due to their formal organization and use of recurrent design elements, including columns, windows and groin vaulted ceilings. Out of respect for the style, Frohman used a similar design vocabulary in each church, although his differs in complexity and embellishment due to budget and intended symbolic value.
One enters into a reception area at the base of the stone tower shown in the painting. This intimate space opens through an additional pair of doors into the nave that offers both grandeur and solitude. Stained glass windows grace the nave end walls as the ceiling lifts toward the higher realm. While impressive in scope, this church maintains a simplicity and solitude that allows for the presence of the spirit.
All comments are subject to review after submission. Please allow a slight delay before comments appear online!