Article: “The Evolution of Catholic Liturgical Space in the 2nd half of the 20th Century”
by Roger Subirà, Docomomo Iberia

Part 1

“The development of concrete in the twentieth century led to the spatial reinvention of certain architectural typologies such as markets or large exhibition halls. It is also the case of religious buildings, where the versatility of the new material and its plastic properties allowed to create innovative and varied architectural spaces. Religious buildings have proven to be a remarkable field for the experimentation of concrete, in terms of the expressiveness of the material, the radicality of the spaces it allowed to create, or the interaction they accomplished with natural light. As a result, we find some of the most memorable spaces built in fair-faced concrete among religious buildings, whose nakedness came to express a new spirituality.”

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Part 2

“The generalization of the use of concrete, together with a revision of the Catholic liturgy in the mid-20th century and the willingness to express, through architecture, a more essentialist spirituality, led to the updating of the archetypal forms and historical styles of the Christian temple. But, in parallel, in some new buildings, tradition started losing some of its previous importance. Sacred architecture became a field for formal experimentation in which to take advantage of the scarce programmatic requirements of the temple and the willingness to accept more risky architectural solutions, pushing to the limit the plastic possibilities of the new material.”

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More information: docomomo Iberia website