Beginning with Mies’ chapel at IIT, this quick project extrapolates his frame-and-infill, steel-and-brick, pavilion into a basilica form, with a full apse and a hipped roof. A square skylight orients the modernist square volume, while dormer gables pierce the trabeated apse. A more exuberant roof study follows.
Combining the first and second interpretations of this theme, here’s a take with both the flanking skylights (a la Soane) and the semi-circular colonnade, with two large columns on center to flesh things out.
As I was writing this post a few weeks ago, I found the plan to be once again worthy of some further reflection and thought – precisely the nine-square plan, with a hybrid basilica and greek cross interior volume, the four empty corners filled with circular forms (bathrooms and stairs) encased in heavy poche, and all of it wrapped in a brick Richardsonian wrapper under a singularly simple red tile hip roof. The bottom iteration was the first, while I was still wrangling the plan into a perfect nine-square.
O. M. Ungers and Richard Meier play the primary instigators in terms of language of this basilica – minus the Doric impluvium entry courtyard, of course. The front elevation/plan drawing shows shadows that hint at both wormseye and oblique axonometric projections. Structure and tectonics play a central role where pipe and wide flange columns slide back and forth next to one another, while small circular side chapels cut into the deep poche of the stone walls.
This church type is actually a collection of types – a Colonial American meeting house makes up the sanctuary, while flanked with the choir and apse of a more traditional Anglican church, accessed by an almost domestic-scaled atrium. The level of detail and poche changes with each individual element.
Where the previous project offered more of a synthesis between the modern and the classical in terms of style, this one poses a synthesis between types – structuring a basilica form with equal transepts, similar to a Greek cross. This hybrid typology is not new, and can be found in early Christian churches, such as San Nazaro in Brolo or the Basilica di San Marco in Venice. Stylistically, my interpretation takes cues from H. H. Richardson, with thick masonry walls, continuous cornice lines, and a large hip roof, which obscures the tower over the crossing from the outside. Below are earlier studies of a similar plan with much different attitudes towards envelope.
These drawings attempt to synthesize how a linear basilica form might stem from a square volume. The first drawing is intentionally church-like, but I find the two derivations below to be more interesting – the first with apses at either end, and accessed from the short axis; the second with the stair tower volumes repeated, more of a town-hall.