I exhort . . . a generous openness which, rather than fearing the loss of local identity, will prove capable of creating new forms of cultural synthesis. How beautiful are those cities which overcome paralysing mistrust, integrate those who are different and make this very integration a new factor of development! How attractive are those cities which, even in their architectural design, are full of spaces which connect, relate and favour the recognition of others!True, the passage is directed towards exhorting established societies at large to open their borders to strangers thereby eschewing their own cultural identity in preference for the culture of strangers. But the same exhortation can also be embraced by the more local society within the society at large.
And it's in this regard that the recently constructed local FSSP parish church, (note the accentuated arcade sans columns among other modernists influences), which broke new grounds by being the first ever wreckovation style church designed by traditionalists for a traditionalist liturgy is a clear and paradigm example of eschewing one's own established cultural, i.e. architectural identity in preference for the vanguard architectural type of a stranger.
The FSSP's preference for strange architectural type is not done weakly, or marginally, but as Pope Francis exhorts us is done generously and fearlessly fully eviscerating their own cultural identity by designing a church fully deconstructionist postmodernist romanesque. It's a church fully comfortable in the modern world. The deconstructionism exists in the form of the romanesque as subject, not unlike any other privation, and that privation in turn gives form to the church such as where the placement of the alter is almost an afterthought and the placement of the side alters are afterthoughts in the overall scheme of the design.
The juxtapositioning of the alters in relation to the new church structure could not be better done. The new church is overdone pastiche at every turn ignoring as best it can the imported alters that signify the sacramental church. The new church housing the people is of hollow gypsum walls with pastiche appliques, where as the alters are of marble carved by true artisans with an aedicula housing God.
The plethora of changes in scale throughout the church is both surreal and dazzling, not unlike a Disney theme park where the scale is close enough to the natural to be unnoticed, while being far enough off to cause unbalance or sense of separation from common life. The church design is actually quite a marvel especially if the surreal and dazzle was intended because it is not an easy design to accomplish because the scaling and ordering of the church has all the appearances of having been done by someone completely incompetent and lacking the muse of the art. And thus just as it is difficult to imitate a young child's drawing, so likewise is it difficult to imitate the immature and incompetent in other arts.
It's a design fully in keeping with Pope Francis's unsubtle regard for the traditionalists,
(see secs. 93-97), as well as a cutting edge design I've looked to as inspiration in my quest to market myself in Church Architecture
Please note, this post is all in fun because the FSSP and its parishioner are not eschewing their own architectural type for that of a stranger because modern architectural type is their their own. The actual strange architectural type is traditional architectural. Traditionalist Catholics simply don't know they are modernists grasping for traditional type not from a cultural inclination, but are instead grabbing hold as they would an overcoat which is in turn a grasping that is more akin to fashion than nature or nurture.
Which in turn is why traditionalist Catholics can walk through the recently constructed FSSP Church and not see how at every turn, at every angle, at every surface and at every detail it is fully modern, with the church design having about as much in common with gothic architecture as a goth girl at an art party has with gothic design. What Catholic traditionalists see is an object pleasing to their eyes which they would not see as pleasing if they were not fully modern inured to the scale of modern architecture.
Now some may see my note as even more damning than the eschewing of one's own, but it is not, not even close. The eschewing of one's own is one of the virulent disorders of modern society where as in comparison modern architecture is not disordered because it's grounded in human scale, or at the least can be so grounded. For instance, Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water is fully modern and fully at human scale. In fact not only is Falling Water fully modern but is paradigm in its transformation of modern design.