Parts of the Church Building Explained – Episode 1

I recently had the privilege of attending the annual Society for Catholic Liturgyconference, this year in Greenville, South Carolina. And there I was able to catch up with old friends, meet new people (who quickly became like old friends), and learn a great deal. Among those old friends was Dr. Michael Foley, patristics scholar, author, […]


Novartis – Another Starchitect Snore

“Many Hands, One Vision” trumpets Nicolai Ouroussoff in his review of the Novartis campus in Basel, Switzerland. One wonders whether the vision was worth having. The head of the pharmaceutical admits that “many of the workers don’t like it.” Well, if the New York Times won’t speak truth to power on behalf of the worker, I […]

This famous watercolor by Joseph Gandy of Sir John Soane's Bank of England depicted as a ruin effectively reveals the clever plan which takes full advantage of the laws described above.

Natural Laws of Architecture – The Plan

So much architectural criticism today is based on subjective impressions that it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that there are some basic, objective laws which command our respect in the design of buildings. If we contradict or ignore them, our designs risk looking unnatural and ill-fitting to their purpose, or worse, […]

The Doric capital at Grand Central Station, New York City, shows sculpted leaves where the ancient Greeks would have painted.

On the Origin of the Doric Species – The Missing Link

The typical explanation for the origin of the Doric order starts with the idea, depicted below by Sir William Chambers, that the ancient Greeks had developed traditions of joinery which were later commemorated in stone (once they were capable of building monumentally). Optical refinements were added to the forms originating in joinery, so the theory […]