Architect Ben Heimsath has kindly shared with us his photos of Marcel Breuer's St John Abbey, Collegeville in Minnesota. The photographs come from this summer's second annual Architecture Culture and Spirituality Symposium. The nature of the conference meant that the participants were able to spend time living with the building, not just to pay a quick visit. The difference this makes comes through in photographs and in Ben's comments below.
"The building has always perplexed me. I had no idea why Marcel Breuer would have been so celebrated for this space. Frankly, I was always repulsed by the postcard image of the oddly proportioned tower."
"I left with a completely different opinion of the worship space. It is a very spiritual, nearly muscular expression of the power of worship. The play of the massive elements against the delicate wash of light is amazing. The carefully choreographed sequences of movement approaching and entering the space is just thrilling. I hope these photographs can convey some sense of the awesomeness of Breuer's work and vision."