Contemporary Religious Buildings
Deeply rooted in tradition, the religious buildings of the past were a dominant didactic figure - in social life, but also in architecture as seen in Ludwig Wittgenstein's claim that architecture 'compels and glorifies ... where there is nothing to glorify there can be no architecture'. A new point of view emerged in the 1920s New York City setting of The Fountainhead with Howard Roark's Temple Dedicated to the Human Spirit. It seemed both religious buildings and architecture were on the threshold of being revolutionized and democratized although - outside literary fiction - the actual process of change took off a couple of decades later and still stays limited to only certain areas of the world. The religious buildings of our own immediate present are very much on the neutral artistic side - more akin to museums, galleries or culture centres than to institutional buildings. Aesthetics, inventive lighting, distinctive looks are all of great importance in making today's religious buildings immediately recognizable, easy to embrace and identify with, more related to their audience and surroundings.