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Philip Johnson: St Basil's Chapel, Houston

Updated on August 22, 2011

I can't think of a building that has recently impressed me more than Philip Johnson's St Basil's Chapel in Houston. Here are a few pictures I took when I visited. I wish now I had taken many more. This chapel is interesting from every angle and has a thousand compelling details and yet invites pure contemplation. The way shapes intersect and merge is difficult to take in. The oddity of the design is a good reflection of Christianities' unease in the modern world. Notice the beautiful use of natural indirect lighting. The black marble(granite?) wall is at the rear and is not fully noticed until the viewer turns to leave. It seemed to deepen the spiritual mood as I exited. The spiritual interior is balanced by a rose garden whose center is a classic walking labrinyth.


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    • barranca profile image

      barranca 9 years ago

      Glad you liked them. I enjoyed your blog as well. It was funny that they had the night spotlights set up so that it was possible to throw shadows on the building.

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      Major Generalist 9 years ago

      Great photos! I was a bit less reverential:

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    • barranca profile image

      barranca 10 years ago

      Glad you enjoyed them.

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      chutinh 10 years ago

      very nice. thanks

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Nice photos of an interesting building.