“Architecture should point to the transcendent,” says Chilean designer

.- One of Chile’s top architects said this week that architecture in both religious and civil structures should “point to the transcendent” and awaken in man “a more existential meaning of life.”

Cristian Undurraga, who designed the famous Shrine of St. Alberto Hurtado, told ACI Prensa during a visit to Lima, that the architecture of today’s cities should lead man to a deeper understanding of his essence, “in such fashion that the transcendent be present in daily life and not merely be the privilege of sacred art, but rather a challenge for each day, for each minute, in every place,” he said.

Undurraga said churches should be “a place of welcome, and that is what is expected of sacred art—that capacity to welcome and to foster an encounter with God.”  They should also be “simple spaces that awaken the existential meaning of life, divested of decorations, in which light, in some way, acts as the vehicle for transporting us towards an encounter with God.”

Undurraga said that while at times “the architect imposes his presence on his work in religious art,” the emphasis should instead be on “the presence of God, not that of the architect.”

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