The Pious City
This is a project by James Rennie. He has several works which I find truly great but this one is perhaps quite delicate and beautiful.
There were once four chantry chapels in Wakefield. One remains on Wakefield bridge (below) however the others where distorted in the reformation. The Pious City; reinstating this old typology. The drawings depict the gothic energy generated as a result of the revival of the four chantry chapels. the drawings explore. decay, progression, scale, delicateness, fear and comfort through the rules of the Pious City.
Modern cities are regenerative; they conceal stories, which are essential to a community’s narrative. How can man learn, when his mistakes are covered up? There are spaces within the city, which haven’t been repaired; they hold stories of the deceased. The spaces tell the story of a past city, a city run by a surreal energy, powered by the fear of the divine, the possible judgement stage of purgatory. This energy realigned the typology of the city.
1. The altar becomes the architect, the city is aligned to the alter / alters.
2. Materiality that tells stories, materiality that is at the expense of the user, the user can unleash his personal visions of purgatory onto the space.
3. Personal, intimate spaces are key pious spaces, the chantry wants to replicate itself, spaces that form and collapse replicating the way someone would enter and leave purgatory. The stains tell stories, your story is stained onto the spaces; however it is a story for others to learn from, not for you to be burdened with, you are now purified.
4. Religion as a surreal energy, a united expression.
The two model pieces were constructed alongside the drawings in the “pious city.” the kinetics refer to the energy that could exist when the four Wakefield chantries are found. Materiality and structure relate to the themes explored in the project.
“My work often results from or creates a narrative. Stories happen within space and space is created and remembered by the stories that happened in it or lead up to its creation. Design, sustainability and structure are not attached to the scheme they are inherent within the narrative. I strive to create emotive spaces that are situated within their place.”