Impressions of the DOCOMOMO excursion

Here are some of the interiors that we visited during the the DOCOMOMO Belgium excursion on April 22 on the topic of liturgical renewal and modern architecture after Vatican II. The churches included in this tour reflect each in their own way, a double paradigm shift: on the one hand the acceptance of architectural modernism as a fashionable means of expression in religious circles; on the other hand, an increasingly radical departure from traditional church typologies in response to society’s cry for renewal . Thus, these churches openly question the received image of the church as a sacred monument, proposing a more functional notion of the place for worshiping as a carefully designed piece of religious infrastructure instead.

DOCOMOMO Belgium excursion, from the top left to the bottom right: interior of the Saint Pie X church in Ottignies (Pierre Pinsart, 1961-1964), church of the Monastère de l’Alliance des Bénédictines in Rixensart (Roger Bastin, 1964-1969), interior of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-van-Atlijddurende-Bijstand church in Haacht (Paul Felix & Jan Tanghe, 1958-1961), interior of the Sint-Carolus church in Holsbeek (Marc Dessauvage, 1964-1969), and baptismal font in the Sint-Lambertus church in Muizen (Lucien Engels, 1960-1966), (all photographs: Weyns, 2017).