Domestic Liturgy: St Paul’s in Waterloo by Jean Cosse (1968)

The foundation process of the St Paul’s parish in Waterloo, a wealthy suburb south of Brussels, was a bottom-up experiment different from normal practice: the parish was to have no territorial boundaries, welcome all interested Christian worshippers and ignore the infamous language frontier that ran across it since 1962. Its church building challenged the norm too: conceived by local architect Jean Cosse (1931-2016) as an informal meeting place, it resembled the neighbouring dwellings in terms of style and scale. Precisely for this reason, the influential periodical Art d’Église heavily promoted St Paul’s as a model for it embodied the then popular post-conciliar idea of the liturgy as a gathering of like-minded people, embedded in their daily routines and environment. As you can see in these illustrations , the periodical not only gave attention to the architecture itself, but also tried to illustrate the way it “lived”. 

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