How Might Architectural Glass Continue to Enhance Contemporary Institutional Quiet Rooms?
Lachab (nee Bird), Eleanor (2015) How Might Architectural Glass Continue to Enhance Contemporary Institutional Quiet Rooms? MPhil thesis, University of Sunderland.
When Christian chapels were first built within British secular institutions such as Great Ormond Street, they utilised the tradition of using stained glass to create images of Christian narrative. Due to the association of stained glass with British Christian churches, this research asks can stained glass continue to be used to create narrative in such places or are other forms of artworks in glass more appropriate?
Some of the formally Christian chapels are being adapted to become spaces used by people of different faiths and those of no faith. The terms used to describe these places are various. This study uses the term quiet room, as it is inclusive, rather than prayer room, which implies an act of faith, or multi-faith space that implies it is only for the practice of a religion. When referring to a space or study that uses a different term, that will be used as appropriate.
This thesis includes case studies of four potential methods of art glass fabrication used in sacred spaces, in order to understand how they might affect the use of the space. A second set of case studies analyses the use of glass and imagery in institutional multi-faith quiet rooms and discusses how glass is being used. Two practice-based case studies explore the way in which, as a stained glass artist, I design windows for sacred and secular spaces using knowledge acquired from the previous case studies.
The case studies examining quiet rooms show glass continues to be used to enhance the spaces for the multi-faith situation. From this and practice based case studies it is suggested that despite the link with Christian churches, glass artworks can be used effectively in quiet rooms if designed appropriately. This thesis considers the use of natural imagery in quiet rooms and concludes that light is of special interest both as a source of natural imagery as well as in its relationship with glass. This thesis aims to be of interest to those involved in the commissioning of and the artists creating new glass artworks in such spaces.
Download the full thesis here
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