Archive for September, 2009

Neo-Classical Space

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in North East DC was designed by Leo A Daly in 1999.  This ultra modern yet reverent presentation aligns the academic study of theology with the memory of man whose life is examined through the display of the personal effects of his human life.  12 visiting scholars inhabit the Intercultural Forum on the top story as members of an endowed think tank dedicated to contemporary cultural issues.  In another area of the building, a small gallery space houses photographs and and objects from the pontificate’s long and enriched life.  Items like his dining room place settings as well as bodily ornaments are on display for us to experience some of his day to day identity.   These two activities, on the one hand the maintenance of shrine to a sovereign figurehead, and on the other the progressive dialectic of  a community of modern scholars would be seemingly incongruous.  However they exist harmoniously in parallel under the single floating roof.

Note the child in the second image.