Synonymous with Ando is his masterful use of minimal geometries comprised of smooth cast concrete. In the Church of the Light, he explores a symbiotic relationship between negative space and light by creating moments in which planes nearly intersect, leaving space for natural light to penetrate the space. The large cross composed of light is at the center of attention and is one of Ando’s most iconic architectural gestures.
Looking at historical references, Frank Lloyd Wright would often design a single accessory piece that embodied his exploration and ideas within the architecture in which the piece would be placed. This act drove the project and served as a rigorous design challenge. How can I design a furniture accessory piece that embodies the spirit of the architecture?
During my visit to the Church of the Light, I realized the design of the altar and the altar pieces were underwhelming and should be reconsidered to become successful accessories to the architecture. I chose to pick the altar pieces typical with a protestant church (i.e. bible stand and candle holders). I chose to omit the typical crucifix also found on the altar due to the overwhelming success and focus on the cross of light behind the altar.
The design of the pieces focus on embodying Ando’s principles of materiality and negative space expressed in Church of the Light. The bible stand, typically placed at the center of the altar in the middle of the church, includes a void in the center, acting as a continuation of the center void from the cross behind the altar. The candle holders (two – one on each side of bible stand) include a series of negative spaces where two planes nearly intersect, allowing for light from the candle within to radiate outward. Both pieces include the use of cast concrete and wood to reflect the materiality of the church.