Constructing the Ineffable

Contemporary Sacred Architecture

Edited by Karla Britton; with contributions by Thomas Beeby, Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Paul Goldberger, Zaha Hadid, Karsten Harries, Steven Holl, Rafael Moneo, Kishwar Rizvi, Moshe Safdie, Fariborz Sahba, Vincent Scully, Stanley Tigerman, and Miroslav Volf

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March 15, 2011
248 pages, 8 x 10
100 color + 200 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300170375

Distributed for the Yale School of Architecture

Throughout the history of the built environment there has been no more significant endeavor than the construction of houses of worship, which were once the focal point around which civilizations and city-states developed. Constructing the Ineffable is the first book to examine this topic across continents and from the perspective of multiple faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Baha'i. It addresses how sacred buildings such as churches, mosques, synagogues, and memorials are viewed in the context of contemporary architecture and religious practice.

Featuring more than a dozen essays by a broad range of leading international architects, historians, and theologians, Constructing the Ineffable offers a fundamental exploration of defining and understanding contemporary sacred spaces. This thought-provoking book also invites readers to consider the powerful influence of religion on civic life and to discuss the role that design and construction play in religious buildings.

Karla Britton is lecturer at the Yale School of Architecture.

"[A] very good introduction . . . Excellent short essays and inspiring illustrations make it readily accessible to the educated, general reading public . . . Very few books like this appear nowadays."—P. Kaufman, Choice
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