Thursday, February 18, 2016

Church news

A couple of years ago we posted on Ernst Plischke's St Mary's church in Taihape. Each time we've driven up the hill hoping to get inside it's been closed but a few Sundays ago we got lucky (ok for church people finding one open on a Sunday might not seem all that lucky, but still). Although it has been claimed that the ‘building’s spaciousness reminds one of the immensity of God and the universe’ you'd need quite a bit of religion to get there although it is certainly spacious. Plischke travelled in Europe before starting on his design and came back with visions of St Peter's Basilica in Taihape. The commissioners were somewhat alarmed and in the end a standard basilica format was settled on. The large uncluttered interior remains impressive and the starkness is amplified by the light from circular windows high on each of the walls. A large ceramic crucifix that could only have been made in the fifties was the work of Martin Roestenburg. He also made the giant statue of Our Lady of Lourdes overlooking Paraparaumu. It was Roestenburg who commissioned from Europe it seems the 14 paintings for the stations of the cross. They are surprisingly muscular and direct renditions of the well known story. Here on OTN:ARCHITECTURE we've put up all our photographs of the building inside and out along with a selection of the paintings. If you can tell us who the Stations' painter was we’d be interested to hear from you. The signature looks like N Frey.