Between the old and new sacrum in the urban space of Wrocław — between a church and a modern shopping mall Cover Image
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Między sacrum „starym” a „nowym” w przestrzeni miejskiej Wrocławia — kościół a współczesna galeria handlowa
Between the old and new sacrum in the urban space of Wrocław — between a church and a modern shopping mall

Author(s): Karolina Tomczak
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: Sacrum; urban space; church; St. Adalbert Church in Wrocław; shopping mall; Dominican Gallery; Studio El;contextualism;
Summary/Abstract: The article constitutes an attempt at redefining the sacral space and architecture in the ever-changing cultural and historical context, providing a complex juxtaposition of the historical and postmodern sacrum which constitutes an urban narrative, on the example of the developing urban structure of Wrocław. The broad perspective, apart from only looking at the issue through the prism of history and theory of art, encompasses also the sociological, aesthetic and cultural aspects. The comparison between the medieval St. Adalbert’s Church and the Dominican Gallery designed by Studio EL serves to examine the transformation of the urban sacrum on the basis of selected aspects with regard to the two buildings: the traditional and modern understanding of sacrality and the sacral space, the renewal of the hierarchy of the urban space along the cosmic axis, the historical alternation of the worship of the martyr and celebrity inscribed into the walls of the building and the place of worship of the Absolute as well as the sphere of consumption, and, lastly, the formal value of historical and contemporary sacral architecture. The canonical features of a medieval church of the exterior of the Dominican Gallery are then confronted with the postmodernist architecture of the interior designed by Andrzej Lach. In this last case the contextualism and functionalism of the commercial lay temple of consumption are understood as an attempt at a reconciliation with the classical sacral architecture. Apart from enumerating the significant differences, the article suggests the existence of a place of transgression of the sacred and the profane, a crack in the urban space which reveals the ambivalence of the sacred. Moreover, the author posits that the value of the discussed architecture, encompassing the various meanings of a sacred space, serves as a canvas for the human agent who creates the urban narrative.

  • Page Range: 25-53
  • Page Count: 29
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: Polish