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Moved By The Spirit


Lumiere

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a video:[u][b] Inside the world's first eco-friendly nunnery[/b][/u] [media]http://gu.com/p/2bffc [/media]

a link to the video incase above doesn't work: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2009/oct/30/stanbrook-abbey-eco-friendly-nuns

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  • 2 weeks later...

[quote name='MithLuin' timestamp='1288275090' post='2183209']
I hope they are able to find a buyer for their old property!
[/quote]
Well, since you asked:
[url="http://http:/www.amazingretreats.com/stanbrookabbey/photos/interior/43.jpg"]enclosure[/url]

[url="http://www.amazingretreats.com/stanbrookabbey/chapel-hire.php"]"chapel for hire:[/url]

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[quote name='sistersintigo' timestamp='1290450702' post='2188598']
Well, since you asked:
[url="http://http:/www.amazingretreats.com/stanbrookabbey/photos/interior/43.jpg"]enclosure[/url]

[url="http://www.amazingretreats.com/stanbrookabbey/chapel-hire.php"]"chapel for hire:[/url]
[/quote]

It must have been a gigantic job to keep the Abbey in good repair and clean, but...I don't care how "eco-friendly" the new Abbey is, I think it is ugly and looks like a bunch of boxes, compared to the beauty of the old one.

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[quote name='Antigonos' timestamp='1290452497' post='2188605']
It must have been a gigantic job to keep the Abbey in good repair and clean, but...I don't care how "eco-friendly" the new Abbey is, I think it is ugly and looks like a bunch of boxes, compared to the beauty of the old one.
[/quote]

I agree. I can understand why the nuns could no longer keep up the old Stanbrook Abbey. But, according to the article, the nuns have spent 5 million GBP so far, and for their money have gotten one of the ugliest, least inspiring buildings I have ever seen. It does look like the view from the inside the building looking out is more inspring than the building itself, but the nuns talked about how much they enjoy walking around the 56 acres around the building. Are they so deep in prayer that they don't notice the building? Perhaps they are so grateful to have an Abbey building that works well that they haven't noticed that it resembles a cheap motel.

All I can say is--What were they thinking?--both the nuns and the architects. The architects seem genuinely proud of what they built.

The building made me think of "The Emperor's New Clothes." The architects seemed to have mesmerized the nuns into thinking they now have a beautiful new Abbey. How could an honest, professional architect view that building with pride?

Unfortunately, the UK is full of modern buildings like this. The UK has some of the most beautiful buildings in the world, but modern-day architects in the UK seem to have no idea how to create beauty in a modern building. The UK landscape is littered with some of the ugliest modern buildings I have ever seen.

For 5 million GBP, a building should be able to be green and efficient, while at the same time be beautiful, and inspiring. A building can be simple, yet beautiful. And, how can they call a building "green" when it does nothing to fit into, or enhance the landscape?

When I saw the pictures of the new Abbey, I wanted to cry. (Sorry, but I have a serious hatred of ugly, utilitarian buildings, especially in the UK, where there are so many wonderful buildings and a gorgeous landscape.)

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[quote name='IgnatiusofLoyola' timestamp='1290478736' post='2188714']
All I can say is--What were they thinking?--both the nuns and the architects. The architects seem genuinely proud of what they built.

The building made me think of "The Emperor's New Clothes." The architects seemed to have mesmerized the nuns into thinking they now have a beautiful new Abbey. How could an honest, professional architect view that building with pride?

[/quote]

These are not stupid women who can be mesmerized by anybody.

From the video it sounds like they got what they wanted and are genuinely happy with the building. One thing you have not taken into account, which was commented on in the video, is that now all the community can gather together, because the new building is friendly to people using walkers or wheelchairs. This was also one of the reasons for the renovations at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary and many other monasteries. These women live in these buildings, you do not.

Our house is over 100 years old and if something happened to my husband, I couldn't remain in the house, because I wouldn't be able to afford the upkeep that he does for free. I will be genuinely very sad when I eventually have to leave this house, but I have no illusions that I could stay here as an elderly woman alone.

When the nuns have lived in this building 50-100 years, I'm sure it will take on more of their personality and become less sterile, and eventually will become a thing of beauty, both inside and out.

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I suppose it's none of my business and no one cares what anyone else thinks, but this is one ugly building. To me, it looks like any one of the 10 modular buildings in the office park where I work - in fact, but for the color, it looks like where I work. It has no personality, no charm. I can't believe that for the money spent they couldn't have built something pretty AND functional. I was looking at the website of the Carmelites in Denmark, WI that someone just included a link for and that's my idea of a monastery - beautiful, inspiring, simple, charming and spiritual.

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As long as it's time for everybody's two-cents' worth:
Much the same hue and cry went up in the mid-1970's over a foundation in southern Vermont. At that moment it was the only Carthusian charterhouse in the Western Hemisphere. (Between then and now, two Charterhouses of Carthusian monks have been founded in South America.) The Monastery of the Transfiguration of our Lord, for Carthusian monks, was intended to fulfill the same function as the Charterhouses of Europe, however there was intentionally a radical departure from conventional monastic architecture. A lot of people hated it then. A lot of people hate it to this day.
I don't remember if it was a continental European Carthusian monk, or a British Isles Carthusian monk, who snarled, "The place looks like a jam factory."
Regardless, the deed was done. And between then and now, contrasting opinions have come forward for the record. For example, a man discerning a monastic vocation was permitted to try the Carthusian life under careful supervision at the Transfiguration monastery. He described the focal moments of worship and service and liturgy inside, as "utterly other-wordly," and he meant it in a good way. The life was not for him, so he returned to the world and gave his own opinion voluntarily.
It would surprise me not at all if the same results are forthcoming for this community of Benedictine women. Only time will show.

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[quote name='Lumiere' timestamp='1290525094' post='2188795']
These are not stupid women who can be mesmerized by anybody.

From the video it sounds like they got what they wanted and are genuinely happy with the building. One thing you have not taken into account, which was commented on in the video, is that now all the community can gather together, because the new building is friendly to people using walkers or wheelchairs. This was also one of the reasons for the renovations at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary and many other monasteries. These women live in these buildings, you do not.

Our house is over 100 years old and if something happened to my husband, I couldn't remain in the house, because I wouldn't be able to afford the upkeep that he does for free. I will be genuinely very sad when I eventually have to leave this house, but I have no illusions that I could stay here as an elderly woman alone.

When the nuns have lived in this building 50-100 years, I'm sure it will take on more of their personality and become less sterile, and eventually will become a thing of beauty, both inside and out.
[/quote]

Sorry, but it is possible to building a new building that is green, easily accessible to disabled people, fits into the environment, and is warm and charming from the day it is built.

I understand COMPLETELY the reason why the nuns needed to move to a new monastery, but, in my opinion, the building is truly ugly. Apparently the nuns are happy, but I don't understand why. Normally, I'd say "If they're happy, I'm happy" but no matter what how the nuns feel, I feel the building is a blight on the landscape. The UK is a small country, and doesn't have as many open areas as the U.S., so each ugly building makes a difference. You're right, these are intelligent women who cannot be mesmerized by anyone, which makes it even more difficult to understand why they allowed this building to be built. There is NO reason why a new building needs to look sterile.

As one example, here is a link to the Web site of a new (and the only) Carmelite monastery in Norway. Unfortunately, there are only a couple of pictures of their new monastery on the Web site, which don't really show how pretty it is, but they were all I could find quickly. [url="http://karmel.katolsk.no/eng/index.htm"]http://karmel.katolsk.no/eng/index.htm[/url]

I'm sure that if I had the time to search the Internet, I could find more examples of newly built monasteries that are lovely and enhance the landscape.

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola
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[url="http://www.architecturetoday.co.uk/?p=1475"]Here[/url] is a link where an architect discusses the building.

[url="http://stanbrookabbeyfriends.org/Phasing"]Here[/url] are the plans. It looks to me like the Abbey is not completed yet and it will [url="http://stanbrookabbeyfriends.org/The-Design-of-the-New-Monastery"]not look like "one ugly building"[/url] when it is completed.

[url="http://stanbrookabbeyfriends.org/NEWS-and-ANNOUNCEMENTS"]Here[/url] the nuns discuss the sale of their old home.

[url="http://stanbrookabbeyfriends.org/"]Here[/url] is the full site.

Peace...

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