Cathedrals have always fascinated me. I had the good fortune to receive an in depth study of them while attending the College of Architecture at the University of Washington. The early medieval and renaissance cathedrals were born from man’s desire to worship and pay reverence to God. Their architects designed their spaces to reflect the feelings and emotions that they hoped one would have as they entered into God’s house, in His “heaven on earth.” To them, God was all-powerful, mysterious, majestic, inspiring, and unable to grasp and understand in His entirety……sound familiar? This physical form of worship resulted in spectacular spaces that drew mankind into God’s “presence” with the sheer magnitude of scale and space.
The cathedrals were always the largest structures in the cities or towns and as new building and construction methods advanced it was the cathedral architects who developed them. These advancements included such things as flying buttresses which enabled the walls to reach higher and double vaults which helped spaces to intersect gracefully with one another. The advent of stained glass brought the beauty of colored light into the vaults and added to the experience. Indeed, many of today’s best architectural “inventions” can be traced back to the architects of the early cathedrals and their desire to reflect the majesty of God in the built environment.
I have had the great pleasure of visiting many of the famous cathedrals throughout Europe and I can testify that they succeeded! I’ve been humbled and in awe at every visit. I can’t imagine what the very first visitors felt so long ago. I think that the most profound truth around the early cathedrals is the fact that their architects never saw them and got to experience them completed. Michelangelo never walked through a finished St Peter’s in Rome and Gaudi never got to experience his creation of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (which is still under construction). The cathedrals usually took hundreds of years to build and their original architects knew that they would not see them finished but rather trusted their completion to subsequent architects. Amazing to ponder!
Teleios had an early architect too. Connie Jacobsen has designed and built something that has outlasted him and into eternity unlike the temporal cathedrals. Art and Shawn are the new architects of Connie’s vision. Are you designing anything that will reflect God and outlast you? I’m challenged to do so.
Dean Johnson- Teleios Board Member
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in to steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in to steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Mathew 6:19-21