The Architecture for Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Catholic Church
Jesus Christ Prince of Peace church has been envisioned as a place that embraces the future from the rich foundation of the history of its members and this Iowa community . The Catholic community in Clinton developed during the period of time between the late 1850's into the turn of the century that mirrored the growth of the Arts and Crafts Movement and Eastlake Victorian style in the United States. This influence was evident in the very homes that Iowans were able to order from Sears, Roebuck and Co. They arrived by rail from Chicago and populated the fields and landscape of Eastern Iowa. The parishes of Clinton, though diverse, also gathered in their artwork and furnishings, designs that shared similar ideals and "style". That style evoked traditional craftsmanship, spirituality, and reverence for humanist values. The new architecture seeks to incorporate those wonderful treasures of artful appointments, sacred images, and furnishings which continue the proclamation and celebration of the liturgy in this new building by employing an Arts and Crafts theme throughout.
Early in the design, the building committee set forth a challenge that the new church should create a place that encourages community and provides a visual connection between what is done inside, that is worship, and the sending forth to build up the Kingdom of God. In addition there was desire for natural light, open spaces, and, above al lelse, that the architecture be capable of bearing the weight of mystery unique to a place of worship. The design achieved these goals by combining gothic tracery, and carpentry, and brilliant color in the structure itself, to create a distictive church. Starting with a masonry base tying the building to the land, and continuing upward with the large open windows, the church feels inviting to all. The green walls and lead color roof chosen for the exterior continues the theme of organic, natual colors found in Craftsman architecture. The use of reds denote the areas of worship within the church. The image of Christ and the peaceable kingdom as depicted in Isaiah, Chapter 11, welcomes the people at the front doors and sets the tone with vibrant color throughout. The gathering space is meant to offer places for the ministry of hospitality and directs the community into worship through the raised ceinling at its center. The wide, shallow shape of the worship space surrounds the altar and is, in turn, surrounded by an ambulatory arcade which gathers all together.
Randall Milbrath, AIA
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