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Christian Science Church Center

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1968–1973, I. M. Pei and Partners with Cossuta and Ponte; 2000–2002, Ann Beha Architects. Massachusetts Ave. at Huntington Ave.
  • Christian Science Church Center
  • Christian Science Church Center

The master plan for the Christian Science World Headquarters has created a monumental public space on an important site, virtually connecting the Back Bay with the South End and the Prudential Center (BB79) with Huntington and Massachusetts avenues. Bordering on the nearly seven-hundred-foot reflecting pool are the Colonnade Building and its dining facilities, the quadrant at the southwest corner with its Sunday school, and the high-rise tower for administrative offices. Play abounds—on circles, quarter circles, and triangles so characteristic of I. M. Pei's site planning. The concrete surfaces throughout, the use of deeply recessed windows, and the trough roof (of the Colonnade Building) owe much to Le Corbusier's architecture, most notably his plans for the government area at Chandigarh, India. Details are meticulously crafted, such as the furnishings in the auditorium of the Sunday school that provide for all ages. There is an underground parking garage surmounted by the pool, which also serves as part of the air-conditioning system. There are also concrete grids on some elevations that, modifying Le Corbusier's brise-soleil, serve to deflect the sun's rays and, above all, provide the coherence that defines the complex while at the same time opening it to surrounding areas.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Keith N. Morgan
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Citation

Keith N. Morgan, "Christian Science Church Center", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-BB87.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 180-180.

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