WORK | WORSHIP
with critic Kazys Varnelis
In a culture fixated on growth and economic expansion, I argue the monastic model of living will outlive the collapse of capitalism and will fill the holes left by its conquest. I am creating a Monastery where work and worship coexist. Where ritual plays an important role in everyday work. The monastery becomes a self-sustaining model and the factory becomes a place of worship.
In the recent past Larry Summers stated, “We cannot and will not accept any ‘speed limit’ on American economic growth. It is the task of economic policy to grow the economy as rapidly, sustainably, and inclusively as possible.”
Throughout history great religious monuments have been places of mass production and gathering. I am examining models of work as temple and religious moments to create an environment, which seeks community and perfection.
I am proposing a reversal of the current religious building model. Building of reduction versus building towards the heavens.
The factory is part of worship. There is a spatial and social unification of worship and work. I want to restore quality to production. As the Shakers would say, “Make as if you had a thousand years and if you were to die tomorrow.” The work/worship zones will seek perfection in their work. Individuals who seek a new life will be openly accepted.
At one point in history the Hudson River roared loudly. It cradled a young New York City, now a mighty empire. The
city reached far up the Hudson for its very life. The Hudson has been a gateway of industrialism as well as religion. Choosing a site along the Hudson allows for a continuation of monastery row and usages of existing remnants of industrialism. In Rockland County, Haverstraw rock quarry allows for an architecture of reduction.
Music has always been linked to perfection, both the manufacturing of and the playing. In responding to the program of monastery and its seeking for purity and perfection, I chose to concentrate on the production of music. The pipe organ becomes a means of work for worship.
1 pipe organ
The monks will seek perfection in the making of one instrument as a means of mass communication, both to within and to the outside. The design concentrates its attention on the pipe organ located at the bottom of the quarry. The monks dedicate their lives to the making of the organ.
The monastery consists of cells that wrap the quarry.
8 x 10, simple stone cells.
Agricultural terraces disperse within the cells.
Hydroelectric power generates energy for factory and pipe organ.
Generators or battery cells store power to run wind turbines.
Two work/worship zones are built on north/south and east/west axis.
Wind pipes bring a constant air into wind chest.
Organ awaits to be played.
Quarry is settled.
Organ is made.
Exodus follows to next quarry.
Pipe organ becomes a means of communication between quarries.
Monasteries move west filling the holes left by capitalism.
I will go
make the pilgrimage.
I will go
The earth roars,
it is silent.
I am silent.
It is finished.