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Ulster’s Evangelical Plain Style: A Visual Inquiry

Ulster’s Evangelical Plain Style: A Visual Inquiry Abstract The paper explores the design of the small evangelical halls that exist across the nine counties of Ulster. Conceived of as conduits to salvation, as representing the current non-material iteration of God’s holy temple, and even as prefiguring the coming eschaton, these are simple and unassuming buildings, decorated largely with text. The paper argues that the “plain style” provides a fruitful approach to consideration of the materiality of these spaces. Plain style is defined as a complex denial of ostentation and elaboration in design and communication that is linked to reformed Protestantism. Contending that such a plain style must engage with the quotidian and the contingent, the importance and the problems of photo-documentation as a method of inquiry are discussed. The paper argues that a careful and reflexive approach to photography and analysis, drawing on keywording and metadata provides a method suitable for exploration of such “new” spaces where access must be negotiated with care. The paper concludes by presenting some findings drawn from a keywording approach to the visual data and relating the use of text, materials and building forms to discussion of an everyday plain style. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architecture and Culture Taylor & Francis

Ulster’s Evangelical Plain Style: A Visual Inquiry

Architecture and Culture , Volume OnlineFirst: 21 – Feb 23, 2023
21 pages

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References (14)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
2050-7836
eISSN
2050-7828
DOI
10.1080/20507828.2022.2153543
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract The paper explores the design of the small evangelical halls that exist across the nine counties of Ulster. Conceived of as conduits to salvation, as representing the current non-material iteration of God’s holy temple, and even as prefiguring the coming eschaton, these are simple and unassuming buildings, decorated largely with text. The paper argues that the “plain style” provides a fruitful approach to consideration of the materiality of these spaces. Plain style is defined as a complex denial of ostentation and elaboration in design and communication that is linked to reformed Protestantism. Contending that such a plain style must engage with the quotidian and the contingent, the importance and the problems of photo-documentation as a method of inquiry are discussed. The paper argues that a careful and reflexive approach to photography and analysis, drawing on keywording and metadata provides a method suitable for exploration of such “new” spaces where access must be negotiated with care. The paper concludes by presenting some findings drawn from a keywording approach to the visual data and relating the use of text, materials and building forms to discussion of an everyday plain style.

Journal

Architecture and CultureTaylor & Francis

Published: Feb 23, 2023

Keywords: evangelical architecture; mission hall; gospel hall; Northern Ireland; Ulster; vernacular; photography; metadata

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