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Architectural Guide: Christian Sacred Buildings in Europe Since 1950

review - By Wolfgang Jean Stock. Prestel, 2004. 320pp. £22.99

Wolfgang Jean Stock's European Church Architecture 1950-2000 was well received in AJ 1.5.03. Now he offers a guide to 130 examples of 'sacred architecture' from 20 European countries. As those figures suggest, this is a highly selective book, with a strong weighting in favour of Germany. Whereas Great Britain gets just four entries (Spence's Coventry Cathedral; Maguire and Murray's St Paul's, Bow Common; Gillespie, Kidd & Coia's St Bride, East Kilbride; MacCormac's Fitzwilliam College chapel), and France only six (one being Ando's Meditation Room at UNESCO), there are 40 German inclusions.

But the guide is practical, with plans, sections, brief apposite texts, and details of location and access; and it is particularly well produced, with excellent photographs by Klaus Kinold and an elegant layout. It is clear from recent projects such as Peter Kulka's House of Silence in Meschede (pictured), and Andreas Meck + Stephan Köppel's Hall for the Last Blessing near Munich, that the 'sacred' is still a source of grave, resonant architecture.

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