The Construction Of The Church

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As Breuer’s career progressed, so did his style and the commissions. His work at the UNESCO Headquarter had finally given him a strong name outside of the residential realm. At the beginning of the 1950s the brethren at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint John the Baptist in Collegeville, MN decided it was time to expand their campus. For the project, they decided to interview a series of architectural stars at the time, such as Walter Gropius, Richard Neutra, Pietro Belluschi, Barry Byrne, Eero Saarinen, and Marcel Breuer. In the end, they chose Breuer for his personality, modesty, honesty, listening skills, and for the fact that he took their needs and wishes seriously.15 The construction of the campus started in 1953 with the addition of a new dormitory wing for the monks. In addition to the church and monk dormitory, Breuer would eventually go on to design two student dormitories, a library, and a natural science research department. Construction of the church began in 1958. As if his proposed design of the church building wasn’t radicle enough, Breuer ended up adding on a 98 foot trapezoidal bell banner to the front of the church. (Fig. 6) The bell tower holds five bells that were transferred from the previous church on a sail made of concrete risers. A slight resemblance between the bell banner and the Eiffel tower can be seen within the use of smooth-curved shaped legs at the base the structure. The bell banner was also constructed to help reflect sun out of the south
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