Architecture Expressing Ideology

This caught my eye:

Tossell is reacting to the architectural proposal above in which Bloor Street United Church is converted a modern structure while retaining the thinnest facade of the original architecture:

And it reminded me of Zizek’s explanation of how even a mundane architectural feature – toilets in this case – can be indicative of the ideology that animates it:

For those of you not from Canada and/or not familiar with the United Church of Canada, it was originally a uniting of Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists but has come to be seen a sort of mushy denomination where even the clergy don’t have to be terribly into the whole God thing.

Now I know a lot of atheists, I can get along with them, hell I like a lot of atheists, so I am not particularly horrified that Gretta Vosper calls herself a “non-theist.”  What does baffle me is why she wants to continue being a minister at a church conducting Christian worship services. Atheists/post-theists/non-theists are free to be inspired by, adapt and co-opt Christian ideas a la Zizek, but someone like Zizek is upfront that he is an atheist and a “fighting materialist” in his own words. He’s never gone and tried to run a Christian church and when he’s in front of a mostly Christian audience he doesn’t try to flatter his audience by wearing a more Christian facade.

There’s that word again, facade. Is this the ideology that animates the United Church? Are they to retain a facade that looks like Christianity but put something completely different in behind it. I guess depending on one’s view, maybe that’s okay, but it might be better to either save what came before or have the courage to tear it all down.

Update: It  will probably strengthen my point if I clarify that I do believe that in both architecture and ideas one can successfully combine old and new in addition to creating all new things or maintaining very old things. It’s this use of an old facade to apparently hide a new structure that is troubling.