Cruciform skyscraper proposed in Liverpool

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By adopting the shape of a cross for his design, Maurice Shapero’s proposal for a new skyscraper in Liverpool, UK, is sure to raise eyebrows. Far from being a religious statement, however, the architect claims the form has been arrived at with a “rational inevitability.”


“The obvious question… this is the symbol which references one of the ultimate places in human spirituality,” Shapero writes in the project blurb. “Should I be restricted from using it when it has come from my own investigation, imagination, conclusion? Equally obvious is my answer, to me hierarchy and ownership are as illusory as everything else in this world.”

In fact, Shapero describes the intersection has his “favorite geometry,” in this case forming a cantilevered restaurant in what would otherwise be a residential tower block.

Written By: James Holloway
continue to source article at gizmag.com

47 COMMENTS

  1. This requires a building permit and government approval. If the building were in the shape of a swastika, crescent moon & star, electric chair, guillotine, or star of david would the government approve?

  2. Shapero – “… a balancing feminine gesture to its own relentless Yang”.
    Viewing other works via his website, this makes sense.
    I like his architectural style, reminds me of the modern art museums in Kansas City, Mo.

    The ultimate “yang” structure has to be the Liberty WWI Memorial, also in KC ~

  3. Nothing like a f-king great crucifix shaped skyscraper going up in the skyline to make me feel better about the distribution of wealth and power, and how we collectively get a say in what gets built. Oh wait, no. 

  4. First of all, Roman crucifixions used a simple pole. I have not researched if historians think it plausible Jesus could have got a custom deluxe model, presuming there actually was a historic Jesus.  The Roman/Jewish unforgivable crime was not crucifying Jesus, but treating him with contempt as a common criminal. So probably not.

    If you are allowed to build a church that looks like a killing device, why not a building? Maybe a machine gun, a napalm sprayer, a mushroom cloud, an electric chair, a hypodermic needle and Snow White’s apple could also inspire architects.

    The point of the religious crucifix symbol horizontal bar placement is to match where the head and arms allegedly poked out of Jesus. I question that skyscraper wind flow would mimic the same pattern by coincidence.  The architect is doing the favourite Christian past time, namely lying.

  5. Architects
    have a right to their opinion and their own sense of aesthetics, but the city
    authorities are the ones who decide what to include in their urban environment.
    Detailed plan of urban development defines guidelines what kind of buildings
    can or may be constructed. If Liverpool’s city government permits this symbol
    in their urban tissue, then they are responsible for it. My opinion is that
    this architect is unimaginative and insufficiently educated, and upon city
    authorities remains to decide whether they will support this project. Liverpool
    city government will prove how primitive, uneducated or advanced they are. I would say like Gandalf: “You shall not pass”!!!

  6.  The only thing I want to know is if there is government funding involved. If not, have at it.

    Why ?  The UK has a state Christian religion.

    But I do think that people who have to look at this every day should have some input into what sort of eyesore it’s going to be  but planning rules should help with that.

    It’s going to strange to land at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and drive into town to see this Christian monstrosity. “Above us only sky”.

    Michael

  7. As someone who currently lives in Liverpool, the only city I know with 2 cavernous cathedrals (1 anglican/ 1 catholic) and a hundred or so tributary churches in varied states of occupation and disrepair, I’m thinking we probably have more than enough churches to cater for the local population.
    In fact I can think of at least 3 derelict ones that I pass on my mile walk to work.
    Did somebody think we don’t have enough woo to be getting on with, or that demand is somehow outstripping supply?
    The phrase “selling fridges to eskimos” springs to mind.

  8. It’s just a building. Most buildings have cross sections used to build them. Whatever it might symbolically mean for people its quite innocuous.
    Let’s worry about important stuff like preventing religious discrimination and childhood indoctrination.

  9. Better a cross than a 200m-tall statue of John Lennon.

    Has anyone on this forum ever visited Liverpool? I have, and every store one enters assaults the senses with Beatles and Lennon memorabilia. I swear to God I saw a John Lennon ‘lady’s battery-powered personal pleasure device’ for sale in one downmarket outlet. I know they gave us Help! and Imagine and Daydream Believer and so on, but get over it. The only thing that offers any competition to all this tat is Liverpool City FC merchandise.

    I do have a suggestion as to how non-Christian sensibilities could be catered to if this design is implemented: engineer the thing so that the transverse beam is capable of being moved. Once a week, preferably on a Sunday, slide this bit down near the bottom . Hey presto, it’s now an inverted cross, the symbol of those who worship Jesus’s enemy, Satan. Everybody’s happy!

    Does anyone else think that Maurice Shapero is just ripping off the movie Tron with his design?

  10. I’m wondering if Shapero has spent even the slightest moment considering what would
    happen if 19 fundamentalist atheists hi-jacked a bunch of passenger
    jet aircraft? And flew around his crucifix, observing it with merciless incredulity.

  11. Whatever it might symbolically mean for people its quite innocuous.

    Are ya serious? You think that the Muslims of the U.K. and further afield will find this inoffensive? The barking mad will be queuing up to fly an aeroplane into that fecker.

    Let’s worry about important stuff like preventing religious discrimination and childhood indoctrination.

    You don’t think a building design such as this will not offend the feeble minded fuckwits that are so insecure in their belifs that a piddly cartoon can incite riot and murder? You don’t think that this gigantic symbol of Christianity is not going to be a source of influence on youngsters? What do ya think the religiously minded Christian parent is going to say when asked, “Mammy, why is that big house look like that?

    Important stuff is subjective, one man’s important stuff is another man’s otiose stuff.

  12. There seems a lot of assumptions in the comments. I know the cross is, primarily, a xtian symbol but nowhere in the article was it stated, or suggested, that Shapero was of that particular delusion. His name hints at some affiliation, however tenuous, with a somewhat older delusion. 

  13. Flapjack
    As someone who currently lives in Liverpool, the only city I know with 2 cavernous cathedrals (1 anglican/ 1 catholic) and a hundred or so tributary churches in varied states of occupation and disrepair, .. … …

    As the folk song puts it:-

    … .. . .. . .. . “If you want a cutheedral, wee’ve got one to spare, ( OR – two to spare – if you prefer that version)
    In my Liverpool home!”

    Peter McGovern – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P

    Liten to the song here:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  14. “Are ya serious? You think that the Muslims of the U.K. and further afield will find this inoffensive? The barking mad will be queuing up to fly an aeroplane into that fecker.”

    The Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro has been there for nearly a century. It’s not a skyscraper but it is one of the world’s biggest and most  famous symbols of Christianity. As far as I’m aware, it’s never been targeted by Islamic fundamentalists. We should remember that Jesus is revered by Muslims as well as Christians, even though the former don’t believe the crucifixion story.

    Doesn’t this attitude of not doing something because it could provoke attacks from religious zealots contradict other statements you’ve made on this site about how we shouldn’t acquiesce to extremists?

  15. The first thing I thought about is “What a target that bugger will make for the lunatic faction”… of course that’s no reason to not to build it…just a good reason not to go into it. Then again, God will protect those seeking sanctuary within, like what happened to thePort-Au-Prince cathedral in Haiti.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

    Because their God is real and looks after his own…ooohpps…nope, that’s the Jews…er…nope…it’s the Muslims…er…maybe it’s the …ah never mind.

  16. The Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro has been there for nearly a century.

    Not a good analogy. It is because it has been there 80 odd years and is one of many such structures around the globe it isn’t top of the hit list. That is one of the reasons I’m sure that it is of no consequence to the fundies, Brazil is not known for it’s Muslim population, at o.o2%. The eejits tend to get offended at new offences…items of antiquity tend to get a bye ball, unless they are handy…like the  Buddhas of Bamiyan. I’d say that the day the caliphate gets to Brazil, the Christo Redentor will surely be toast.

    It’s not a skyscraper but it is one of the world’s biggest and most  famous symbols of Christianity. As far as I’m aware, it’s never been targeted by Islamic fundamentalists.

    And another reason might be the trade off…martyrs for masonry….a bit of a waste. Islam likes the death of infidels…so lets have structures full of infidels please. 

    We should remember that Jesus is revered by Muslims as well as Christians, even though the former don’t believe the crucifixion story.

    Another reason I might suggest. Lets not destroy a statue of a prophet, it will be detrimental to the cause. But a crucifix is defo fair game…especially one stuffed full of infidels.

    Doesn’t this attitude of not doing something because it could provoke attacks from religious zealots contradict other statements you’ve made on this site about how we shouldn’t acquiesce to extremists?

    Oh I’m not suggesting that it shouldn’t be built. Perhaps you should read my comment again Katy. I don’t think I inferred anywhere in my reply to B. Armstrong that we acquiesce to extremists, if that’s how you read it, I assure you it isn’t my point and I apologise for the confusion. I think the building looks pretty snazzy as a matter of fact. It isn’t religious in essence anyway. I was merely pointing out the flaws in B. Armstrong’s comment, that’s all.

    P.S. Christians are not averse to blowing up each others statues either, as I know only too well.

    “A black marble statue to Hanna was erected in Carlisle Circus in 1894;this was removed after it was damaged by an Irish Republican Army bomb in 1970″

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H

  17.  

    The Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro has been there for nearly a
    century. It’s not a skyscraper but it is one of the world’s biggest and
    most  famous symbols of Christianity. As far as I’m aware, it’s never
    been targeted by Islamic fundamentalists

    Would that not confirm the ‘theory’ that all the fundamentalists are after is a political statement and advantage rather then a wholly religious one…although religion comes in handy when they have a grumpy mood on and need a reason for insanity?
    Targeting the Western axis brings far more returns per atrocity then targeting a non-aligned 2nd world like Brazil.
    Besides methinks there are not that many Brazilian troops seconded to NATO anyway…and that is the target of most Muslim hysteria.
    The benefit of spitting the Islamic dummy being felt in the Western society at street level where the particular government bends over backwards to pretend they are an all inclusive jolly good fellows are we and here we will give you social benefits …housing…schools of your own taste and never expect you to conform to western law and court kraft!

    I would say Islamic ambition is more focussed on gaining a solid foot hand knee and groin hold in the 1st world rather then faff around South America, seems more productive for control of the major policies that affect them.

    It also indicates the totally bogus nature of their religious sensitivities…it is a crock and sorry excuse.

  18. Got no particular distaste for the building envisioned…but I rather think the religiotards will claim it as their own against the prevailing  arguments…some things they can not let go, this shaped structure will definitely be one of them.

    The most likely scenario being that they will insist the government, or the owners, give them a floor or two tax free.
    They will hassle and harangue the owners to be given access and probably premises inside at a very favourable discount, probably even willing to spend X^x amount of their followers donations used to grease a few palms…and there will be a bidding war amongst  the righteous to get into that position, and a great deal of corporate back stabbing and guilt laying just to get that building as an HQ address of one of their scam missions, nothing so certain!

  19. There is a kind of rational inevitability about it, the kind that comes from designing with lego and finding out you don’t have enough pieces the right shape.  So you whip up some bullshit description of the design and blame it on rational inevitability.  Inevitably and with some rationale, people will notice that it looks a bit like a crucifix. 

    Liverpool originally consisted of seven streets in a H shape though it is by no means inevitable that a rational architect could come up with a design like that even though it has 2 intersections.

    In summary, I would like to say it looks shite,  and as long as it doesn’t give the scousers something else to whine about I don’t really care.

  20. Shapero “…”should I be restricted from using it (cross shape) when it has come from my own investigation, imagination,
    and conclusion?  
    Equally obvious is my answer – to me, hierarchy and ownership are as illusory as everything else in this world.”

  21. Well I’ve been into both the Liverpool cathedrals and seen the Angel of the North.  Of course no-one lives in any of them, – well there there might be a caretaker or two in the cathedrals, but the Angel of the North? You’d have to be a bloody Arctic lichen to live there! Or maybe a pigeon?

    Now I would hate to suggest pecuniary motive for the horrible design by Shapero, but why build something simple when the architect is on 20% of the build cost?

    No doubt the planners will take into account the loss of light suffered bythose in the shadow caused by the “wings” of the tower? Bloody hell, even mobile phones might be affected!  And we couldn’t have that!

    As to its so-called religious significance, anyone who knows anything about  Liverpool knows it was the capital of Ireland for years!

    (Removes tongue from cheek and gracefully exits!)

  22. In Liverpool of all places, this is a nakedly cynical piece of design: not only does it play on the city’s regional rivalry with its northern neighbours   –  they want it to be an “Angel of the North-West”, presumably  –  but also taps into that city’s maudlin religiosity. An interesting structural idea, but sorry: no sale.

  23. Mike,

    Other than a single line the “cross” is pretty much the next shape everyone will draw in there life. The swastika is not far behind either, Star of David is way down the list and crescent moon WITH star, guillotine and electric chair are not in the running. I myself have designed buildings with “cruciform” plans and am strongly resistant to the idea that it is  an exclusive symbol.If on the other hand this is actually a building for a christian organisation then it’s not a building design it’s a sign. There are probably more restrictive controls on signs than buildings so hopefully that isn’t an issue either.As far as pimped out penthouses goes – looks like they’ll get top dollar for it, mission accomplished!

  24. Surely a building in the shape of an electric chair or guillotine would be more structurally sound. On the other hand they could get double duty out of it by hanging large nooses from the arms.

    People have not only become numb to this mechanism of death through the anaesthetic of familiarity, they have routinely ignored the real christian message of the cross – the utterly contemptable idea that it’s okay to rid yourself of guilt by punishing someone else.

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