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Showing posts from December, 2017

Brig-Wallis Architecture, Part 2: The Quad

The decision to build a training center/school and "home base" for the Order of Osiris had been bandied about for about 20 years before it was finally committed to. Long before the location for the school grounds had been decided upon and secured, there had been discussions and decisions made regarding campus designs and structures. Originally, it had been thought that an existing building would be the most natural (and simplest) scenario with which to work. But artistic natures being what they are, members of the Order soon realized how strong was their desire to build something "of their own." Thus, when the adjacent properties on the outskirts of Brig-Glis were purchased in 1806, an architectural design was already in hand.
     The fully enclosed, inward-facing "quadrangular" arrangement of the school's buildings was based on the design of the "Mod Quad" at Merton College, Oxford, England--with which all Order members were familiar. When…

The Architecture of the Buildings of Brig-Wallis Prep School, Part 1: The Chapel

The Chapel

The oldest remaining building on the campus, the so-called Chapel, was constructed during the economic boom brokered by silk and salt baron Kaspar Stockalper in the 1660s and 1670s--a time when the population of Brig and its environs may have reached 1500 souls but had to grow to accommodate the 5000 jobs Stockalper's trade empire demanded. The newly rising Catholic Society of Jesus--called the Jesuits--had received a big boost from local hero and Jesuit co-founder, Peter Faber--a priest who had been a roommate of Francis Xavier while students in Paris (they both received their Master of Arts degrees from the University of Paris on the same day in 1530) and a roommate of Ignatius of Loyola. (Faber was only recently canonized a Catholic saint, in 2013, by Pope Francis I.) The new "tribe" of foot-traveling, educated preacher-teachers, was quick to spread into western Switzerland. With the economic and population boom of the 1660s, Brig-Glis felt an immediate nee…