During the last fifty years, Christian religious architecture has made one of the most abrupt changes in its millenary history. Among the factors that show this change there is a radical dispossession that the places of worship have undergone. Minimalism, brutalism or "povera" architecture are some epithets that have been used to describe this way of building. But there were reasons for this dispossession. There was a sociocultural reason, as part of the European reconstruction after two world wars, and a programmatic reason, derived from the customer's requirements. i.e., the Catholic Church's requirements. Most of the criticisms have missed the root causes that led to the dispossession of these places by including them in a general (and poorly understood) spirit of renewal promoted by the Second Vatican Council. In this article we trace this itinerary based on the thought of the Mercedarian religious philosopher, Alfonso López Quintas and on the work of the Spanish Dominican priest, Francisco Coello de Portugal. His constructivist, emphatic and stripped architecture provides some clues to understand this process. Thus, we might ask whether the terms authenticity, austerity and poverty, recurrent in the religious architecture discourse during the second half of the 20 <br /> th century, are equivalent or refer to different realities, or whether Christian poverty is compatible with the material or the intellectual quality. And, in sum, whether Coello's work reflects an economy requirement, a voluntary ethical asceticism or just a fashionable aesthetic choice of that time. © 2011 by Unisinos.
Fernández-Cobián, E. (2011). Fray Coello de Portugal y el debate sobre la pobreza en la arquitectura religiosa durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Arquiteturarevista, 7(2), 112–125. https://doi.org/10.4013/arq.2011.72.03