St Richard's Church, Chichester / by Sasha Ward

St. Richard's Catholic Church, Chichester, west entrance doors

This church is remarkable for its complete set of dalle de verre windows made in Chartres by Gabriel Loire in 1962. Every window in the church is filled with thick, chipped coloured glass set in concrete and the light inside the church is incredible, we gasped with excitement on entering and were asked to calm down.

 Beautiful material quality - for more on the manufacture of the windows go to  St. Richard"s Chichester

Beautiful material quality - for more on the manufacture of the windows go to St. Richard"s Chichester

Rows of high level windows and geometric ceiling decoration. Architects Tomei & Maxwell

I find the appearance of the same windows from inside and outside very interesting. There are some beautiful colour combinations inside - I particularly like the figures in bed in the third window from left (above). There are places where the reds dominate and others where the yellow pieces act as holes for beams of diffused light. The patterns in the composition are what you notice from the outside, the way that the rough cut glass introduces irregularity into a repeat background pattern or row of figures.

The same windows from the outside showing St. Peter leading Apostles: End window with two mysterious negative figures.

There are a few places where the figures are negative - concrete rather than glass. I remember learning how this technique doesn't work in a mosaic because your eyes read the space between coloured fragments as a gap rather than a solid. However it looks great in glass and concrete, showing off the beautiful material quality from inside and out.

Angels surround Mary, inside and outside. Lovely variation in the pattern based on the shapes of the glass pieces.