Thursday Doors – June 8, 2017

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below. 

The Handbag Church – Repentigny, Québec

Last week my latest doorscursion took us just off the eastern tip of the island of Montréal to the town of Repentigny.

A while back I’d read about a funny looking handbag shaped church there that I just had to see for myself.

Designed by Montréal architect Roger D’Astous, l’Église Notre-Dame-des-Champs was built in 1963 and held its first mass in October of that same year.

If you’re interested you can see a series of photos of the unusual construction on their website here.

Though admittedly a little sparse on interesting doors, I thought that the odd shape alone made this one a worthy  post.

I found the design quite bold and especially unusual when you consider that this place is a Catholic church, and let’s face it, the Catholic church is considered pretty conservative, particularly around these parts.

Come join me on my walk-around and see for yourself.

The front doors were simple commercial style glass monstrosities, so I didn’t bother capturing them.

But everything else about the place really makes the building memorable. Even the use of cedar roof shingles on such a large project was a bold decision.

Depending on the angle, when it’s not looking like a handbag, it kinda looks like it might be a spaceship.

What do you think?

As always, thanks so such for visiting 🙂

Want to join in on the fun and share your own Thursday Doors post with other door lovers? Click on the blue button below to add the link to your Thursday Doors post to our link-up list.

Don’t forget that if you share your blog posts on Twitter and Instagram, use the #ThursdayDoors hashtag to help others find you, and please do take a few minutes to visit some of the Thursday Door posts shared by others.

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About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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106 Responses to Thursday Doors – June 8, 2017

  1. dweezer19 says:

    It reminds me of a mushroom gnome house! Very unique!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sherry Felix says:

    That fabulous building makes up for the doors.
    BTW the link in the email about this this post led to page no found: https://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/thursday-doors-june-15-2017/ I notice the date in the link is wrong. You might think about migrating the site to a new template which might get rid of a few bugs. Check with WP support.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is a very interesting architectural design. Definitely quite bold. It seems like a completely different building from each angle. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. RuthsArc says:

    What a fabulous building. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Su Leslie says:

    Amazing building; looks like someone mixed Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut mixed with Scandanavian Stave church architecture. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 2Broke2Save says:

    Reblogged this on 2Broke2Save and commented:
    Amazing Architecture

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tara says:

    From various angles: purse, Hobbit house, SMURF HOUSE! Wow. Weird!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Weird indeed. I’m still doing some research to find out what his inspiration was for such an odd design.
      By the way, I seem to be having problems commenting on other people’s posts again. I think my comment to your post may have been caught in your spam folder 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Joanne Sisco says:

    Holy Angelical Curves, Norm!! This is not something I thought I’d ever seen out of Quebec! That is a cool building from all angles and I give it 2 enthusiastic thumbs up.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m surprised that’s a Catholic church. It’s very odd indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my gosh, what an unusual church! I didn’t think we Catholics could be so bold! Ha Ha! It does look like a handbag! Did you notice the odd placement of bells too? Fabulous find, Norm!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Who knew the Catholic church could be so bold with there architecture 😉
      As I said to a few others, I would have loved to have been there when he did his initial design presentation just to see their reactions 😀

      Like

  11. My first time here. The architecture is fascinating. And an interesting choice for a Catholic Church.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. jazzytower says:

    Wow, very unusual. That would be a really cool vintage handbag! I wonder what the lighting is like on the inside. A great post Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, this is such a cool looking building; not what you might expect for a church but cool just the same. Must be a roofer’s nightmare; the cedar shingle installation would be a lot of work but lots of scaffolding for the curves!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. reocochran says:

    I loved this artistic and creative Catholic Church, Norm! I am a big fan of unique designs and textures. The cedar roofing material is quite an additional feature but let’s get to the “shape of things.” I think it looks Tibetan in some kind of mosque/natural hut style. Thanks for sharing this and hope you like my more traditional entry today/yesterday but the time you may read this. 🙂 Have a special weekend, Norm with your “honey.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s beautiful! I love the shape, and cedar tiles. When I saw the first image I thought of Hawaii. I don’t know why but I did. I wonder what it looks like inside? It’s definitely a worthy post!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Candy says:

    I wonder how the architect ‘sold’ this idea to church leaders? it is truly unique.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Vanessa says:

    Fascinating, I’ve never seen a building like this. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. great architecture, although I admit they could have have been more imaginative on the doors to match the building

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Anything will match such a lovely handbag, so the doors don’t need to be spectacular to support the “outfit.” What a wonderful building and you got it from so many interesting angles. The landscaping seems to be a nice complement to the building, too. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. JT Twissel says:

    I would have never guessed that to be a Catholic Church! It kind of looks like a mushroom.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. tinahomeblog says:

    What an unusual church. It really looks like a handbag. The pictures are super.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Capt Jill says:

    such an interesting building, I’m wondering how much wine they drank to come up with that design?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. So that’s a handbag? Interesting. I wouldn’t know, I only use rucksacks. 🙂 I wonder what possessed the architect? As always, great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. lifelessons says:

    Wow! My favorite of all of your posts, Norm. Great doors with wonderful buildings attached.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Reblogged this on that little voice and commented:
    This church is fabulous looking. Visit Norm’s Thursday Door Photo Challenge to see more interesting pictures.https://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/thursday-doors-june-8-2017/

    Liked by 1 person

  26. jesh stg says:

    Hard to overlook this unusual shape for a church. Am still kind of debating with myself if I like it, but I do like the spring green and will follow the link you gave!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      It is a VERY unusual design for a church so I was not surprised to find that it was considered a somewhat off-putting design by some of the more conservative church goers.

      Like

      • jesh stg says:

        Actually I like unusual church designs- in Europe there are quite a few in that category (Gaudy in Spain). Went to the link you gave, and d’Astous has that Southern European look. His resume looks impressive. Who knows it the interior of this building would wow me. I think I would like it better, if the bulge (rounding) of the “bag” would not be so extreme.
        Different subject: hope are you getting used to working from home:)

        Like

  27. analogphotobug says:

    Poor doors….I felt the same thing when I saw them. But in the recent past, The Catholic Church often has some dramatic church designs. If You are ever in San Francisco, St Mary’s Cathedral is a Must See. You’ll love their Doors too. It is THE Cathedral on Cathedral Hill.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Helen Bushe says:

    Like an upturned boat. What an amazing building.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Yes, an upturned boat – I can see that too. Good observation 🙂
      By the way, I seem to be having problems commenting on other people’s posts again. I think my comment to your post may have been caught in your spam folder.

      Like

  29. marianallen says:

    I think it looks like an Ark! Whatever it resembles, it gives me a feeling of comfort and happiness and elevation. And it defies all expectations, which is a good reminder in something that represents the Divine. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Cee Neuner says:

    Norm, I so agree. That building shape is worthy enough. Great post.
    Here is my entry. I have buildings for my B&W Challenge and mentioned if you are highlighting the doors in your building you can play in this challenge too. 😀
    http://wp.me/p3ZTqs-6jj

    Liked by 1 person

  31. joey says:

    I have never seen anything like this. I read the texts, but I didn’t read anywhere what INSPIRED this design. Handbag, spaceship, falling book, ark… ??? So interesting. I love all the curves and the narrow windows at the top. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Joey. I found NOTHING about his thinking for this design online either. And seriously: I looked.
      This one sent me down one deep rabbit hole. I found out a lot about this fellow. He had a few other very famous designs around here including the Olympic Village and the Chateau Champlain hotel, but I read nothing about what possessed him to design a church like this.
      I did find a documentary about him that’s available online. Will probably watch it tonight. I’ll keep you posted if there’s anything in there about this church.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. carol1945 says:

    Unique, thanks for letting us experience it through your eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Wow, vraiment original comme église. Merci pour la visite. (Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Merci Suzzane. J’ai fait plus de recherche sur l’architecte, D’Astous. Parmi ces ouvres les plus connus on trouve le Chateau Champlain au centre-ville et le Village Olympique. En Decembre 2016 ils ont sorti un documentaire sur lui. Je vais le louer ce soir sur Google Play, je suis trop curieux.

      Like

  34. I think this is one wicked church! 😮 Can’t believe it’s Catholic. But it’s just as pleasing to the eye as Italian magnificent cathedrals, only differently so. And I especially like that you didn’t bother with the doors. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  35. J Walters says:

    What a magnificent building. Great post Norm. Love the lyrical shapes.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Jackie says:

    That really is something!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. ianbcross says:

    Great shots. I love the design – more like an old fashioned doctor’s bag – a Gladstone bag.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Susi Lovell says:

    This is a fantastic building – in all senses of the word. I love the gorgeous sweeping lines and the way it morphs with different views. Also love the way the photo with the two little doors turn the handbag into a bug! Why isn’t there more of this kind of daring architecture in Montreal? (I hope I haven’t doubled my comments. The first time I commented didn’t seem to ‘take’. Could you please delete one if you find two? Thanks!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Susi. Generally I’d say that Montreal does have a shortage of inspiring architecture compared to many other cities. This fellow has a few notable ones around town though. Among his creations he also designed the Chateau Chaplain and the Olympic Village.

      Like

  39. Dan Antion says:

    That is quite a building, Norm. I know the Catholic Church was loosening up a little in the early 60s, but this is quite a stretch. Your comment about the cedar shingles registered with me. I’ve installed cedar shingles on walls and roofs, and I can’t imagine doing it on that scale or in and around those curves. Especially the curving hips on the little entrance building. Thansk for including the link to the construction photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. bikerchick57 says:

    That is certainly a different building for a Catholic church. Where are the stained glass windows? I wonder what the architect was thinking when designing this church and I also wonder what the inside looks like in the handbag part of the church. I’ve never seen such an unusual building or church, so thanks for sharing Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Mary, glad you enjoyed it. I tried digging deeper about the thought process behind the design but because this architect also designed a few other more famous building around here, this church only gets mentioned in passing.
      By the way, I seem to be having problems commenting on other people’s posts again. I think my comments to your post may have been caught in your spam folder 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Indeed a departure from what I’ve come to expect for a Catholic Church. Each side is so very different from the other.
    Now, if I may be bitchy… someone needs to do something about the lanky cedars that flank the doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Maggie – it is a departure from typical staid Catholic architecture. I would have loved to have been there when the architect was pitching his design to the decision makers 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  42. In the first three images it looks as if a zip is running up the building, lol. That’s the most unusual church I’ve ever seen, Norm. I love how you described it as a handbag, I was thinking the same thing as I have one of a similar shape. What a project for a shingle roof!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Perfect example of why you are the ‘Thursday Doors Leader.’ Never have I seen a handbag shaped church. Amazing craftsmanship. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  44. BeckyB says:

    oh wow that is a stunning building . .. clearly though we all need to drop the architect a line about door design!!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. What a fantastic building. I wonder how the architect came up with such an idea. I love the curvilinear design and the rather odd double doors. You are right, the doors aren’t the building’s best point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      I did some research on the architect to see if I could find out more about his thought process when coming up with this design but there was no detailed mention of it that I could find.
      By the way, I seem to be having problems commenting on other people’s posts again. I think my comments to your post may have been caught in your spam folder.

      Like

  46. Judith says:

    Shame about the doors but it’s a beautiful building, at least from some angles. I especially liked your views through the trees.

    Liked by 1 person

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