The Weekly Architect The Weekly Architect
You got into Boston Architectural College, but could
not go because of nancial constraints, and had to go to
a community college to save money. What made comeof it?
Well, the BAC did not work out, and tried to get deferredacceptance, but a new dean ripped up my application and threw it away. Meanwhile, I have been in the Applied Arts Program atQuinsigamond Community College in Worcester, and it has beena good experience, despite being off-target with theoverall architectural picture. I have learned more computersoftware such as the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop,Illustrator, and In-Design). I have had my first training as anartist, but more as a virtual artist, with everything done on aMacintosh. It is an intensive program, and I had to spend three years in the program. If all successful, I will be graduating in May 2012.
What are you going to do after graduation?
I will be applying to three architectural programs as a transfer, but they will be very difficult at my age since transfers intoarchitectural programs are very rare. The applications are duesoon, and I hope I get into a program that will be academically
compatible, and get enough scholarships and nancial aid tocover my expenses. I will nally plan on moving from Worcester
to the Boston area; hopefully I will buy and not rent, but Icannot control those things. If the economy is well and I am ableto obtain a part-time job, I’ll take it. But if there is poor economy, which it still is, then I will suffer along with everyone else. I know that the political situation in this country is very unstable thesedays, so we have to try to work together to bring the country back to sanity.
You have mentioned that while Massachusetts only requires a B.Arch in order to be a registeredarchitect, but many other states (like New York)require a M.Arch. Will you work towards a M.Arch?
Yes, I will do all in my power to get an M.Arch. The BAC offereda B.Arch that would have took 7 years to complete, but all threeplaces I wish to go now have an unaccredited bachelor’s and aNational Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) approvedM.Arch. Wentworth Institute of Technology has a 4-year B.S. inarchitecture, and if you get a 3.2 GPA, you are automatically admitted into the one-year M.Arch bridge program. (Anyoneunder that must apply.) Their M.Arch is normally 2 years if youapply from outside the institution. Northeastern University hasnormally a 5-year B.S. that bridges to a one-year M.Arch, butthat option is the most expensive; albeit if an articulationagreement from Worcester Tech exists with them. Both Wentworth and Northeastern have co-op programs, which will
fulll some hours (out of 5600) required for licensure. The nal
program, Mass Art, has a 4-year BFA in architecture, but doesnot bridge to their M.Arch. This option is the least expensive, butthe longest to complete.
You have interest in religious, civic, and residentialarchitecture. How can you explain this?
Well, the religious architecture comes as a natural because of my faith. As a traditional practicing Roman Catholic, art andarchitecture are very important parts of a church building andthe sacred liturgy in general. Parish churches are required tohave some many art furnishings because of the symbolism behind them. I chaired the Boston Society of Architects religiousarchitecture committee for two and a half years, and learned alot from other religious traditions as well as Christianity. I hopethat religious buildings will be one of my subspecialties whenthe time comes to open my own studio. As far as residential is
concerned, most rms do residential anyway, so this would be anatural t since I believe all Americans should be able to own a
home if they wish to. In terms of civic or government buildings, I believe they should be done in the classical style since those werethe buildings of the Colonial days, and some designed by architect and 3rd President of the United States ThomasJefferson.
You are generally against Modernism, aren’t you?
For the most part, yes. It is part of the Catholic Faith. Pope St.Pius X condemned the subject several times, even writing hisfamous Oath Against Modernism, which used to be recited by allclergy and professors of Catholic schools, colleges,universities, and seminaries at the beginning of the academic year, usually around September 3rd, his feast day. But since theSecond Vatican Council, Modernism has virtually, if notmaterially, destroyed the Church. It’s not just doctrinalModernism, but physical Modernism that we can actually seedaily. Most of today’s new church buildings can’t be recognizedas a church! People are overspending for buildings that are morelikely to collapse than their predecessors.
You’re on a crusade to nd a wife who is Catholic just
like you. Would you marry an architect?
Yes, of course! If I am with someone with similar interests, thenit would be easier for me and her to run a business. We can both be “work from home” parents. We can take continuing ed classestogether. Our children might be interested in the subject lateron, if we get any! You need family, and my family now is mostly elderly and you never know when they are going to pass away. Somy family has to radically get younger. Catholicism requires very rigid requirements for marriage, and that’s why I’m notmarried yet. I hope that changes within the next few years. Thereare many of my peers at QCC that are older and married withgrandchildren. So if they can go to school married and parenting,certainly with the grace of God I can.
If you and your [future] wife eventually decide to run a business, what will you two design?
We’ll see. But I would really not design a Catholic house of worship if they say the Vatican II Mass because it misleads a lotof people!
Chris Whittle may be reached via email at
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Career Highlights for Chris Whittle
Graduate draftsman from Worcester Tech
Associate’s in Applied Arts candidate
• Procient in AutoCAD, ArchiCAD,
Sketchup, and the Adobe Creative Suite
Chaired BSA Religious Architecturecommittee from 2009-11
Currently seeking application into threearchitecture programs: Wentworth,Northeastern, and Mass Art.
Project is inaguaral project for Chris as this was supposed to be his“Dream House”, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be constructedunless it is revisited later in his career. A comtempory colonial that looksmodest, it has 2 living rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 dining rooms, a
nished basement and a swimming pool in the backyard. Would sit on
a 90’ x 90’ lot (.81 acres), which is small compared to today’s largerdesires. The tan siding and seagul shingles make it a colonial for allseasons, but it does get hot during the summer and cold during the
winter outside, so heating and cooling were to be energy efcient (Boy,unking the Energy Star test would be an apocolypse!). Began sketching
in 2004, and enhanced little by little thereafter.
Greater Boston Area
Google Sketchup rendition of Whittle House ArchiCAD renditions of Whittle House