The church I currently attend is in Lincoln, AR. Since it was only established 4 years ago, the current meeting ground is a store front in the downtown square. They have been wanting to build an actual church building for quite awhile now. One of the brothers even had a dream that he was standing in new church building. When my pastor found out I was an interior design student, they wanted me to help with the design process. This brought up the question...how do you design a place that is supposed to be holy and help people experience the spiritual realm when I am use to working in the physical?
When my thoughts started flying, I decided that the church's values and beliefs were most important. This church is not trying to be showy and do not want a status symbol church building. So the functionality of the building is more important than the aesthetics. They are very non-traditional and want people to feel free to worship however they are lead. This means that pews and other church norms do not have to apply to the new building. The music is a big part of the service. We are encouraged to join with the praise team if you feel like adding to the mix with your own musical or vocal talents. This means the stage needs to be large enough for everyone and easy to manipulate the equipment. They are also very focused on ministry and outreach. This would make the fellowship hall another important place that would be multifunctional.
I have a rough floor plan that someone sketched out, but I want to use my strengths in space planning to create my own floor plan. I also know that my drawing and documents will have to go through someone else since I am only a student in design right now. I will be working on this project more later on since it is only in the pre-design phase. I was just wanting to start up the thinking process and pick some brains for inspiration.
So tell me, what are your thoughts on how to design a church building in the physical realm that will help you to place yourself in the spiritual realm?