Monday, January 24, 2011

Roofed in Red

photo by Bob Travis:

Red shingles are still readily available from the big-box home stores...if you're a little white church, consider re-roofing in red next time around.  You'll be in good company with the above historic churches, and it's a good identifier.  "We're the one with the red roof".  Especially nice if you have verdigris copper accents, as in the first photo.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Good Church Design in Ethiopia

This church building in Ethiopia, in a refugee camp no less, ranks right up there with my favorites:   made with authenticity and care from the best that is available to its community.  Its theology is expressed  on its facade for all to see, using the local sand-art vernacular.   The thoughtfulness of its execution puts many American churches to shame.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Church Pew/Shelter Bed

Churches are traditionally a refuge in time of crisis...this pew by Curro Claret studio transforms into a flat surface suitable for sleeping.  I think this is a prototype at present; I can't find any information on its market availability.

[via abitare...see also the previously blogged Nappack]

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rain Lights from Within 4 Walls

Within 4 Walls, based in the UK, has an unusually creative array of light fixtures but I'm particularly intrigued by their new 'rain' series, "designed to capture the shimmering sparkle of raindrops frozen in descent".  Beautiful for church.

Unless you have a historic space with historic fixtures, consider putting some money into upgrading your lights.  It's one of the simplest ways to modernize the visual character of the space, and having actual fixtures instead of cheap fluorescent panels quickly signals 'this is a special place'. 

[via materialicious]

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Church Size Statistics...Small Churches Rule!

Approximate Distribution of U.S. Protestant and Other Christian Churches by size
(excluding Catholic/Orthodox)

  9 million 59%
25 million 35%
  9 million 4%
  8 million  2%
  4 million .4%
  .7 million .01%
approx. 300,000
approx. 56 million 100%

In spite of the fact that the megachurches get all of the attention, this chart from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research shows that in fact most people attend much smaller churches; the median church congregation size being just 75 people.

So why is there so little good design for them?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Light-Reflecting Steeple

The new worship and community center for the Salvation Army in Chelmsford, UK features a flat-panel steeple clad with prismatic glass, which changes according to the natural light; a dramatic effect against the zinc-clad exterior.   By Hudson Architects.

The best choice for a small church, or those repurposing a shopping or office space,  is often to put your money in a focal point while keeping a plain facade; the extra expense of  prismatic glass here is well worth it.
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