Those who are retrofitting existing spaces should also be inspired by the conversion of a windowless basement classroom to a prayer chapel by architects Gensler for Biola University in California.
To banish the 'classroom' feel, the chapel was given curved walls, an undulating ceiling and not a single square corner.
"Recycled strips of timber were mixed with wood harvested from olive trees around the campus to create the uneven finish of the chapel's timber ceiling...A narrow skylight creates a band of light across the ceiling at one end and illuminated glass blocks create brightly coloured windows in the curved interior walls, but offer no views to the rooms beyond."
This is an uncharacteristically small project for Gensler, an enormous firm with a world-wide reach, whose annual design forecasts are interesting reading for those seriously thinking about how the physical space of the church responds to cultural trends.
[images and quoted text via dezeen]