While the outside structure adapted through time to architectural styles, the interior layout never did. While visually matching the outside, the interior still has the same ritualistic character it had centuries ago. For those who still seek the ritual, the spatial set-up still is valid, however for the many, such sacred spaces are more of a historical monument.
This research is about analysing the spatial layout of sacred spaces, in relation to individual and societal demands of today. Out of these findings, Samira wants to propose a new spatial layout for a sacred space.
Architects and designers have various goals when it comes to what they want to design in their lifetime. Designing a church, a landmark of a city, would be considered an honor by most.
However, churches in Germany today are increasingly empty. Within the last decade about 7,7 million people left the protestant and catholic church. Out of the remaining members, only 14 % are regularly going to church. Further only 50 % of the average city population associate with the Christian faith.
The decrease of members, demographic change and changing habits are the reason that churches are not used, like they were before. Further, financial issues often force church communities to reuse the building as something else.
This development stands in stark contrast to the fact that nowadays, especially in difficult times, an increasing number of people are looking for spirituality – yet churches, the long standing spiritual places of a city, are abandoned.
The urgency in dealing with sacred spaces, lies in the question why are sacred spaces still configurated the same way they were hundreds of years ago, while society has changed significantly.
For those who still seek the ritual, this spatial set-up is still valid, however for the many, such sacred spaces are more of a historical monument, then a space of worship. Consequently, Samira wants to answer the question of how sacred spaces for today’s society could work?
Samira's idea is to analyse the spatial layout of sacred spaces, in relation to individual and societal demands of today with a focus on Germany. Out of these findings I want to propose an alternative spatial layout for a sacred space for today’s society. To quote Brett Steele, the architect, researcher and former Dean of the UCLA school of Arts “belief always has a form”.
- Dr. Rachel Sara
- Dr. Matthew Armitt
- Prof. Rudolf Schricker