Sacred Civic Space in Langley Park
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The suburban setting of Langley Park, Maryland is a densely inhabited neighborhood outside of Washington, D.C. Nearly two-thirds of its residents are Hispanic but the Catholic Church struggles to serve this community because of a lack of proximate parish churches. This thesis proposes the design of a church and outreach center within the heart of historic Langley Park. The church and adjoining building respond to their suburban context in an attempt to add hierarchy and cohesion to a spatially unstructured neighborhood of garden apartment buildings. An urban plaza, defined by the proposed church, outreach center as well as the historic Langley Park mansion, begins to organize the neighborhood and give the community much needed civic resources and identity. In aesthetic expression and spatial organization, the complex speaks to the idea that the Church ought to engage the outside world and seek to minister to the unique needs of the surrounding immigrant population.