Place & Faith: A New Center for Interfaith Dialogue

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Nichols, Andrea Sue
Williams, Brittany
Du Puy, Karl
This thesis will explore the relationship between place-making and faith practice within urban centers. The role of religious buildings in city centers has historically been imbued with meaning and importance. However, as various zoning boards approve more and more mixed use zoning designations, and our national religious landscape changes, it will be important for both architects and real estate developers to critically think about this relationship. Increasingly, we are seeing real estate ventures work in tandem with faith-based organizations to create new places. As our cities densify, and our society changes, it will be important to design sustainable, and socially responsible development solutions in which the population demands both a home, and a house worship. This thesis would like to feed to the spiritual needs of our ever-changing city by testing an urban example of spiritual architecture. This thesis will draw upon precedents from history in which sacred spaces lived within the city fabric, as well as emerging practices within real estate development entities work with congregations. With this background, the thesis will explore what solutions design and development can provide for a mixed-use development. What themes connect us, and how such themes can manifest themselves in design? How can we begin to shift the national rhetoric surrounding religion in a positive direction, while improving faith relations?