of what we are offering to God. A counterbalancing action
will be happening with natural light, shining down from
many windows of various shapes and sizes in the ceiling
and upper walls. The baptismal font will be located in the
center, and around this the congregation will gather.
This is a public proclamation of God’s Word. It is
composed of readings from the Old Testament, New
Testament and an Epistle. As the preacher speaks, God
changes our hearts, minds, and actions as we cling
to Christ’s redemptive work in each of our lives.
I have designed this space to have the “traditional
sanctuary” feel where the congregation can sit down, if
they chose to do so. In my thesis design, this is the one
space where all the congregants are offered a seat. To
emphasize God’s word coming down to His people, angular
forms from a central point in the ceiling will expand to
the exterior parts of the space. The material used will be
concrete to create feelings of permanence and solidity.
Defined as a meal of thanksgiving, this is where believers
remember Christ’s death and resurrection by partaking
bread and wine, as representations of His body and
blood. This is an sacramental meal, meaning that it is a
rite that institutes saving grace. This is a time when Christ
mutually indwells us and and our fellow believers.
This space is round in form to represent oneness in the
body of Christ and our oneness to Him. The unbroken
circle also represents God’s inability to break his promise
of saving us. Additionally, the circle allows the entire
congregation to see each other all at once, as well as
have easy access to the Altar in the center of the room,
from which the bread and wine are distributed.
Lastly, the Benediction is a peaceful sending out of the
body of Christ. This is a prayer and a song of blessing
spoken to the congregants at the end of the service.
This is the closing component of transformational
liturgy that changes the participant from a dirty, broken
sinner to a cleansed, exalted child of God.
The benediction space is the final room, the congregation
is being sent back out into the community. This space
will have four transparent glass walls that symbolize the
sending out of the people to the four corners of the world.
In addition, the glass walls allow for the maximum amount
of light creating a completely bright space. The space
will be smaller than most of the space, yet comfortable.
There will be bright colors to represent the joy that comes
from God’s saving grace. The participant will stand in
the space with hands raised singing a final song.
Liturgical spaces are meant to be
reexperienced over and over while each
time God revelas more of himself to us.
This new typology of Liturgical Space will catechize the
participants, by requiring them to interact with distinct spatial
qualities for each moment of liturgy all while drawing them
closer to God spiritually, individually, and as a corporate
body. Like a good piece of music or a fine painting,
liturgical spaces are meant to be reexperienced over and
over while each time God reveals more of himself to us.
Matthew Funk Barley is a graduate student at Rhode
Island School of Design (RISD). He will graduate this May
and earn his Masters of Design in Interior Architecture.