Air Force Village Chapel (San Antonio, Texas, USA, Competition, Finalist)

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The overall concept of the Air Force Village Spiritual Center is love. This word was chosen because it is the essence of religions around the globe. It is defined perhaps a million different ways yet posses a singular thread – you know it when you feel it. Our goal for this project was not only that it be a signature building as requested in the brief, but also for it to emanate love to those passing by and those within. To achieve this we defined love as embracing, including, reverence, friendship, and new life.

The project embraces all by formally reaching out from the heart of the site, stretching its arms out as a welcome gesture to members of all faiths. It reaches to the sidewalk  and beyond accepting your interest and welcoming you into its arms.

It is inclusive through the transparent glazing which allows those both inside and outside the building to see the activities being conducted, sharing their customs and faith.

It displays reverence towards a higher power and humanity through the light filtering through the glazing, the points of light which adorn the ceiling in the sanctuary, and the opportunities for intimate and group spaces. Yet it strives to remind worshipers that the minister is also a mere human being by lowering the sanctuary volume to a human scale.

It addresses friendship by creating opportunities for all to share worship areas and  to observe each others’ customs through overlapping spaces rather than segregating them, inspiring each person to consider the customs of others.

Finally, it brings new life by providing opportunities to develop love towards others through interactions and individual spiritual growth.



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