After homes, religious buildings are some of the oldest man-made constructions. Christian churches are basically as old as Christianity. In the beginning, they were modest and even hidden from the public eye, but then the goal was changed into making our churches bigger and more spectacular.
If we look back at the ancient churches spread across Europe, we can clearly see how design trends and techniques changed with time. We can do the same if we look at church design popular throughout the 20th century.
Modern church design has many similarities with the old times, but it is much bolder than before. Church designers have become more willing to experiment and blend traditional practices with modern technology. Churches have evolved from being strictly places of worship to becoming social and cultural hubs.
Let’s check out the top modern church designs we can see in 2019.
1. Digital Integration
Churches have not been able to stay away from recent technological advancements. And there’s no reason they should try to do that. Church-goers are tech-savvy, so they expect churches and priests to be well-versed in technology as well. For example, churches nowadays are no strangers to WI-FI connections and global connectedness.
Many churches even have online sermons, given by preachers from around the world who are not physically present but interact with their audience over a video projector. Therefore, when architects are designing modern churches, they need to think about such functionality and about leaving space for tech devices. Some “musts” include Internet routers, recording devices, video conferencing devices, LED lights, and so on.
2. Expanded Connection Space
Today, community space inside churches is much larger than before. Just 20 years ago, the standard community space was small and crowded, just large enough to greet visitors or tell them goodbye. There was little or no room at all to socialize and meet other church-goers.
However, that has largely changed, so today the need for large connection space is strong. Modern churches need to have places where people can chat, exchange opinions, and form connections. The lobbies are becoming bigger, and some even have cafés where people can sit down and chat.
3. Natural Light
At the beginning of the 21st century, natural light became undesirable in modern churches. The reason is that video projectors were growing in popularity, but they were too weak to overpower even subtle natural light. Therefore, many churches in the previous decade were designed as dim theaters.
Thanks to the accessibility of LED technology, natural light is no longer an enemy. Therefore, designers are experimenting with different approaches, even with open-air designs and glass domes. Moreover, the SmartGlass technology in some churches makes it possible to control how much light a window will let in with the touch of a button.
4. Increased Security
Several decades ago, church officials and designers did not need to think a lot about security. Churches were already considered some of the safest places due to their nature and the type of people that usually visited them. However, with an increased occurrence of terrorism and mass shootings, church security is a factor that should not be overlooked in modern church design.
In 2019, church designers need to think about design solutions that will help protect church-goers, pastors, and church staff in the event of an active shooter.
As you can see, the modern church design brings many important innovations. Some are completely new, some have already been seen before but are now being introduced once again. Church design evolves continuously, so we’re certain that 2020 will bring even more new and exciting trends.