Religious Architecture & Design at Osterlund Architects
The epitome of architecture for community is Sacred architecture — churches. Our favorite description comes from an old textbook, “A moderately large, well-proportioned room is needed, in its center a table, that is all. Table, space and walls make up the simplest church.” (Schwarz). This is where we always start with Sacred Architecture, and from there, it’s all conversation, listening. We learn about all the functions that are required on Sunday or Saturday morning, and then all through the week. We learn about furniture and fixtures and about their goals for their neighborhoods. We talk about parking, we talk about entrances, we talk about reusing old buildings, and we talk about new finishes and new functions. We talk about mixed-use, and how a church building can be mixed-use and can serve more than just its members. Many of our conversations are reminders of core values for us and for the congregations. Many of our conversations lead to much bigger conversations, and that’s the way we like it. Our first church designs were in warehouses and shopping malls. We’re delighted to see churches asking us about additions, new sanctuaries, and new ideas. We have a church adding a coffee shop. We’ve seen churches ask about low-income housing opportunities on their property. We’ve seen churches add kitchens and showers to feed and serve their communities. This is mixed-use, this is sustainable, this is community building, and we provide leadership and organization for putting those enormous goals into physical construction.