How can a religious institution communicate its mission and values to an increasingly secular society? This thesis attempts to address how the Christian church can proclaim its faith to 21st century American society using architecture. It will focus on, but is not limited to, three specific questions of architectural communication:
How are the liturgical requirements of contemporary worship reinforced and supported by the architecture?
How does the aesthetics of the building, via structural expression, light, space, etc., communicate the world view of the church?
How can the ethical dimension of a building, in the form of responsible site usage, sustainability, energy efficiency, community benefits, etc., be made visible?
As a means to explore this topic, the thesis is focused on the phenomenon of urban provisional and storefront-type churches in South Baltimore and the question of what happens when these grassroots efforts desre a more permanent church building.