The studio is interested in first researching existing mega churches in the Detroit area, focusing primarily on factors that may reveal their success(es) based on their location. Factors such as population density, household income, and proximity to highways were major factors to the success of existing mega churches. The collected data has provided us with potential locations to place a newly designed mega church.
Following the research, we are now tasked with designing a new mega church with the requirement of combining an uncommon program of our choosing - I have chosen to combine a shopping mall with the mega church. My proposed site currently has an existing shopping mall which is documented as a financially struggling facility. With an existing site so vast, and adding to the shopping atmosphere, instead of just one religious denomination it seemed appropriate to have many major religions represented in the program. This would create an atmosphere of patrons being able to shop around and experience many different brands of faith that they would never normally have a chance to witness - mega church, mosque, and temple will all be included.
The first design decision on site is to replace the vast amount of parking surface into fields that will be used for intramural sports and other recreational activities. There are also miles of uninterrupted paths that are inscribed within the site and those paths travel continuously around and through the main building - this circulation path allows for pedestrians to come in contact with nature, recreation, retail outlets and religious congregations all networked together along the paths. One major design feature of the interior are the large lightwells, which offer a deluge of natural light to enter the congregation areas. The lightwells are a nexus where religious congregations and retail shops are on full display - shoppers can view congregation activities and vice-versa.
Status: School Project
Location: Detroit, MI, US