BUILDING SPACES OF WORSHIP.
THE ANCIENT CHURCH
Over the past two thousand years of the Christian religion, church architecture has evolved in various forms, partly by innovation and borrowing from other architectural styles and local traditions. Since the inception of religion, all doctrines have adopted various forms of architectural styles in the spaces of worship, especially the Hindu and Islam religion.
While a few are counted as sublime works of architecture to equal the great Roman Cathedrals, the majority of these spaces developed along simpler lines, showing great regional diversity and often demonstrating local vernacular technology and decoration.
Spaces of worship have taken different forms, ranging from the house church, the atrium, the basilica, the bema, and the mausoleum among many others. In the 20th century, the use of raw materials such as steel and concrete revolutionized the designs of spaces of worship, making them embrace sophisticated designs and forms, some mimicking some of the great secular architectural designs.
CHURCH BUILDINGS MUST BE FUNCTIONAL
With the growth of religion in our society and the practice of regular weekend gatherings at clustered locations for worship, the demand for larger worship spaces by the various religions has increased. Architecture & Technology cathedrals, mosques, and temples have been through drastic changes over the years, they have taken a curve into modern designs.
Builders all over the world have had to contend with the demand for buildings with larger seating with unobstructed open spaces ideal for worship congregations. The traditional system of reinforced concrete construction has had challenges addressing this need as they require more support across shorter spans. Most builders have opted for the costlier steel framed structures on long-span projects, a good form of adopting new technology to enhance the security and safety of these structures.
THE FUTURE CHURCH
Postmodern architecture formed as a reaction to the ideals of modernism as a response to the perceived blandness, hostility, and utopianism of the modern movement. Some notable design changes in the post-modern era are for the recovery and renewal of historical styles of the architecture of the worship spaces. In comparison to the functional and formalized shapes and spaces of the modernist movement, this postmodern era has been characterized by unapologetically diverse aesthetics, colliding styles, heritage, culture, and design.
Another change in the post-modern era has been the use of technologically advanced and sustainable materials, the consciousness of climate action, and environmental friendliness. This has led to the adoption of new types of eco-friendly concrete and steel combinations and also designs that improve efficiency and minimize the costs of the structures.
Today, pre-stressed concrete has been used widely in civil infrastructures like bridges, sports stadiums, car packs and so much more to span longer distances with thinner concrete sections. Pre-stressing is a system of construction where the concrete is reinforced with high-tensile steel tendons stressed under high tension, in effect compressing the concrete member. As concrete is strong in compression, this action ensures the concrete member stays in compression under all load conditions where it is strongest. Pre-stressing offers the flexibility of longer clear spans between support members. This has proven to be suitable for auditoriums, church halls, malls, temples, mosques, and cathedrals.
Prestressing has proven to be a cost-effective technique of construction on projects with large spans. Over time there has been an increased use of prestressed concrete in concrete in the construction of large-capacity buildings.
Somers Engineering has utilized this technology in the construction of suspended floors on the Queen of Apostles Catholic Church along Thika Road, where the beams at the Auditorium slab spanned 24 meters, PVS Temple in Parklands where the slab was spanning 18 meters without intermediate support, and ACK Holy Trinity Church in Kericho where the beams at the Auditorium was designed to span 22 meters.
If you are starting the process of building a new church or expanding your current one, do not hesitate to call Somers Engineering Ltd. We specialize in creating spaces/structures that will not only last the ages but will also make people feel welcome.
The future for spaces of worship augers well, seeing that most developers, in conjunction with architects are working towards using modern design languages to improve aesthetics, as well as significantly reduce the costs of construction of these hearted spaces. The use of modern technology will help improve stability and safety, while at the same time making work for developers efficient. The rise in the cathedral race especially in Kenya will see an exciting era of spaces of worship and bring about competition and creativity among developers to create beautiful spaces that resonate with the interests of the people and clergies all around.