Almost upon us, 2019 is expected to be a year of changes that will reshape--or at least refine-- houses of worship. Designers agree that the worship space should serve the church as an expression of its brand while becoming an engaging tool for its mission.
Architects, designers and AVL professionals weigh in, predicting what will happen in the coming year:
1-Multisite movement continues to flourish. The multisite movement is stronger than ever, notes David Evans, president of Kansas City, Mo.-based architectural firm Mantel Teter. “The movement’s next chapter will be to start or acquire campuses to reach and minister to residents of specific communities. Many demographics will influence these choices and a church’s ministry skill sets. This could be churches or other retail/big box properties that will be renovated for church and community uses.”
Believing in what cannot be seen is a fact of life in religion. It’s also the case when it comes to acoustics, where sound interacting with the broadly variable geometry of church architecture can create anything from a heavenly aural penumbra around music to an echoic jumble around the spoken word.
In the past, knowing which way it was going to turn out was often as much a gamble as it was a sure thing. However, house-of-worship AV systems consultants and specifiers are increasingly turning to acoustical consultants and technology to help them know what a new or renovated church’s sonic future might hold.
Their tools are room-simulation and acoustical-evaluation software such as CATT-Acoustic, Odeon and EASERA. The platforms have been in use for about a decade, but their use has become much more widespread in the last several years, applied to a wider range of projects and venues, including more and more often, houses of worship.
Mantel Teter takes the plunge into the realm of virtual reality.
Some are challenged to visualize what a facility will look like or what a spatial experience will feel like from looking at 2-D drawings, simple 3-D images or even computer generated fly-throughs. These computer-generated images are, in many ways, an updated version of the hand-drawn renderings of the past. Virtual reality takes the client experience during the design phase to a whole new level.