A flag presentation was held during the dedication ceremony of new stained glass window at the Pentagon Chapel on September 11, 2003. The new windows in the Chapel are dedicated to the memory of those who died in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
(DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway, U.S. Air Force.)
A nonsectarian, nondenominational ambience is required in places of worship that serve visitors, staff, and other users of public institutions. Liturgical furnishings and representative art can be supplied, but must be moveable to accommodate all users, cultures, and religions. At the same time, the architectural qualities which imply a religious or spiritual intention, including light, color, and higher than conventional vertical spaces, should be also provided and celebrated. Because the place of worship is often a contemplative space, it should be gracious, hospitable, and dignified. Typical features of Place of Worship space types include the list of applicable design objectives elements as outlined below. For a complete list and definitions of the design objectives within the context of whole building design, click on the titles below.
- Accessible Seating: Approximately 15 percent of seating supplied in places of worship within hospitals should be removable and reserved for wheelchairs and gurneys.
- Glazing: Include glazing system materials or detailing that emits natural light, but prevents glare and light reflection. Consider using clerestory windows to let natural light into the space when desirable views are not available or when available views are considered to distracting.
- Storage: A storage space should be provided for liturgical objects that are faith-specific. Such a space is key if worship spaces are to be adaptable. Items that may be stored include extra chairs, liturgical furnishings, large banners or other symbolic or decorative devices, statuary, prayer books for special occasions, seasonal decorations, prayer rugs, and religious garments.
- Comfort: Specify HVAC equipment that will ensure a comfortable and reliable temperature. For more information see WBDG High Performance HVAC. Air and motor sounds in ventilating systems should be reduced aggressively by duct lining, bends, sound traps and velocity control. See also WBDG Productive—Provide Comfortable Environments.
- Control: Because full staff is not present after working hours, elements of the space that are not open for use should be subject to locking off, including storage space and offices. Keep in mind that places of worship in many facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Daylighting: For places of worship spaces at the exterior of a building, utilize daylighting to reduce electric lighting needs. If sufficient daylight is provided so that artificial lighting is not required during daylight hours, an advantage is gained, but large areas of glass, even when triple glazed, are expensive in terms of the energy used. Skylights can distribute light well and do no leak if carefully detailed.
The following is a representative building program for the Place of Worship space type.
PLACE OF WORSHIP
Tenant Occupiable Areas
|Qty.||SF Each||Space Req'd.||Sum Actual SF|
|Place of Worship Facilities||2,280 / 25,550|
|Staff Office Space||1 / 2||270 / 540||270 / 540|
| Corridors, toilets, service, and
other unassignable areas
|Tenant Suite||2,280 / 25,550||2,280 / 25,550|
|Tenant Usable Areas|
The following diagram is representative of typical tenant plans for assembly spaces within the place of worship.
Relevant Codes and Standards
The following agencies and organizations have developed codes and standards affecting the design of places of worship. Note that the codes and standards are minimum requirements. Architects, engineers, and consultants should consider exceeding the applicable requirements whenever possible.
- DOD, UFC 4-740-02N Navy and Marine Corps Fitness Centers
- GSA PBS-P100 Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service
Accessible—Provide Equal Access and Flexibility, Aesthetics—Understanding the Language and Elements of Design, Functional / Operational—Account for Functional Needs, Productive—Promote Health and Well-Being, Productive—Provide Comfortable Environments
- Building Research Information Knowledgebase (BRIK)—an interactive portal offering online access to peer-reviewed research projects and case studies in all facets of building, from predesign, design, and construction through occupancy and reuse.