Religious architecture awards go to designs that transform

Some of the best work of 2017 reworked existing religious architecture, or created religious spaces out of secular ones, the jury found.

(RNS) — For religious architecture this year, some of the most creative designs took the old and made it new — and sacred.

Sponsored by the journal Faith and Form, the annual International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture this year highlighted the growing trend in sacred architecture to adapt existing facilities, or to transform secular buildings into religious ones.

Several of the 27 winning entries in 2017 fell into the “Adaptive Re-Use/Re-Purpose” category.

With the continuing shrinkage of mainline Protestant congregations, churches are more focused on getting the most out of their existing spaces, in some cases adapting them so they can be used for both spiritual and secular uses, according the the contest sponsors.

The awards also reflect simplicity in design, a part of a growing social value of voluntary simplicity in lifestyle — decluttering consumer-oriented lives.

See the winners in the gallery below.