Faith in Place Ideas Competition

Sorry for the posting lag this week. I've been stalled fixing some back-of-house issues on the building database side of the site. But there are a number of very interesting posts and some very exciting building features in the works, so stay tuned. In the meantime, there is an architectural competition entitled The Building: Problem or Solution? sponsored by the organization Faith in Place.

"The Building: Problem or Solution? is an a ideas competition, managed by Faith in Place, intended to create new ideas in the design of religious buildings, and greater creativity in the re-use and modification of existing structures."

The competition has three categories: new stand-alone building, multi-congregational buildings, and multi-use building. As this is an ideas competition the plan is to have the authors of winning entries participate in a panel discussion, followed by an exhibition and publication.

The intent seems to be to create a uniform catalog of a wide variety of concepts that could be used to begin discussion with congregations concerning building projects. Based on the degree and diversity of participation this has the potential to be an incredible resource.

"And because the buildings are serving communities as a whole and are in active use, it is our hope that they will not be burdens to their congregations, but solutions for the array of problems to which religious bodies address themselves. Assuredly, this includes holding a space for sacred contemplation. But it also includes education and care of the young, advocacy with the poor and disempowered, civic engagement on critical issues of policy, and more."

For the most part remain neutral emphasizing buildability and practicality. The one exception is a disproportionate weight placed upon sustainability (6 of the 11 judging criteria pertain to sustainability, green issues and/or nature). However, the understanding of sustainability apparent in the prospectus texts reflects a far more complex notion than provided just by LEED and building technologies. At its heart are some of the most basic, traditional, and vital concerns of religious building extending beyond psychological experience (here rendered "contemplation"). These include context, stewardship,"human activity," and above all community, both in the internally faith community and its relationship and service to an external community.

Deadline for registration is 15 August 2010 and for submission is 31 August 2010.