Religion

These Religious Architecture Award Winners Evoke The Sacred In Unconventional Ways

What makes a space sacred?

If the winners of Faith & Form's 2014 Religious Art & Architecture award are any indication, it may be something different every time. A high ceiling, curved walls, stained glass windows or lush landscaping -- no two winners are alike, and yet each offers viewers a fresh way of interacting with the divine.

"What [the jury members] were looking for was great design that was willing to take some risks, and not be just traditional in appearance," Faith & Form editor in chief Michael J. Crosbie, told HuffPost by email.

The architects, whose works live in cities around the globe, all took on challenging projects, Crosbie said, that attempted to demonstrate the ways religious structures must adapt to declining attendance in mainstream religions. Even with this contemporary challenge, the tradition of religious architecture goes back millennia.

"[Religious structures] are found all over the globe," Crosbie added, "and are special because they touch something very deep and basic in human beings: a fascination with the spirit, with the unquantifiable. Whether you are a believer or not, great religious buildings have an ability to transport us to another realm."

Take a look at some of Faith & Form's 2014 award and honor award winners for religious architecture:

West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Newman Architects, PC
Watermark Community Church
Dallas, Texas
OMNIPLAN Architects
Residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Shim-Sutcliffe Architects
St. James Cathedral Centre
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
architectsAlliance
Proyecto Clamor de Paz
Guaimaca, Honduras
Paul Lukez Architecture
Prayer space in the “Floating School”
Shangkhaburi village, Thailand
Kochi University of Technology
St. Thomas More Catholic Church
Sarasota, Florida
JNW Studios Architecture • Interior Design
Our Lady of Mercy Chapel
Salve Regina University - Newport, Rhode Island
Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP
Lincoln Square Synagogue
New York, New York
CetraRuddy Architecture
KAPSARC Community Mosque
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
HOK
Temple Judea
Tarzana, California
Herman Coliver Locus Architecture
St. Ignatius Chapel at the Georgetown University
Bluemont, Virginia
Dynerman Architects, PC
St. Gregory’s Church
Agrigento, Italy
Pellitteri & Associati Studio
Restoration of Church of St. Gregory the Great
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Northeast Collaborative Architects
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Athens, Georgia
Houser Walker Architecture, LLC
Restoration of Christ Church Cambridge
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Frank Shirley Architects
First Presbyterian Church of Burbank
Burbank, California
domusstudio architecture
Boa Nova Church
Estoril, Portugal
Roseta Vaz Monteiro Arquitectos