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Major Professor

Redesigning the Megachurch: R eintroduction of S acred S pace I nto a Highly Functional Building by Javier Valencia A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture School of Architecture and Community Design College of The Arts University of South Florida Major Professor:

Co-Major Professor

Hudson Robert, B. Arch.

Committee Member

Hudson Robert, B. Arch.

Committee Member

Huggins Tony, M. Arch.

Committee Member

Emerson Rich, M. Arch.


Spiritual, Church, God, Temple, Architecture


"Megachurches offer a unique way of being religious in modern society; one that fits the social and religious context of many people says Scott Tumma “Beyond Megachurch myths”. These Massive congregations of two to fifteen thousand participants occupy an undeniable space in the religious and social landscape. It is not only their massive buildings, locations, activities or television broadcasts that make these churches important. It is the role that they play in changing society (Hartford, 2006)” Architecturally the Megachurch has failed today, it has become a “big box”, a well developed building which houses thousands of members and provides them with all the necessary entertainment and functions that are needed; but, has lost its essence. The Megachurch today has lost its focus; it is focused on the function that the building has to offer and has failed to recognize the purpose of the space. By achieving a highly functional space the sacredness of this space has disappeared. This thesis presents an investigation into how to deal with the notion of sacred space in today’s Megachurch; it will introduce the sacred biblical pattern of coming into the presence of God trough architecture, it will deal with how to make an extremely massive space into a personal and spiritual. The goal of this thesis is to redesign the Megachurch as a highly efficient building that provides the user with the sense of awe, majesty and reverence that is lost in today’s Megachurches. The sacred aspect of this thesis project will be emphasized in the architectural poetics thru the use of symbolism represented in the right use of spatial organization and embedded religious cues; also will be focused on the materiality and the archetypes used to express a sacred feeling; Furthermore the study of natural light and structural systems for vast large spaces in a sacred manner will be investigated. The outcome of this project intends to change the negative connotation of the Megachurch today; it intends to teach society that this institution can be a sacred place to worship God and not just a place to be entertained.

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