The Oxford Dictionaries define religion as “The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods”.
Faith is a powerful word, with different meaning to us all. It can provide hope and security, trust and confidence. It helps numerous people through the day, every day. With faith comes conviction. However, with conviction sometimes follows conflict. And conflicts often stem from a lack of understanding. In a perfect world we would all have a mutual acceptance towards each other, regardless of what we know about someone else’s beliefs and opinions. In the meantime, a way to help people embracing a different faith than their own could be to try and educate them.
FAITH! wants to address this by merging two concepts, namely religion and knowledge.
The challenge consists of two parts: to design a place of worship, and a place of information. The idea behind this combination builds on the notion that allowing people of different faiths to come together, and share their thoughts and experiences, could enrich everyone.
Design a place of worship in London!
In addition to the actual place of worship, the design proposal should include a component dedicated to informing and educating people who are interested in knowing more about that specific religion. Whether this component is part of the overall structure or a freestanding object - or concept - should be decided by the participant.
It is left to the discretion of each participant to choose the faith in question. For example: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism or any of the other world religions. Or, departing from the international faiths, it can be an indigenous religion, or a belief associated with a New Religious Movement (NRM). It can even be a cult, or a place for atheists. And of course it does not matter if you believe in the faith or not.
Is there a way of using architectural design to awaken someone’s curiosity? Can a place of worship be designed to suit its followers and function as a beacon, enticing “outsiders” to come closer? With curiosity comes wisdom.
The actual design should benefit everyone - from worshippers of the religion in question to a passer-bys, or someone interested in finding out more about the religion.
There are no restrictions on the actual building other than it has to be located within the site boundary.
Please note that this is an ideas-based competition - there is no intention of building any of the winning projects.