Maintaining the Sacred: Adapting to a ‘Post-Religious’ Society Through the Reprogramming of the Early Church in Montreal
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This thesis is a study of the architectural qualities that correlate with the sacred, while addressing the growing problem of dissolving religious buildings in Canada. The initial argument puts forth the idea that a building can be described as sacred because of its architectural qualities rather than its affiliation with a religious organization. It superimposes the architectural qualities of a sacred building with a social program in order to evoke thought in everyday life. Lower interest in religion is widespread across Western societies and with a generational change it is leaving many places of worship obsolete or vacant. Historically, the church was not only a place of gathering but was responsible for the teaching and well-being of its community. Through the adaptation of existing church buildings in Montreal, they can be linked back to their history as a support for health and education, while also preserving their sacred architectural qualities.