Building Community in Sacred Space: A Method for Adaptive Reuse of Deconsecrated Catholic Churches in Millbank, New Brunswick
St James, Andrea
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In an increasingly changeable and defamiliarized society, where attendance at religious services has decreased, many religious buildings are falling into disuse and disrepair. By using sacred qualities of architecture to reimagine former churches as welcoming spaces with a variety of communal programs, they can be reintegrated as a central part of civic life. This thesis will investigate the adaptive reuse of the All Saints church in Millbank, New Brunswick to develop design principles to recentre the structure as a hub for community connection once again. Based on the role of Catholic churches as places of gathering, the complex will provide secular activities centred around communal rituals that support the needs of the community. The sacred qualities of the former church will be translated through design interventions to create new spaces that both retain a sense of the sacred and add new layers of use and meaning onto the historic site.