If the space presently occupied by Willow Creek Community Church, one of the largest megachurches in America, were housed on the current site of the Empire State Building, it would rise 171 stories. Almost 5 million square feet would be required for car parking alone.
MEGAchurch, a proposed design for a 200,000-square-foot worship space in New York City, between 175th and 176th Streets, adapts the megachurch—a typology that is traditionally suburban and car-centered—to fit an urban and pedestrian-centered environment.
The project morphs the horizontal, mall-like space of a typical megachurch into a vertical tower. MEGAchurch responds to the surrounding religious institutions, pedestrian and vehicular conditions on the site, as well as to the prescribed volumetric and zoning constraints. A gradated perforated skin encloses the 200,000-square-foot complex. The tower features a “MEGAvator,” a giant elevator that transports 3,600 people to a chapel in the sky.