St. Athanasius CA

Antiochian Christian Church in Santa Barbara CA

Situated on a complex, 20-acre parcel on the central coast of California featuring a mixture of Agricultural, commercial and UC Santa Barbara campus property, this site plan is a study in adaptability and phase-ability.

The development opens up vistas of the surrounding site and connects interior and exterior spaces via courtyards and other green spaces while conserving the amount of land the building footprint requires. Keeping the stucco and tile traditions of Antioch and Santa Barbara area in mind, the plan is focused around a long, arcaded plaza connecting the temple, chapel and support buildings. While the entire plan is conceived as a multi-phase project, space is carefully reserved for phasing options or possible future expansion.
The octagonal temple designed for this Antiochian parish blends influences from the ancient Syrian church of Theotokos on Mt. Garizim and rural Byzantine architecture (which “birthed” the Spanish-style vernacular of Santa Barbara). The simple geometry and inspirational verticality of the temple create a distinctive statement that draws from the ancient wisdom embodied in the architecture of the past while remaining a contemporary and functional building for today’s modern Christian living.
Phase one completed in January 2014, is the future community parish center. It currently serves the parish for worship, education, fellowship & administration.

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