RELIGION
12/28/2014 08:41 am ET Updated Dec 28, 2014

These Religious Architecture Award Winners Evoke The Sacred In Unconventional Ways

What makes a space sacred?

If the winners of Faith & Form's 2014 Religious Art & Architecture award are any indication, it may be something different every time. A high ceiling, curved walls, stained glass windows or lush landscaping -- no two winners are alike, and yet each offers viewers a fresh way of interacting with the divine.

"What [the jury members] were looking for was great design that was willing to take some risks, and not be just traditional in appearance," Faith & Form editor in chief Michael J. Crosbie, told HuffPost by email.

The architects, whose works live in cities around the globe, all took on challenging projects, Crosbie said, that attempted to demonstrate the ways religious structures must adapt to declining attendance in mainstream religions. Even with this contemporary challenge, the tradition of religious architecture goes back millennia.

"[Religious structures] are found all over the globe," Crosbie added, "and are special because they touch something very deep and basic in human beings: a fascination with the spirit, with the unquantifiable. Whether you are a believer or not, great religious buildings have an ability to transport us to another realm."

Take a look at some of Faith & Form's 2014 award and honor award winners for religious architecture:

  • West Side Presbyterian Church
<br>Ridgewood, New Jersey
<br>Newman Architects, PC
    West Side Presbyterian Church
    Ridgewood, New Jersey
    Newman Architects, PC
  • Watermark Community Church
<br>Dallas, Texas
<br>OMNIPLAN Architects
    Watermark Community Church
    Dallas, Texas
    OMNIPLAN Architects
  • Residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto
<br>Toronto, Ontario, Canada
<br>Shim-Sutcliffe Architects
    Residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Shim-Sutcliffe Architects
  • St. James Cathedral Centre
<br>Toronto, Ontario, Canada
<br>architectsAlliance
    St. James Cathedral Centre
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    architectsAlliance
  • Proyecto Clamor de Paz
<br>Guaimaca, Honduras
<br>Paul Lukez Architecture
    Proyecto Clamor de Paz
    Guaimaca, Honduras
    Paul Lukez Architecture
  • Prayer space in the “Floating School”
<br>Shangkhaburi village, Thailand
<br>Kochi University of Technology
    Prayer space in the “Floating School”
    Shangkhaburi village, Thailand
    Kochi University of Technology
  • St. Thomas More Catholic Church
<br>Sarasota, Florida
<br>JNW Studios Architecture • Interior Design
    St. Thomas More Catholic Church
    Sarasota, Florida
    JNW Studios Architecture • Interior Design
  • Our Lady of Mercy Chapel
<br>Salve Regina University - Newport, Rhode Island
<br>Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP
    Our Lady of Mercy Chapel
    Salve Regina University - Newport, Rhode Island
    Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP
  • Lincoln Square Synagogue
<br>New York, New York
<br>CetraRuddy Architecture
    Lincoln Square Synagogue
    New York, New York
    CetraRuddy Architecture
  • KAPSARC Community Mosque
<br>Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
<br>HOK
    KAPSARC Community Mosque
    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    HOK
  • Temple Judea
<br>Tarzana, California
<br>Herman Coliver Locus Architecture
    Temple Judea
    Tarzana, California
    Herman Coliver Locus Architecture
  • St. Ignatius Chapel at the Georgetown University
<br>Bluemont, Virginia
<br>Dynerman Architects, PC
    St. Ignatius Chapel at the Georgetown University
    Bluemont, Virginia
    Dynerman Architects, PC
  • St. Gregory’s Church
<br>Agrigento, Italy
<br>Pellitteri & Associati Studio
    St. Gregory’s Church
    Agrigento, Italy
    Pellitteri & Associati Studio
  • Restoration of Church of St. Gregory the Great
<br>Portsmouth, Rhode Island
<br>Northeast Collaborative Architects
    Restoration of Church of St. Gregory the Great
    Portsmouth, Rhode Island
    Northeast Collaborative Architects
  • Emmanuel Episcopal Church
<br>Athens, Georgia
<br>Houser Walker Architecture, LLC
    Emmanuel Episcopal Church
    Athens, Georgia
    Houser Walker Architecture, LLC
  • Restoration of Christ Church Cambridge
<br>Cambridge, Massachusetts
<br>Frank Shirley Architects
    Restoration of Christ Church Cambridge
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Frank Shirley Architects
  • First Presbyterian Church of Burbank
<br>Burbank, California
<br>domusstudio architecture
    First Presbyterian Church of Burbank
    Burbank, California
    domusstudio architecture
  • Boa Nova Church
<br>Estoril, Portugal
<br>Roseta Vaz Monteiro Arquitectos
    Boa Nova Church
    Estoril, Portugal
    Roseta Vaz Monteiro Arquitectos
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