Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist


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New York Designs
Group Tour
Victoria Meyers and Thomas Hanrahan

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
5:30 p.m.
Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist
171 MacDougal Street

Victoria Meyers and Thomas Hanrahan, principals of hanrahanMeyers architects, will lead a tour of the recently finished Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist; a radical reconfiguration of the interior of a midblock historic structure to create a lightwashed sanctuary space, and open street-front reading room and gathering area. Clients John Ryan and Andrea McCormick and lighting designer Lana Lenar of zeroLUX Lighting Design will join the tour of the sanctuary, reading room, and Sunday school.


The Infinity Chapel for the Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist, features a 4,000 square foot cubic sanctuary transformed by slivers of natural light and the traces of complex curves. Three inwardly curving walls – one from the south, one from the north, and one from the west – suggest large spheres. These forms bend toward each other to create a continuously curved room on three sides, suggesting an infinite surface similar to the Klein bottle or Mobius strip. A cubic space defines the seating area, while the additional ‘deep’ space of the stage and organ extend the cubic space into a golden section. Natural light penetrates the room through the western wall, both at the stage level and through the curved surface above.

The 3,000 square foot lobby and Christian Science Reading Room face the street, and are designed as open, relaxed spaces for study and conversation. The historic façade toward MacDougal Street and Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village has floor to ceiling glass, with large pieces of free-form ash floating in the window display areas. Below the ground level is a 7,000 square foot school and boardroom, which has borrowed natural light entering above from rectangular light wells that project through the first floor. These light wells are integral connectors between the two levels of the project, and create formal punctuations that mark the passage of worshippers from street to sanctuary.

Victoria Meyers and Thomas Hanrahan founded hanrahanMeyers architects (hMa) in 1987. The firm’s design philosophy, “design is a frame to Nature,” emphasizes the office’s interests in nature, sustainability, and light. Recent and ongoing projects include a Buddhist campus in upstate New York; Digital Water Pavilion (Battery Park City Community Center); WaveLine, a small multi-purpose performance pavilion in Queens; and Pratt Pavilion, a new campus center for Pratt Institute’s main campus in Brooklyn.

Reservations are required. Due to the limited number of tickets and to facilitate fair access across our membership, reservations are limited to members only. Upper level members, including League Circle firms, are limited to two reservations. Please email anderson@archleague.org. Further program information will be given upon confirmation.

This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Photos by Michael Moran

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