Rhythm and structure: a church for Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The site is in Old Town Alexandria which lies outside of the metropolitan area of Washington DC in northern Virginia. The project is a church, and it sits looking over the Potomac River on Union and Queen Streets in the historic district of Alexandria. My initial idea was that a church can relate to nature because an individual's memory is commonly related to the elements of nature and is associated with familiar patterns. Building designs formed by patterns in nature are sensitive to what the users have previously experienced. The user can then understand the language created by the architect.

The means for achieving this idea was through a study of the structure for the church, the rhythm of the structure, and how it relates to Old Town. It is this order that now provides the church's relationship to nature and allows the users to feel as if they are within a garden.