Design Spotlight: Worship Facilities

Places of worship often play a central role in people’s lives and are more than just spiritual venues – they often serve as important social centers, gathering places, and community hubs. They also carry with them some unique design challenges, so lets take a look at daylighting systems and how to best incorporate them into these types of spaces.

Trinity Church,  Lubbock, TX – Lee Architects

Religious facilities need to provide occupants with a sense of peacefulness, serenity, safety, and privacy. But while privacy and safety can come from fully enclosed spaces, this can also make them feel dark and unwelcoming. Incorporating a daylighting system can be a great way to connect worshipers to the serenity of the outdoors, or to brighten and enhance a space with natural light. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including adding skylights, clerestory windows to bring in light while still allowing for a private space, or windows and wall systems that can provide a more direct link to the outdoors or a dramatic backdrop to a altar or performance area.

That said, too much direct sunlight, or clear glazing that provides unwanted views into the facility, can be distracting for visitors and end up being contrary to the design goals of the space. Translucent panel daylighting systems, like Major’s Guardian 275® wall system, provide spaces with soft, diffuse natural light that decrease the need for artificial light sources while also eliminating direct lines of sight into the facility. Beyond occupant and performance benefits, translucent panel systems can add a dramatic feel to a space, and when back-lit can announce an entrance to a space or highlight signage. For even more dramatic effect, we also offer Spectra-Grid™, a colored insulation option that provides a look similar to stained glass but at a lower cost and with higher thermal performance.

Spectra-Grid™ Exterior View

If views are key to the design, and light control is less of a concern or will be controlled with interior or exterior shading devices, consider an Auburn® glass skylight that provides dramatic views of the sky. They can be a great solution for entryways, gathering spaces or to add high-contrast drama to architectural details or religious symbols. Or, if you’re looking for a mix of light control and views, we can provide a mixed glazed system that incorporates fixed glass or operable windows with energy-saving and light-controlling translucent panels.

No matter what daylighting system your facility requires, we can help. Contact our sales team at or 888-759-2678.