Saint Anne, Oak Ridge, TN
Saint Anne Orthodox Church required a church building that can hold 250 congregants, but has a modest construction budget. This innovative design will be built from solid masonry, but the basilica style keeps the walls short to keep construction cost manageable. The timber frame ceilings recall local Appalachian barns, while the square wooden cupola recalls a Byzantine dome. It's a simple structure, relatively easy to construct, but with refined proportions and beautiful natural light.
Because the city of Oak Ridge was built the 1940s and 50s in the wake of the Manhattan Project, it has no historic architecture besides some interesting early-modern buildings. This church design reflects that history, as it incorporates a few gestures of elegant midcentury design, and does not seek to look medieval. Rather, it is reminiscent of the many good church buildings that were built in the USA in the mid century, just before the dubious influence of Modernist philosophy took hold.
We hope that this design represents one path towards an authentically American way of building Orthodox churches, where Byzantine and American forms can support one another in a straightforward architectural expression, speaking with one voice.