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Serving the Lord


In multifaith rooms people of all faiths, as well as those of no faith, enemies even, time-share a space that takes on one of a set of sacred modalities on a sign outside. Multifaith has become the default form of religious space in hospitals and airports and has introduced sacred space to places like shops, football grounds and offices where none formerly existed. What is the architecture of this new type of universal sacred space? Usually they are mundane spaces without an aura whose most characteristic form is an empty white room. In order not to be meaningful in an inappropriate way they use banal materials, avoid order and regularity, and are the architectural equivalent of ambient noise. The most extreme examples resemble works of conceptual art. The results are sufficiently anti-architectural to suggest that architecture depends upon a particular culture for its existence.