I've been approached by my church that i attend while at college to "design" their next church, (they will take it to an architect, etc... later) and I've been discussing it with one of the Architects in the firm i'm working at as an intern.
He brought up some issues such as the fact that going from a 50 person building to a 200 person building will result in codes/regulations requiring an increase in parking (which IMO, is always stupid).
Also, my church is Eastern Orthodox (OCA specifically) and we have people from Eastern Europe, the Middle East etc... Over there, they've been building these exact type of buildings for thousands of years, and yet, for some stupid reason, those buildings cannot be replicated completely in the United States because of our useless codes and regulations...
Is there a way for the church to maneuver around those codes and regulations or ignore them entirely?
The church is going to probably end up being about 4700-5000 square feet. It might have a basement (but the ADA might require an elevator, which is unecessary) for shelter purposes during tornados.
There is very limited space for parking, every year at Pascha (our easter) we have upwards of 100 people or more (fitting into a sanctuary meant to hold at most 80). But every Sunday they have between a dozen and 40-50 people.
If you want examples of Eastern European and Middle Eastern churches that we might model the design after, then think of:
Hagia Sophia (before Muslims took over), Old St. Peter's Basilica (before 1000 A.D.), St. Basil's Cathedral, Church of Christ the Saviour. As well as various churches in Athens, Chernigov, Moscow, and Novgorod.
Just to give you an idea of where the majority of Orthodox (also sometimes known as Byzantine) architecture is located, here is a list of the % of ppl in countries that have Orthodoxy as a majority religion.
Republic of Cyprus (80%)
I just don't understand why it is that we have to regulate things so much that you can't really build what has been built for thousands of years, even though it has NEVER had issues before. It also regulates to where you must have things that you don't need.
This is my Sketchup version of how I see the new building looking (white with black shingles). However I talked to one of the Architects at the firm I work at, and from his perspective, the design isn't that doable, especially with regulations, etc... And then in addition, the fact that I forgot the most important thing they tried to drill into me my freshman year, Form follows Function, and how I forgot to program the building with my church before I designed it.