st. thomas parish episcopal church

Location: Washington, DC
Size: 18,600 Square Feet
Client: St. Thomas Parish Episcopal Church
Type: Religious / Mixed-Use


MTFA was engaged to do concept designs for this DC church after a tragic fire burned down the once vibrant, century old church in DuPont Circle.

The design was based on re-establishing the church identity on the corner of 18th and Church Streets, NW, with a creative mixed-use opportunity that fit into the community. While the original gothic church soared to over 80 feet, the new design is articulated in simple modern massing, strong geometric expressions, and interpretive references to both express their Episcopal gothic heritage and convey the contemporary transparent and welcoming character of the congregation.

The four-story design welcomes visitors from an open plaza across a symbolic labyrinth paving pattern into a public gallery, exhibiting the history of the church and their vision for the future. A central stair leads to the “upper room” main sanctuary which fills most of the building’s perimeter to accommodate a growing congregation for worship.
The third floor contains flexible classrooms for Sunday school, religious education, and
daycare. The fourth and top floor with roof terrace and expansive views is reserved for the Fellowship Hall that is also set up for community use, weddings and special events.