St. Mark's Lutheran Church
Team Four Architects | 14 North Newstead Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri, 63108 | phone 314.533.2200 fax 314.533.2203
TeamFour worked with the church's planning committee to prepare a program for the
expansion needs of the church and its elementary school. A series of workshops and
interviews were used to develop the program including a new sanctuary, additional church
offices and an expansion of the school. The site was evaluated in terms of its ability to
accept the required expansion.
The leaders of St. Mark's wanted to attract non-members with little or no previous
religious experience or affiliation. They felt that the traditional church appearance was
intimidating to the unchurched. They wanted the appearance of a contemporary building that
took over the hilltop site that was available at one end of their property.
Exterior and Interior Appearance
Opening the site to the building and the building to the site with large glass areas helped to
encourage a feeling of importance and yet openness that was desired. The narthex is
flooded with light and views in and out.
The sanctuary at St. Mark's is the opposite. It is a completely controlled space focusing on the
cross and the altar. The services are electronically enhanced with audio and video. The
drama of the religious experience is heightened by the contrasts in colors and textures from
smooth fabric to rough stone.
This church is designed to bring people in by showing its light to the community and by
drawing them to the lantern that glows at night and is transparent in the daytime.