A Church Space-Lifting Architecture - Kajang Assembly Of God (KAOG)

Client: KAOG
Project: Addition & alteration / renovation
Location: Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
Team: William Chew, Yvonne Chong, Lim Gim Huang
Collaborating Consultant: Design Spectrum 3



The brief called for refurbishment and an expansion of the human capacity of a church. We proposed that the idea of the church emphasizes the spatial attributes (relation between rooms, corridor, indoor, outdoor, daylighting, mother-nature), and the relationship between people. Space-lift, instead of face-lift. Some walls are proposed to be taken down, the entire walkway and the rooms of the church are proposed to become an extension of the activity of the main sanctuary hall when needed to, with foldable doors that maintain a different level of spatial permeability. The proposed corridor in an undulating gesture is an enlarged planter box with seatings, undulates one into a series of trees and people as one progresses. Lastly, we carefully analyze each component of the architecture of the church to prevent the center of focus of the church as mere visual elements but spatial experiences and human interaction for community building. We change the otherwise symbolic and functionality redundant roof form into long roof eaves that extend the activities of the church outdoor on the new tangible floor with ample daylighting coming though its clear tiles. 

More about the project:

 The existing floor plan of the church

 The potential existing green space and the front open area of the church

 The sanctuary hall. The brief called for an expansion of the hall.

 The existing corridor next to the sanctuary hall.

 Proposed wall demolition to increase the human capacity of the sanctuary hall.

 Proposed to turn the existing meeting rooms with solid walls into rooms with foldable doors for visual and spatial permeability.

The ability of the meeting room to turn into part of the sanctuary hall when needed, or to maintain a visual see-through ability with the folding door closed for other function.

 The existing roofline of the church.

 Proposed roofline that covers the front part of the church open space for more potential activities, spillover functions from the sanctuary hall, and other outdoor activities that able to shed from rain.

 The proposed corridor design features a larger landscaping area with seatings that faces the corridor and the sanctuary hall for interaction and visual connectivity.

 The proposed spatial zoning according to the level of connectedness with the center of the sanctuary hall.

 The existing corridor next to the sanctuary hall.

 The proposed alteration area.

 The existing church facade from the outside. 

 The purposed alteration area of the outside of the church.

  The proposed meeting room in front of the sanctuary that can turn into part of the sanctuary when needed.

Closed when required for function.

 The proposed zoning of the church. The driveway and the dropoff area is now an extension of the church activity from the inside.

 The existing outside of the church.

 The proposed outside of the church that has a more tangible floor material and visual permeability with the inside of the church for more potential activities. 

 The existing facade of the church from the outside.

 The proposed facade of the church which has long roof eaves that shade potential outdoor activities under the roof. The symbolic and otherwise, functionally redundant roof facade is turned into a clay roof that has clear tiles to define the corridor spaces with ample daylighting. The facade has a see-through permeability that invites interaction and daylighting.

  The proposed zoning hence can be read as one activity space with continuity. 

 The proposed landscaping area at the front part of the church.

 The proposed, improved accessibility with steps and staircases. 

 The existing church entrance with only steps and steep ramps.

  The existing church entrance with only steps and steep ramps.

  The existing church entrance with only steps and steep ramps.

 The proposed church entrance with landscaping and a gentle ramp that encourages people to greet each other. Interactions begin from the outside between people instead of the people and the inaccessibility.  

The existing church entrance door to the sanctuary.

 The proposed entrance door to the church sanctuary that can be wide open for interaction and greeting activities.

The existing corridor along with the side of the church.

 The proposed corridor along with the church that now has a larger landscaping area and plenty of seatings in an undulating format. 

The proposed corridor has an undulating gesture, undulating people's interaction between people and people, people and mother nature as they progress. The corridor becomes a green area that celebrates social interaction and community building for the place.

 The proposed front part of the church is semi-indoor. The landscaping, the visual permeability, and the body of water in the small pond now make the human flow more fluidly. 

 The proposed front part of the church maintains a visual connection with the sanctuary hall. The proposed composition comprised of the trees, body of water, visual connection, and later, the people in space, the subject in the sanctuary hall. 
 The existing church facade is very much enclosed in terms of accessibility gesture and symbolic in its form.

The proposed church facade with compositions that call people to return their consciousness to space, place, and the relationship between people. The form is a result of a humble extension of a long clay roof that shades potential activity underneath while bringing ample daylighting through the clear tiles. Space-lift, not face-lift.