What happens when you invite architecture students to imagine what Episcopal Campus Ministry in the 21st Century might look like?
Background: In the fall of 2015, the Re-Imagining Barth House Committee went through a twelve-week process of building relationships with the staff, students, and faculty of the University of Memphis and residents of the University Corridor. The goal was to discern what the needs of the University of Memphis Community are and how the Episcopal Church could respond to those needs, specifically with the piece of property located at 409 Patterson Avenue called the Barth House. The committee found that there was a need for music performance space for small concerts for under fifty people, a place to gather and meet to share meals and conversation, food nutrition education, access to healthy local and affordable food, and a place to prepare food. The committee presented their findings in a concept paper: Re-Imagining the Barth House: Phase I.
Project Focus: In the Spring of 2016, Committee member and Professor of Architecture, Jim Williamson and his colleague, Professor Michael Chismore, invited twelve students to take the concept paper and imagine how a renovation of 409 Patterson Avenue could make the Barth House a center for wellness centered on nutrition education, music programs, and common gathering space.
- Design a multipurpose space for meals, music performances, lectures, and church services with a capacity of 75 people.
- Create a common space for people to gather for conversation or study.
- Design a teaching kitchen for nutrition education classes and for students with dietary or religious food restrictions to prepare and store meals.
- Create three office spaces for potential nonprofit partners.
- Add a one bedroom studio apartment.
Students were given no limits in meeting the design needs of the project. They were allowed to alter the existing structure.