Birmingham Unitarian Church

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


Birmingham Unitarian Church has developed a deep appreciation for the power of architecture fostered initially with the original complex of four small structures organized as a campus around a central courtyard by Minoru Yamasaki in 1959.  The initial intent of the international modernist style was largely preserved through numerous additions, renovations and expansions but lacked the connectivity, accessibility and presence of entry needed for the contemporary congregation.

The project is orchestrated around a fluid set of interventions weaving together a connective tissue of sloped floors that provides universal accessibility throughout the structure.  The daylight filled interiors have been preserved and enhanced, maintaining an ambiguous relationship between interior and exterior.  A subdued but powerful portal reveals the characteristic white of the interior while making a clearer statement of entrance.