Abrahamic Sacred Architecture – Student Projects

Below are examples of several of my students’ design projects from ARC 4110 – Architecture Design Studio V which was taught at Utah Valley University during the Fall 2020 semester. The focus of the project centered around designing a sacred space in one of the Abrahamic faith traditions. To learn more about the design brief and class, visit the link below:



The Midway Synagogue provides the local Jewish community with a place to gather to worship, learn, and celebrate. The design is inspired by Art Nouveau and Baroque precedents. The ornate dome serves as a marker for the most holy place where divine light floods down from above and can be seen in other architectural details and motifs.

Mount Sinai Synagogue of Heber Valley – Ian Hargrave

The site design of the Mount Sinai Synagogue of Heber Valley provides an experiential narrative for visitors that commemorates sacred episodes of Jewish history. The architectural design of the synagogue and adjacent buildings is influenced by local religious buildings in Utah, known as tabernacles. The interior design features symbolic depictions of scriptural motifs in wood floor inlays, stained glass, geometric ceiling patterns, and sculptural elements.



The Cathedral of our Lady in Heber City, Utah provides a sacred worship space for Catholics in one of the country’s fastest growing cities. Building from precedents in Europe, this Gothic inspired design provides a simple interior backdrop to enhance the ritual performances and welcome pilgrims from near and far.


The Greek Orthodox Church of Midway is designed to accommodate a congregation of 300 people. The cruciform plan, geometries, motifs, and layout are informed by several traditional precedents. The site design also provides a number of meditative gardens and communal spaces for religious festivities.

HEBER CITY TEMPLE – Hunter Huffman

The Heber City Temple serves as a new religious center for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple’s massing, organizational layout, and proportional systems is inspired by historic religious precedents designed by Andrea Palladio. Local materials, vegetal motifs, symbolic iconography, and sacred geometry are incorporated into the design to help the structure blend into the local context.


Islamic Center of Heber City – Riley Winter

The Islamic Center of Heber City is both a mosque and community center. The project builds upon historic precedents found in Mecca, Jerusalem, and Medina. The five pillars of Islam are emphasized in the design of ritual circumambulation spaces, the prayer hall, sacred geometric motifs, and the site.