6220 Jefferson, Midland, MI
Designed by Jackson B. Hallett, 1966
The Unitarian Church represents modern architecture with early modern forms derived from the Arts and Crafts design movement. There is a balanced relationship of forms and materials that are reminiscent of the Unity Temple by Frank Lloyd Wright, located in Oak Park, Illinois. Sturdy piers guard the church entrance and support its heavy brow. This brow acts as a fascia and wraps much of the perimeter of the building, unifying the masonry, wood and glass elements that make up its facade. White painted rectilinear form, concrete block create a solid neutral canvas which contrasts to the soft and warm toned wood elements. The horizontal lines of the wood walls and fascia anchor off these heavy, white elements creating a bridge from structure to nature. The glass windows have been strategically placed to allow for only limited, strategic outward views, act more as a source to allow natural light in, creating architecture that is more inward facing than outward looking, and allowing for the inward reflection of one’s own self. The worship space is a simple square with a high ceiling, making the space appear to have an almost equal ratio of volume to footprint. Here windows at eye level encourage outward views, connecting nature to the interior. Additional natural light comes from above and behind the worshipers through skylights, which illuminate the high ceilings and architectural detailing of the space.