Posts Tagged ‘built environment’

GrossE_IntroductiontoBE

It is important that the New Community Church, a place of accepting and inclusive values, is a physically welcoming place in order to make everyone feel more integrated with a gentrifying community like Shaw, DC. This project describes the rhetorical way in which different groups of people view the gentrification of the Shaw area and how the physical attributes of the church contribute to the inclusiveness of the area. In writing my final analysis, I paid close attention to mainly the exterior and interior built environment as well as the digital aspect of the church (its official website). Due to their inviting features such as their open gate, homelike interior, and easy to navigate website, many people can agree that the church is a welcoming place. Although this may be true for some, everybody has different perspectives and opinions. The whole point of writing about my built environment rhetorically is to examine the different arguments people made that differed from the ones that I made. This gives the readers a conversation to read and a better understanding of why the topic being argued is important.

A Closer Look into the Inviting Interior of the New Community Church

In exploring the main floor and basement of the inviting New Community Church, I was surprised to find that the interior structure was equally as inviting as the exterior leading me to believe the goal of the Church was to maintain its old spirit despite the new gentrified area. I had the image planted in my head that the interior would look more structured and formal than it did. Upon walking in, I found this to be false due to the home-like architecture and interior design causing me to feel that same sense of welcoming and warmth as I did looking at the exterior. The design of the interior was made for the longtime and new members to feel a sense of comfortability in a neighborhood that seemed to be changing drastically day by day.

        The proximity of the furniture in the room caused it to feel as though I was in someone’s living room thus furthering my comfortable, welcoming sense from the exterior to the interior. The chairs were arranged in an informal manner, placed near the windows at the front of the building. They faced the podium that was in a very close proximity to the chairs as well as the piano and choir chairs at the other end of the room. The overall shape and size of the main room was the size of a living room: not too big, not too small, but for a church, I would have expected it to be bigger and more capable of accommodating large quantities of people. Nonetheless, it just added to the warm homey effect that is what causes people (whatever race, social class, in the neighborhood to feel welcomed enough to go inside.

        My feeling of comfort and warmth was consistent as I walked further into the interior of the church and found that there were more small rooms and artifacts that resembled home-like features. Down the hallway from the main area I spoke of in the first paragraph, there was a door leading to a small half bath and directly next to it, a doorway to the kitchen. The kitchen had wooden cabinets giving the room a warm feeling as well as a small window allowing natural light to enter. The way artifacts such as hand towels, tin foil containers, baskets, teapots, and magnets were placed informally and scattered about gave me the impression that the people who go to the church use the kitchen often. Allowing the NCC goers use the kitchen is even more inviting and comforting. The saying “make yourself at home” fits this interior site perfectly.

        While it is homey and welcoming, it is still somewhat difficult to navigate because there are so many rooms with no signs. Accessing the basement would be challenging if someone wasn’t there to tell you which door to open in order to get there. Although there are confusing navigational features about certain parts of the interior, it still gives me that same welcoming sense because of how consistently informal the structure of it is.

        Lastly, the basement displayed a child-friendly, inviting environment due to all of the artifacts and surrounding colors on the walls. Someone inside the church directed me to where the basement and as I walked down the stairs, I noticed the ceiling was painted a baby blue with a colorful butterfly-like design on top of it. Already, this felt child proof. The basement had three different rooms: pottery room, coloring room, and the play room. Each room consisted of artifacts that made me assume what each was used for. Room one had many clay made bowls and pots drying on shelves. Room two had a low-to-the-ground table with cups of crayons, markers, and paint brushes. Room three had a carpet and on top of it, a dollhouse and toy box. The basement had many features about it that made it child friendly and the items in each room would be of interest to a child.

        The New Community Church is a place that accepts people despite their race and social class and welcomes them in with open doors and a comfortable environment. Kids and people of all ages are accommodated for with the main part of the church upstairs and a children’s area downstairs. The church intends on gaining new members while also doing their best to keep their original members coming back as well.