Varying types of religious architecture express different beliefs – the seating arrangement is key to the venue's function and is an integral part of its fabric.
In historical or traditional style places of worship, seating solutions are more limited, however as increasingly more modern purpose-built venues are constructed, seating plans have changed considerably.
The use of tiered seating in the auditorium design dates back as far as the ancient Greeks and to this day remains universally popular. A typical arrangement consists of tiered seats curved to wrap around a centre stage which may be either raised or flat. Auditorium or theatre style seating was first introduced into places of worship in the US in the late 1800s as a means of introducing a less formal and more intimate space, providing improved congregation participation – it has since spread right across the globe.
Regardless of the intended faith of the venue, auditorium systems allow the implementation of seating to accommodate all the venue's needs providing a highly functional, intimate and interactive space.
Benefits of Auditorium Style Church Seating
Improved Sight lines
One of the greatest benefits of using auditorium style church seating is the improved sight lines, every member of the congregation is provided with a clear and unobstructed sight line allowing a clear view of the celebrant as well as other members of the audience.
The transmission of any message will heavily depend on the relationship between the audience and the celebrant and participation itself is largely governed by the distribution of seating. A great advantage to this style of seating is the fact that members of the congregation can see each other as well as the service leader, this strongly increases audience participation and interaction.
Contemporary auditorium seating is designed to provide optimum comfort, support and leg room –allowing participants to remain seated comfortably for longer periods of time, engaging with the service rather than focusing on their own discomfort.
Stylish and sophisticated, auditorium seating helps to create an attractive and timeless space which will retain its appearance in the years to come.
Higher Occupancy Levels
Auditorium style seating maximises the available space, accommodating more visitors than conventional pew style seating in rows.
Religious Education and Multi-purpose
Religious teaching may also take place at the place of worship, for this to be successful an environment which stimulates interaction and concentration is essential and auditorium style seating provides the ideal lecture theatre. The use of this type of seating also expands the possibility of using the venue for other purposes.
Health and Safety
Modern auditorium seating plans ensure compliance with fire safety regulations, providing service leaders with peace of mind that in the event of an emergency, exits will be easily accessible.
Although conventional seating in historical or traditional style religious buildings is arguably the most appropriate solution from both a practical and aesthetic point of view, for modern spaces, it is worth considering the many benefits of installing auditorium.
Frequently Cited Problems with Conventional Church Seating
One of the most frequent complaints with conventional seating in church is discomfort. Visitors find it uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time in hard wooden pews or seats, this is especially true of the elderly and anybody with mobility issues.
Poor Sight lines
Not being able to see the service or even other members of the congregation is a common complaint – being unable to see further than the head of the individual immediately in front can be off putting and hinder interaction.
Another issue is capacity – conventional seating arrangements such as pews cannot maximise visitor capacity within the venue.
Wheelchair access is often poor, with narrow aisles and inadequate seating which may be uncomfortable for those with any type of physical disability.
Ferco Seating provide a wide range of fixed auditorium seating suitable for various different types of places of worship – providing a much-improved visitor experience with enhanced comfort and aesthetics. Our experienced team will work closely with you to help you reach the right balance between ergonomics, aesthetics and comfort, exceeding your highest expectations.