St. Philip Catholic Church

Diocese of Arlington

Falls Church, Virginia


Constructed in the 1960’s, the space was originally designed to serve the dual functions of worship and school gymnasium. As its use evolved to become the permanent sanctuary, GBR was engaged to design a renovation to transform the existing space into one of serenity and peace with a richly layered, architecturally progressive character that creates a welcoming spiritual home for the congregation.


As a visual reminder of the link between the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, all of the major liturgical elements in the renovated church are on axis.  This begins with the ambry containing the holy oils; to the font in the baptistry; to the sanctuary and altar.  The font at St. Philip was designed in the style of the early Church.  In the center of the octagonal  baptistry is a Greek cross with equidistant sides.