Architect: Groth Design Group, Inc.
Owner: Christ Presbyterian Church
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
The existing church had served the congregation well for many years. Changing perspectives however, regarding worship experiences and the manner in which the congregation interacted with the community demanded changes in space use and in the presentation of the facility to the public. The Church Visioning Team determined the following priorities as a basis for renovation:
-Welcoming Entry and Gathering Space
-Provision for Traditional and Contemporary Worship Programs
-Spaces for Community Services
-Space for Children, Youth and Families
-Creation of Spaces for Spiritual Growth
-MEP Upgrades to Current Facilities
-Investment in Mission Partners
Given conditions and renovation priorities, the project would also need to include consideration for parking areas, site storm water management, lighting, and the inclusion of artwork.
Located on a finite urban site, there was little space for consideration of additions or major changes in the overall configuration of the facility. Any modifications to satisfy need and responsiveness to the creation of a more welcoming architectural presence had to be accomplished within the context of the general physical limits of the existing facility.
The design solution incorporated a much more open worship environment allowing for greater flexibility in the way in which functions in the worship space are organized. The same can be said for the other priority functions in that while there were existing physical limitations to change, available space was viewed not from the standpoint of limitations, but of possibilities.
Clearly the most striking element of design change is the primary entry plaza. Formerly little more thansidewalk and front door, this open outdoor space is now much more defined not simply as an entry, but as a proclamation of the mission and purpose of the church; moreover, the design of architectural elements defining the plaza integrate the seriousness of the faith expression, but in a way that is open, welcoming and playful.
The project includes 4,600 SF of new construction and 32,650 SF of renovated space.
This project proclaims all that is important to the congregation, but in a way that allows for those who are not members to consider the merit of the CPC community to their lives in a welcoming and non-threatening manner. The solution, particularly in the entry plaza, is the essence of an effective forum that respects and welcomes all. It is also important to emphasize that the renewed facility now offers far greater flexibility for changing program needs.
Photos: Mark Heffron