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Catholic Church

New Church Sanctuary and Renovated Religious Study Classrooms

We were asked to design a new sanctuary for an existing church, based on the assumption that accommodating this would require a new addition that would double the size of the existing building.  Our design solution was to instead claim almost the entire existing building as the new sanctuary, where we reframed the interior ceiling space to make the inside read as one space.  We then needed to build only a very small new addition to accommodate the entry and the welcoming room.  This new addition faces the street, giving the church’s street presence an upgrade in the process.  The welcoming room was designed with wonderfully large windows that instantly give members and guests a sense of invitation and hospitality.

The primary sustainable design practice demonstrated in this project was the design solution that required a much smaller building than the one originally called for.  This resulted in a project whose capital cost was less than what had been budgeted for, as well as one that requires less in ongoing operating costs due to its smaller size.  Because of the added insulation and the new interior finish that was applied to the entire existing building, the draftiness of the church has dissipated and less energy is required to heat and cool the structure, also decreasing the building’s environmental footprint.