Church | Urban Church
In collaboration with SLATERPAULL Architects, Advisors is pleased to present a very interesting and highly flexible urban church archetype. The strength of this design is its compact size, adaptability to varying conditions, and sophistication to provide functionally-satisfying with pleasing-aesthetics. As shown below, there is a 500-seats sanctuary, a three-story building with 38,300 SF, and 225 parking spaces in a three-story garage totaling 75,000 SF. Total building and garage area is 113,300 SF. Depending on setbacks and other conditions, the entire ministry could be on a 250-feet by 270-feet piece of property, or amazingly only 1.55 acres. Secondly, the simplicity of the three-component “L”-shaped building allows for great flexibility. The size of the site and building, architectural style, construction materials and finishes, and the site slope and access are all adaptable to various conditions.
Site Adaptability. As presented the project is drawn with the corner plaza exposed to two
streets. The site could have a variety of road locations and the
design could be rotated or mirrored for a variety of site
configurations. The site could be larger and the building or parking
garage more spread out. As presented the project is drawn on a nearly
flat site. Amazingly, the different floor elevations make the design
work even better on a sloping site.
Building Size. The building is drawn with 500-seat multipurpose sanctuary, 15,000 SF of multipurpose atrium, and 15,700 SF of classrooms/offices. Depending on the needs of the church, any of these pieces could expand or shrink. The sanctuary could easily have a balcony with 150, or more, additional seats. The 1,800 SF rooftop youth area could easily grow to more than 6,600 SF.
Architectural Style, Construction Materials, and Finishes. The project was envisioned in the middle of a modern urban context. As a result, the architecture included a creative mix of contemporary materials, large windows, curved shapes, and interesting roof forms. Depending on the site context, this could all change and the project could be more historically sensitive or more conducive to a mixed-use or new-urbanism setting. The exterior materials and shapes could be a variety of tilt-up concrete panels, brick or concrete block walls, metal ribbed siding or roofing, or stucco. The structural systems could be poured-in-place concrete, precast concrete, or steel joists and beams with metal deck and poured concrete topping. It is likely the smaller rooms are framed with steel studs and drywall. However, the larger spaces may be enclosed by more durable or load-bearing materials like masonry or concrete. The interesting worship forms at the sanctuary chancel and entry portico provide identity and function. But, they too are adaptable to a setting and a church’s principles and personality.
Mixed Use. In an effort to reduce site development and parking garage costs, the church project could be combined with a high-density commercial/retail uses that share these expenses. With the church on two sides and primarily a Sunday usage, there is an opportunity for commercial or retail uses on the other two sides of the parking garage. Other configurations could have the parking garage sunken below commercial/retail spaces.
People Places. As church buildings continue to refine into community centers and places where congregants have informal fellowship, this design encourages people interaction. The entry plaza and two-story atrium could be a great place for the community and church to hear a concert, get a cup of coffee, or just hang-out. The entry plaza could have beautiful flowering trees, a water fountain, interactive artworks, or other playground equipment that encourage the playfulness in all of us. The two story atrium could be a place to sit and talk, sign-up for ministry, or leisurely read a book before or after church. It could also be a secondary fellowship hall or have adjacent meeting spaces like a fireside room.
Functional Ministry Spaces. With worship as the primary function, the Sanctuary/Multipurpose room will require great acoustics for music and preaching, multimedia video projection system, and maybe a flexible platform for choir, concerts, drama, dance, and liturgy. With a flat floor, this space could also be used for recreation or banquets. The street level of the classroom wing could provide valuable space for a licensed pre-school or daycare. The easily accessible adjacent outdoor area could be a secured playground. The top level of the classroom wing is a great place for the youth. It is far enough away that it provides identity and ownership and the area outside the building could be a place for outdoor activities and games. During the week, the flat and sloped top level of the parking garage could be a skateboard park or other fun place.
Sustainable Design Principles. A preliminary review of the LEED certification checklist indicates the project could probably obtain about 31 points. At this level, it is near the silver certification level but would require additional points. Regardless of LEED certification, the design is environmentally sensitive and operationally cost effective. The large atrium and windows throughout the worship and classroom/office wing could provide passive solar heating, displacement ventilation, and daylighting for much of the building. The partially recessed building and highly insulated and thermally massed walls and roof will also reduce energy consumption. Although the potentially small site has limited landscape opportunities, the edges of the property and the atrium provide ample opportunity for refreshing plant-scape.
Transitions. As stated previously, the flexibility of design affords a variety of aesthetic opportunities. One idea is to utilize architecture to encourage worship and communion with God. Instead of providing a neutral space, this idea is to provide spaces that uplift the human spirit. This can be done with natural light, large volume, or strong roof forms. It can also be done when considering the path from through the property and into the sanctuary. Transition points like the entry portal and interface between the atrium and sanctuary could be small reminders of the transition from secular to spiritual.
Code requirements. Type of construction is likely to be Type II A or B OR Type III A or B. Fire sprinkler system required in the building. If there is a three-hour fire wall, the parking garage may not require fire sprinkler system.
Mechanical. Three separate systems are planned. The sanctuary/atrium will be naturally and mechanically ventilated with supplemental roof-top DX units placed on the low atrium roof. The classroom/office wing will have a two pipe system with VAV boxes, boiler, and direct/indirect evaporative cooling. If the garage is enclosed on all sides, and mechanical ventilation system is required.
Plumbing. A total of 25 to 30 water closet and urinals. A total of about 15 lavatory sinks. Three drinking fountains. Use low-flow water fixtures.
As-Designed Project Data.
Smallest site would be a 250-feet by 270-feet or 1.55 acres.
6,200 SF 500-seat sanctuary/multipurpose room.
Two-story Atrium totaling 15,000 SF .
225 space 75,000 SF parking garage and 11 space on-grade parking for a total of 236 parking spaces.
Classroom/office wing is two story 13,900 SF plus roof-top 1,800 SF youth area.
Kitchen/storage 1,400 SF.
Total building 38,300 SF.
Total building and garage 113,300 SF.
Client Driven Solutions
Development Advisors, LLC
2000 South Colorado Boulevard
Annex Building, Suite 250
Denver, Colorado 80222