Day lighting-what is the correct distance?

When I design a sanctuary space the effort is grounded in the principles of day-lighting.  Sustainability comes into play but the work of designing with light is about much more.  Like no other space a church sanctuary needs light but not just any light. The goal is to create a singular atmosphere that distances one…

Church Master Planning to Charrette or Not to Charrette?

What is a charrette? I was told by a professor of mine in architecture School that the use of the word charrette came from the practice of the architecture students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. It seems that the students had studios that were more like separate apartments and the professor would…

Is your church welcoming? You can fix it in three easy steps. Step 2

Step 2: Once you are in can you find the way? – Going beyond signage. Signage can help and is necessary but there are many other ways to reinforce the path from entry to gathering space to sanctuary.  The closer the entrance is to the sanctuary the easier this will be due to visually understanding…

Is your church welcoming? You can fix it in three easy steps. Step 1

Step 1: Where is the entrance? In almost every project I undertake there is a universal desire, churches want to be welcoming, this is easier said than done.  There are several elements an architect can change but first the community needs to recognize they have a problem.  A community gets used to its church home…

Before and After- First Baptist Church of North Kansas City

The exterior renovation is part of a larger plan to open the sanctuary both literally phenomenally to the street and the community. The removal of the canopy and metal siding will allow for the construction of an accessible ramp, porch and new window wall with restored orignal stained glass. John E Freshnock – WSKF Architects Inc.

Church Building Committees: how many members?

Boy:  “Mr. Owl-How many members does it take to form a building committee?” Mr. Owl:  “Let’s find out… 5, 10, 15 members? I wish it was that simple, committees and groups have dynamics that are difficult to predict and can be highly influenced by individuals and leadership.  There are some considerations for limiting the size…

Saint Andrew Before and After

This is a first in a series  of before and after photos showing addtitions to existing faith community projects.  This series of photos show the transformation of the skin of the existing  church and the reorientation of the primary entry from North to South through a major addition. Saint Andrew is a growing Disciples of Christ…

Remaking the Igloo-Happy New Year!

History:  I had never heard of “the Igloo” not growing up in Kansas City I was unaware of this much beloved childhood experience at the Kansas City Museum. The igloo had been removed as an exhibit due to changes in focus by the museum and renovations to the building known as Corinthian Hall.  Though the…

Church Bell Finds a New Home

Being green is more than insulation and geo thermal wells it is a holistic way of looking at our lives and our relationship with the land, our communities and the world.  As a child I spent many summers in Western Pennsylvania at my grandparent’s home, on several acres of land, where from their property you…

Crafting a Church Building Committee

Setting up a successful church building committee can be a struggle the easy approach is to ask for volunteers and hope of the best. While this may seem like the appropriate response in churches where most programs and events as well as governance are on a volunteer basis I have found that hoping the cream…

Finding the Land for your Church Home

Site selection can be a very arduous task for a church building committee. I do not have all the answers but I do have a few cautionary tales. Many times land set aside for church use is land left over during the development process that was not suitable for other uses.  Often these sites have…