We have been working on a schematic design for a new sanctuary addition to the Ralston Hills Slavic Baptist Church off 64th Avenue in Arvada. The congregation has overgrown the current facility by nearly double and the existing space is becoming so overcrowded during regular services, that it is becoming a safety hazard.
The design for the new sanctuary needed to align itself with the existing portion of the building that we are not changing, and so we married the roof forms to seamlessly connect so that the entire building is fluid and cohesive. The general massing and detailing will follow suit.
The church’s exteriors also needed to invoke a better sense of the function that it serves in the community. Because the Baptist Church has been historically linked with the emergence of the Protestant faith in the U.S., we introduced a steeple form that is consistent with the historic precedent of Protestant churches in the United States. These steeples are mounted on large lanterns that will provide natural indirect light into key locations of the sanctuary and other portions of the facility. We also specifically chose to add three steeples in order to signify the holy trinity, as is consistent with iconic Christian architecture.
Inside, we accomplished all of the seating within the very tight site parameters by adding upper level balconies. By using Revit, a sophisticated 3-D modelling software, we were able to study the various view angles in perspective in order to determine the correct slope for the mezzanine spaces as well as the main floor of the sanctuary and the height of the altar and choir sections.
For a schematic design and conceptual study, we were able to work out most of the program very quickly. The congregation needed to see the concept in a very short time and because we require a translator to communicate with most of the clergy, the images we have created were able to do most of the talking for us.
These improvements will greatly enhance not only the important functions of the existing church, but also its appearance in the community.