Church design Archives - Church Executive


How to ensure a truly engaging worship space, by design

By Mark R Ashcraft with Bruce Woody, AIA The act of worship is a very personal experience. No matter the style of worship, there are common elements that will create an engaging experience. A sanctuary — or worship center, depending on your tradition — is a big factor in the act of worship itself. A […]

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Design trends to watch: 2018

For HH Architects, designing churches isn’t just a thing they do; it’s a calling. For more than 47 years, HH Architects — headquartered in Dallas — has earned its reputation of providing tremendous expertise and knowledge through its innovative designs and creative solutions. This award-winning firm has had the privilege of working with and planning […]

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Surveying the church design landscape: trends to watch

From exterior / interior approaches; to engaging spaces for children, youth and Millennials; to community engagement by design — and more — the church design trends we’re seeing today aren’t the same as they were 10, or even five, years ago. Here, Scott A. Nelson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, explains. Let’s begin with church exteriors, […]

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Balancing relevance & stewardship in church design

By Don Mahoney I’ve come across many articles in recent years that speak to what’s “in” and what’s “out” in terms of current church design trends.   As an architect who has worked with hundreds of churches over several decades, I’ve been on the front lines of this massive conceptual shift — especially over the last decade — […]

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Alternative facility options — spotlight on: happy campers!

For an 18,000-square-foot worship center for the new Oklahoma Assembly of God State Youth Camp in Sparks, OK, a metal building system made the most sense. Here’s why.

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Engaging Spaces: Entry & Wayfinding

Visiting a church for the first time can be quite daunting. Often, long-time church members take for granted that visitors “just know” which areas to park in, where the easiest entrance is located, and how to navigate the church campus.

But, for a first-time visitor, a church campus without clear wayfinding elements can be difficult to navigate — and make it less likely they’ll return.

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True colors: Examining the enduring spirit of stained glass in the Church

The core elements of stained glass have remained unchanged for more than 1,000 years.

In their own era, our contemporaries designed, cut, leaded, delivered and installed the stained glass windows. Standing on the traditions of the past, the history and traditions of our specialized artistry inform the present. Artists are designers of composition and form; the form relays a symbolic message which we can understand, or which will pique our imaginations.

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Small, but mighty: key elements of effective small group classroom design

Small group classrooms are integral to the spiritual life of the contemporary Church. They’re spaces of discipleship, where members and guests can digest the heart of what Christ is teaching us. They’re also places of prayer and intimate growth.

As such, it’s important that small group classrooms accommodate a great range of activities and group sizes. Yet, they must also be intimate enough that individuals feel comfortable expressing their doubts, questions and struggles surrounding faith.

It’s a delicate balance of familiarity and flexibility.

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Why stained glass is always at home in places of worship

From the earliest of times, we know that Phoenicians were the first to make objects of glass. As a seafaring people, they spent time on beaches where lighting strikes turned sand and ashes from cooking fires into glass.

Human beings have long been fascinated by glass — its beauty and challenge of its manufacture.

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4 reasons why connecting spaces trump cattle chutes

When I started my career in church facility development in 19XX (you venture a guess), the foyer/lobby/narthex (for my liturgical friends) was generally sized to be 1- to 2-square-feet per seat in the main worship space. In those days, this space was intended to be used as a place to funnel people from the worship space to the outside or down a series of narrow corridors that led to the education, administration or fellowship areas. There was often a small table for giving / tithing envelopes or general information, along with one or two uncomfortable high-back chairs … usually not ones you would enjoy sitting in for any length of time, nor were they arranged in a manner to encourage conversation or community.

For all practicality, the foyer was nothing more than a well-appointed cattle chute. (MOO)

Not any more.

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