The project at Northbrook Church in Richfield, Wisconsin consists of a multi-level 31,000 square foot addition including a new 800+ theatrical style worship space, gathering/fellowship space, café, bookstore, meeting space, youth and adult education space and restrooms. Both the new and existing worship space rely heavily on technology, specialty lighting and acoustics. The existing worship is intended to serve as overflow worship seating at heavily attended worship services. The main venue can stream live video to the second space so attendees can experience the same service in tandem. The existing worship space was renovated and classrooms were created in the old balcony. Building separation and code issues were challenging but a solution was attained that solved aesthetic, code requirements and functional needs.
The light-filled gathering space highlights dynamic forms and finishes including wood and tiled walls, swooping drywall cloud accents, patterned translucent acrylic, custom carpet, polished concrete floor and accents and specialty lighting. A large double-sided fireplace is a focal point in the gathering space providing intimate seating areas on three sides. Amenities such as ‘touch-down’ technology/charging stations, coffee areas, and family restrooms and a parenting area provide flexibility and contribute to the offerings the new space provides.
Groth Design Group worked closely with the Owner and Construction Manager to ensure that this project was delivered within an aggressive time frame and budget. The design intent was executed in such a way that the new addition complements the existing building and provides a new image highlighting the transparent, contemporary and inviting personality of this congregation to the community.
The project at Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin included the renovation of nearly every square foot within the existing church facility and added new spaces to address concerns for neighborhood proclamation, invitation, welcoming, hospitality, and community and member meeting spaces.
The project renovation focused on the priorities and space needs set forth by the church visioning team which included space for children, youth & families, welcoming, entry and gathering, MEP upgrades to current facilities, spaces for spiritual growth, provisions for traditional and contemporary worship, as well as spaces of service to the community.
St. Gabriel is a new church established in 2003 by the merging of three parishes. The church and future school are located on a rural 40 acre site in Hubertus, Wisconsin. Groth Design Group worked closely with the parish to establish a Master Plan for the entire campus. Major programmatic areas of the Master Plan included a new worship space (seating for 1,000), Eucharistic Chapel, parish center, offices, classrooms, gymnasium, library and kitchen. Phase I of the campus featured 24,500 square feet including a worship space to seat 850, Reservation Chapel, Gathering, meeting rooms, ofﬁces and a fellowship hall. The worship space has been designed to accommodate fan shaped seating, an immersion font and a full ambulatory with niches for shrines and statuary. A soaring central gable accentuates the hierarchy and relationship of the font, altar, cross and tabernacle. The exterior of the building utilizes natural materials including wood detailing and stone and brick cladding.
Groth Design Group was selected by the Congregation of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church to design a master phasing plan for a new church and educational facility on a large rural site. The master plan needed to include parking for the school as well as the new Worship space. Site design was important to the congregation and needed to be integrated into the rural setting. Accessibility and drop-off areas were a major concern for the site layout as well. Phasing the construction of such a large project was also a major concern. The design of Phase I includes a new chapel, gathering space, fellowship hall, and worship space with seating for 550 members. Phase II will include a two track Pre-School through 8th grade, a larger fellowship hall which will act as a cafeteria for the school, office space for school and ministry, and classrooms for adult and youth ministry programs. The entrance to the gathering area was designed as a tower element to create ease of entrance while also marking the building as a landmark in the community. The interplay of the different materials in the elevation makes for an interesting facade. The window placement in the worship and gathering spaces takes advantage of day-lighting, creating a warm and friendly environment for the hospitality and reception of church members. The Phase I design allows for uncomplicated future expansion during Phase II of the Master Plan.
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
St. Anne Catholic Church is a newly formed religious community established in 1997 by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The new facility, located in the Prairie Ridge development near Highway 50, provides worship space with approximately 1000 seats, a fellowship hall, meeting rooms, and administrative and support spaces. The exterior character of the building is appropriate to its physical and cultural context. The interior of the worship space features an antiphonal seating arrangement and abundant natural light. A classroom wing will be added as part of Phase II.
The project at Midvale Community Lutheran Church resulted in the complete reorientation and remodeling of the worship space and gathering area. The traditional, long and narrow sanctuary was reconﬁgured to provide seating in a fan layout creating a far more intimate and family-like arrangement. The renovated gathering space provides a greater sense of welcome and comfort for visitors and members.
The scope of the project at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church called for designing a new 750-900 seat Worship and Gathering addition onto a 1950’s Georgian style facility. Thus, the new addition follows many of the details and materials present on the existing building. A key focus for the addition project was to provide presence and hospitality into the surrounding community. This is achieved through three design elements: a light-ﬁlled tower, an entry portico ﬁlled with doors and windows connecting the Gathering and Worship, and a glass-walled ambulatory on the south wall of the Worship space. An important feature of the new worship design was finding a suitable method of relocating the existing art-glass windows. An ambulatory on the southern side of the worship houses all ten windows depicting the chronological life and ministry of the Christ. These will be visible to the sanctuary, the main parking areas and to one of the main traﬂic routes through Davenport. Renovation of the former Place of Worship provides a Chapel and Chapel Gathering.
The renovation and remodel project at St. Matthias Episcopal Church included 3,000 SF (most of the existing church), creating new classrooms in the existing parish hall, converting the existing worship space into a new parish hall, demolishing the old kitchen and adding a new kitchen. In addition, 6,300 SF of new construction was added, including a new 200 seat worship space and offices. The new building features a red granite exterior, paying homage to the fabric and character of the existing structure and surrounding community. Future plans call for the inclusion of an expanded columbarium and stone wall with lych gate leading to the memorial garden.
The plans at St. Jerome’s Parish include expansion into a multi-phase school and worship space. Growing needs and a changing area make it necessary to reach out into the community and provide a larger and more efficient church and school. The design of the church and school buildings, developed from a study of the site conditions, blends with this rural setting plus the neighboring residential and institutional properties. A natural wetland at the southeast portion of the site and an engineered detention pond enhance onsite water retention and quality. Ball ﬁelds for the church and school bring in families from the surrounding communities. The 850 seat church represents Phase II of the overall master plan for the campus.
UCC Evangelical and Reformed United Church of Christ, an 1891 church in the downtown area of Waukesha, was destroyed completely by ﬁre in December 2005. In September 2008, the church moved into their new facility on the original church property. The design features a form that would echo the original, traditional shape of the worship space, though the layout of that space was designed for fan seating within the long, gabled volume. The 90 degree turn from a more traditional orientation in the space not only allows a fanned seating arrangement, but Gathering and Fellowship spaces adjacent to the Place of Worship overlook the sanctuary, providing areas for parenting and overﬂow seating. The church desired to maximize spaces for ministry and fellowship programs. The strongest example in the design is the Gathering and Fellowship areas of the main ﬂoor level. A large Fellowship Hall ﬂanks a large Gathering space. Each space has a unique aesthetic, differentiated by different approaches to natural light, color and ceiling plane. Educational spaces including areas for a preschool program, a large second ﬂoor activity area and Youth Room, Hospitality Fireside Room and ofﬁces were provided in the new building.
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
The Master Plan design for St. Stephen’s Catholic Church provides a new 94,000 SF building to house worship, fellowship, faith formation, office, and meeting programs. The master plan provides 450 parking stalls on the site as well as an outdoor plaza. The challenge for site planning was to fit extensive interior and exterior program requirements onto a 14 acre site. A portion of the site was not buildable due to the presence of wetlands. The site was also adjacent to a major interstate freeway, further restricting the placement of building components. The goal for the building design was to develop a contemporary architectural language in keeping with the suburban setting, while still recalling the form, materials, and details of the Parish’s existing historic church. Periodic presentations of the design, and its relationship to contemporary liturgical teachings, helped prepare the Congregation for their transition to a new home.
St. Mark Episcopal Church / Tampa, FL
St. Mark Episcopal Church in Tampa, Florida, having embarked on a building project for a new facility, desired a worship space that would capture the liturgical tradition of the Episcopal Church and the practices of the parish as well as envision new opportunities for ritual celebration. The design is built in a new garden setting in the Northeast corner of Tampa, Florida. The parish selected garden symbolism for all of the designs plus imagery from both the creation narrative and the Revelation of John’s description of the re-creation in the New Jerusalem. The symbolism of the circle and square, images representing heaven and earth are overlaid throughout the design, the unity of the two being the place of Incarnation. The Cruciﬁx is a bronze image of a triumphant Christ, stepping from the wooden cross with outstretched, welcoming arms. The piece will hang beneath a bronze corona, a victor’s wreath replacing the traditional crown of thorns.