Project Details


Suburban or Rural

Size: 95,000 S.F. New Construction

Site: Suburban or Rural


Project Description

    Humans are physical, social, and spiritual beings each of which is manifested through our built environment.  We propose a holistic approach to sustainability that engages these three elements of humanity in a manner that complements our natural environment, encourages community, and stimulates spiritual growth.
     We have implemented design strategies that preserve the quality of the natural ecology, increase the facilities' energy efficiency, reduce the demand for non-renewable resources, as well as enhance the quality of the indoor comfort for the occupants.  The design incorporates such techniques as a rainwater harvesting system, underground parking, and vegetated roofs to impede the impacts of both rainwater runoff and heat island effect.  Energy consumption has been reduced by orienting the building to minimize Eastern and Western exposure during summer months and capitalize on Southern exposure during winter months. An efficient geothermal heat exchange system, and solar shading control decrease the needs of the mechanical system. Photovoltaic panels along the Southern facade harness renewable energy that can be utilized to achieve demands for portions of the buildings energy needs.  Local materials used for the sanctuary structure, interior wood, and stone finishes blend with the surrounding natural environment and trim fuel consumption for material acquisition. Controlled daylight and natural stack ventilation ensure the comfort of the occupants and enhances the quality of the space.
     A sustainable building aids in the fostering of community.  Our design includes an education facility, multi-purpose gymnasium, cafe, and an outdoor amphitheater to encourage members of the congregation to socialize as well as provide opportunities for association with the general public.
      The human desire to fulfill a spiritual need is often explained as a journey.  The design is both a metaphor and a physical manifestation of this journey.  Upon entering into a vast lobby, occupants are led to a passageway that is initially wide but shrinks in width and grows in height as one ascends up the gently sloped walk. The passageway releases the occupants into a grand daylight transitional space where the wood veneer walls and ceiling seem to soar above.  This transitional space prepares one's spirit before they enter into the sanctuary for communal worship.  Once within the sanctuary, daylight radiates throughout the space through a glazed southern wall creating warm and welcoming atmosphere.
      Our proposal represents a strategy that explores how sustainable design is integrated into the various aspects of the human experience to make a vital and cohesive environment for present and future generations.