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Cornerstone Chapel

Cornerstone Chapel, a sprawling ski lodge-like church in Leesburg, Virginia, represents a new take on the worship experience. Built on 32 acres and seating 2,200, Cornerstone combines careful, detailed design and natural materials to create a welcoming space. Cornerstone has to ability to hold thousands, yet maintains an intimate feel.

Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia, had a problem a good problem.  How do you serve 4000 attending members when your worship and children's space can only accommodate 800 people?  Due to explosive growth in Leesburg, and an engaging message and large community outreach program, the church had grown exponentially.  That meant a Saturday evening service and three services on Sunday with 400 plus overflow attendees in classrooms with live video feed, while another 1000 watched live webcasts from their homes.  The problem: their congregation was not able to worship together, and this weekly schedule was very demanding on their staff. The vision for Cornerstone Chapel became clear: Meet the needs of the fast growing community of Leesburg while creating a peaceful atmosphere to enable more personal connections. The campus was a rolling, wooded, hilly acreage at Battlefield Parkway and Sycolin Road crossroads in Leesburg, and with the help of a nationally recognized firm in faith based- architecture, they were able to best utilize the serene space to bring their vision to life. By maintaining the beauty of the original land and keeping as many of the trees as possible, the design for the campus allowed the church to fit into the landscape gracefully. The site consists of 32 acres and originally had 80 feet of fall, which created a uniquely challenging task for the architects. The church is sited on a hillside, carved out in the back to allow the continuation of the slope. The Master Plan designed the church buildings to wrap the base of the wooded hill, providing a great outdoor fellowship space as well as a ministry venue.  Cornerstone Chapel now has numerous hospitality spaces, a full preschool, children's and youth complex, and an award-winning coffee house all in a ski lodge-style church.  The first phase of the new campus would top out at 108,000 square feet more than three times the size of their original facility. The worship space seats 2,000 attendees, while the two multi-purpose assembly venues seat 300 each. Cornerstone Chapel wanted to use natural, locally harvested materials throughout the campus. Now, locally quarried stone walls provide a strong base, exposed wood trusses support the wood deck and clerestory glass windows in the Great Hall that bisects that building, and slate tile graces the floors and restrooms. An experienced Lumberman in the congregation used reclaimed wood from the site to create the cross adorning the exterior, the wood table in the conference room, and mantles and millwork all through the church.  A grand stair of slate, bronze metal and wood ascends from the first floor lobby to the second level Youth and Teens Assembly spaces, and to the Administrative offices with their restorative views of the tree canopies beyond the building.  Master Planning will add future phases for a Student Center, Wedding Chapel and Administrative Building.  On the morning of the Dedication Service for the new campus, a flock of Canadian geese landed on the front lawn of the church to graze, almost like a blessing descending on the finished complex and its ministry. Certainly the geese were a testament to the met goals for a campus that blends beautifully into the abundant nature surrounding it, as well as providing a new landmark for the city of Leesburg.  As the time for the Dedication Service approached, the members of Cornerstone Chapel poured into the new buildings to meet together as one family.

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