Oak Hills Church Crownridge

The Oak Hills Church of San Antonio, Texas, completed a major addition and remodeling effort at their Crownridge Campus consisting of a new 2,600-seat Worship Center and a repurposed Children's Facility and Adult Education wing. RVK, Inc., did the Master Plan and was the designer for the $25 million project.

The Oak Hills Church of San Antonio, Texas, has recently completed a major addition and remodeling effort at their original Crownridge Campus consisting of a new 2,600-seat Worship Center and a repurposed Children's Facility and Adult Education wing. RVK Architects, Inc., which also did the Master Plan and previous phases, was the designer for the $25 million project which opened with the 2016 Christmas Eve services.  The goals and priorities of Oak Hills Church (a multi-site Church with six locations) were to complete the 45-acre site Master Plan by creating a 2,600-seat Worship Center, renovating the Children and Adult Education facilities and expanding the parking and building access, while preserving the site's many mature oak trees. RVK initially completed a comprehensive Building Program with input from the Church's elders and ministry leaders, ministry staff, children's leaders, worship leaders, A/V technical staff, A/V consultants, facilities staff, bookstore staff, host ministry, and parking/traffic control staff. This written Building Program formed the basis to define the Church's vision and goals, as well as specific functional requirements and capacities.  RVK's design team based their preliminary design ideas on external site influences and requirements such as the existing Hill Country style of architecture, freeway visibility, multiple access points, parking and building entry points, ADA accessibility, security, drainage, multi-level building access due to topography and trees, highway noise and new energy code requirements.  The new 60,000 sf building addition was strategically oriented between the existing campus to the west and Interstate Hwy. I-10 to the east to give the new main Worship Center the greatest visibility, as well as minimize the loss of parking for weekend services while the new worship space was being constructed. The two major components of the new addition—the 2,600-seat worship space and the foyer—are organized to connect to an existing mall/spine that connects four Children Wings, a Multi-Purpose space that seats 850, and a parking lot on the westernmost part of the property. The new Foyer is a 2-story hub centrally located, with two main glass entries, one of which has a large porte-cochere for drop offs.  The foyer was designed to be open with an abundance of natural light. It has two (2) monumental stairs, provides a friendly and inviting gathering space with a large coffee bar area, a bookstore, and adjoins the newly remodeled Children's Ministry and Nursery. This was accomplished with a two-level Foyer with access from two levels of the site. The new Worship Center can be entered at both levels.  The Church wanted the Worship Center to have a sense of community and intimacy, with a simple approach to finishes, invoking warmth and a reverent feel. It was also important that outside noises, especially from the major freeway less than 250 feet from the center of the stage, be isolated and not cause a distraction to the service. In order to make the Worship Center feel warm, inviting and intimate, RVK featured natural color tones in the paint colors, the fabrics on the chairs, as well as clear-stained Douglas-fir slats with acoustical fabrics behind the open gap wood slats for a clean, simple look. Earth tones also facilitated the use of RGB LED lighting for the house lights to contribute to the mood. The roof structure and suspended ceiling clouds over the stadium seating were intentionally designed low to make the space feel more intimate. In order to eliminate outside noises, RVK specified Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for all exterior and interior walls to isolate noise between the foyer and the worship space, as well as from the freeway. The ICF was also used to comply with new energy code requirements (2015 IECC) for continuous insulation.  The Children's Ministry and Nursery were completely remodeled to create a visually more open entry to each of the eight wings off of a two-level common mall with registration desk areas at each level, where visitors and members could easily be welcomed and oriented to the programs. The facility's security features and strategies were of utmost importance in the selection of glazing, locking hardware and access to each wing from the common mall area. The importance of wayfinding and color schemes was addressed through the use of distinctive signage and specific color schemes for each grade level. This part of the project was completed within 90 days during the Summer of 2015 in order to restart the Children's Program that September.  The remodeled Adult Education area included a downsized 850-seat venue for Youth Worship and Women's Ministry, four enlarged Adult classrooms, new offices for the Campus Ministry staff, and a new indoor Baptistry with cascading waterfall located in the upper level mall to facilitate baptisms on any given day, despite occasional inclement weather that would preclude use of the outdoor Baptistry.  This entire project has taken about three years to complete from the initial Master Plan and Building Program until the final occupancy. It has been a team effort of the Project Manager (Project Control of Texas), the Architect (RVK Architects, Inc.), the Consultants Structural (Lundy & Franke Engineers), MEP (MEP Engineers, Inc.), Civil (Pape-Dawson Engineers), Audio/Visual (Wave Consultants and All-Pro Consultants), General Contractor (SpawGlass Construction) and the Church's Building Committee.  The final design has achieved the Church's ministry goals in a character and design vocabulary unique to the DNA of Oak Hills Church and its Senior Minister, Max Lucado. The entire project was completed on time for the Christmas Eve services in December 2016. The project budget was maintained throughout the construction process.

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