Founded in 1981, Chase Oaks Church in Plano, Texas moved into its current facility in 2007, worshipping in a triangular, light-filled 1,200-seat space intended as a multi-purpose room until the permanent sanctuary was eventually built.
When the time came to expand, however, the game plan shifted. Church leaders liked the natural light in the triangle-shaped room and made it a part of the church's identity. The church deemed an addition more affordable and appealing than a separate building. They also chose to remain on-site during construction not only for financial reasons, but also as a tangible reminder of the communal sacrifice being made. This made for a complicated design challenge.
The existing space was enlarged by 14,000 square feet, transforming it into a larger diamond-shaped amphitheater. The worship space grew to 700 seats on the floor and 1,300 seats on raised tiers. Despite being larger, the rake and design of the tiered seating creates a more intimate setting than their previous flat-floor worship space. Beneath the upper tiers, the architect proposed a broad circulation ring also flooded with natural light. A stage and back-of-house areas triple the previous size were planned along with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. Three large projection screens enhance sight lines and provide visual reinforcement of the action on the stage.
Worship Space Expansion (Chase Oaks Church - Legacy Campus)
Project Size: 801-2000 seat
Completion Date: July 19, 2013
On the exterior, design cues were taken from the previous building, with a triangular volume of painted concrete tilt walls, glass curtain walls and steel trusses and canopies. Vertical concrete fins and horizontal aluminum projections shade the southwest elevation. New pedestrian and service entrances serve the adjacent expanded parking lot.
The addition was built first, while services continued just beyond a temporary wall. Existing tilt walls and slabs were removed and a 10-foot-deep truss was built above the roof and atop an existing one to facilitate the removal of two existing concrete columns below. Although mechanical and electrical work often occurred in the existing worship space during the week, Friday and Sunday worship services were minimally impacted beyond dust and the occasional technical glitch. Portions of the temporary wall were moved several times to accommodate the advancing construction until the addition was completed and worship services were moved into it. Then, construction to match that of the addition began in the existing worship space.
All in all, the congregation lived with construction next door for 18 months and ended up with a new worship space seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the existing building that will serve them for many years to come.