Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, started as a watering hole for the steam engine trains that were bringing new settlers into Texas. The city of Frisco was, in fact, named after the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway line that stopped there to re-stoke its engines. Today, modern settlers peaked in the decade from 2000 to 2009, when Frisco was designated the fastest growing city in the United States.
Grace Avenue United Methodist Church was commissioned in 1999 as a satellite church of an older established congregation in neighboring Plano, Texas, which was also experiencing phenomenal growth. As the city grew, so grew the church. With wisdom and foresight, the church worked with the HH Architect to develop a master plan for its site, building the first building in 2004 and expanding the campus in 2007. In 2012, the third phase began construction.
HH Architects developed a comprehensive master plan that continues to serve as the guide stone for the campus development. Each phase of the project was developed in such a way that it could be a stand-alone component, but could also fold easily into a future addition that would convert the function of some of the existing spaces. Phase III of the master plan followed that same blueprint. A more traditional sanctuary was added that would eventually become the Gathering Space/Lobby for a much larger future sanctuary. Phase III also included additional classrooms for children and "tweens," as well as a choir room and fellowship hall.
Master Plan (Grace Avenue United Methodist Church)
Project Size: 301-800 seats
Completion Date: January 4, 2013
Grace Avenue UMC embraces natural materials in its campus design wood, stone, metal and glass in a design aesthetic that gives a nod to the Arts and Crafts design period. A soaring wood deck ceiling rests on clerestory stained glass windows in the sanctuary. Stone columns around the perimeter of the sanctuary and in the lobby support the wood ceiling and are capped in wood and graced with woven copper sconces. Custom chandeliers and pendant fixtures offer a variety of lighting scenarios for worship.
In the lobby, an interior illuminated steeple soars nearly 200 feet into the air, serving as a beacon to the community and the nearby, elevated north south tollway that connects the northern portions of the city to the downtown area. A children's check-in desk adheres to the natural design continuum, with a slate tile mosaic backdrop and floating wood canopies.
The addition of the new traditional sanctuary facilitates the five different worship services now offered in the new traditional sanctuary and the renovated Phase II contemporary/multi-purpose worship center, enabling Grace Avenue United Methodist to serve a more diverse church community.