For nearly 35 years, Harvester Christian Church served the western metro area of St. Louis from a St. Charles, MO location. Tremendous growth eventually strained that facility, however, and the result was a hodgepodge of disjointed structures with access and navigation challenges. The original structure was outgrown, and a Sprung structure was being used. The Sprung structure lacked a clear "front door," offered no street presence to the adjacent eight-lane highway, and failed to reflect the level of excellence and community inherent to the church.
Visioneering was brought in by the church to provide design-build services for the project from the dream phase through to dedication day. After revisiting the site master plan with the church's new leadership team, Visioneering's first task was the repurposing of a current daycare facility on the site, turning it into a modern two-story administration building for the church staff. That cleared the way for the demolition of the outdated and undersized existing office structure and enabled the construction of a new 1,200-seat worship center.
The 36,000-square-foot facility includes a lower level lobby that serves as the new main entrance and features a unique water feature/baptistery with pleasant viewing areas both on that level and on the upper level mezzanine surrounding it. Numerous camera angles also feed the baptismal services onto the screens in the worship center. A full audio-video recording studio and production suite is also located on this level, tucked under the stage for easy access during services.
Worship Center Design and Construction (Harvester Christian Church)
St Charles, Missouri
Project Size: 801-2000 seats
Completion Date: August 28, 2015
The worship venue includes 1,200 theater seats on a sloped floor down front and in stadium risers in the back, providing clear views from any location, complemented by an immersive atmosphere created by the audio, video, and theatrical lighting systems.
The new lobby connects to the church's previous lobby, which will house a new café in the next round of renovations. Other future phases include connections from the new lobby to a new children's ministry wing, and eventually a new student ministry facility. The exterior of the new worship center is crafted of brick masonry and stucco and includes warm wood elements and glass storefront at the lobby entrance and other key points. The facades enclose the building in large sweeping curves that catch the eye and direct you towards the entrance. Once inside, the warm colors and textured finishes of plank flooring and patterned carpet tiles invite vistors to explore, and easy-to-read signage and wood accents used as focal design elements draw visitors to find answers at Guest Central or lead to other ministry areas.