The Hills Church of Christ in North Richland Hills, Texas, had been worshiping in their 2,000 seat Worship Center for almost 35 years without a renovation. The room was aesthetically dated and no longer effectively met the ministry needs of the church. After more than three decades, it was time for an update.
Shanks Architects and its consultants were tasked with fulfilling the church's vision of excellence for their renovated worship center.
Many upgrades to the worship center were incorporated into the project, including a new, larger platform, a new state-of-the-art baptistery with waterwall, and new integrated house and theatrical lighting systems. Multimedia technology was enhanced with multiple video screens, new high output projectors, and a production studio. A state-of-the-art audio system was installed to provide high-quality audio to all seating locations. A catwalk system, fire sprinkler system, and new acoustical cloud ceiling panels were also added. The room seating capacity was increased from 2000 in pews to 2340 in theater seats.
Structural issues with the existing flat floor and platform area were resolved by replacing the existing floor structure in with a new structural slab and grade beam system on piers.
Sightlines from the balcony were improved by moving seating to the front of the balcony and increasing the rake of the seating areas. Sightlines from below the balcony, which were less than ideal in the original design, were improved dramatically by entirely rebuilding the underside of the balcony ceiling, incorporating lighting and speaker systems, and raising the bottom front edge of the balcony nearly 24 inches.
A small addition was added to increase the working space in the back-of-house area behind the stage, and to provide a place for prayer and gathering directly accessible from the worship center.
By creatively using new materials and colors, changing from pews to theater seats, upgrading acoustics and adding the latest audio, video, and lighting technology, Shanks Architects developed a worship space that accommodates both traditional a cappella and modern instrumental services. The church's vision of excellence in design and function, and flexibility in use were realized in this now very modern facility.