This article is adapted from a session at WFX 2013 given by Stephen Pickard, Principal at Good Fulton & Farrell.
Renovation vs. New Building
Renovation is less expensive than building a new church. In both cases, there are a lot of things you need to take care of. A new building is going to give you more value in the future; it will serve you better in the long term but it is going to cost you more. Renovating an old building and reusing recycled stuff is cheap and is reliable for a short time period. You need to take care of the time frame as well. If you have less time for the project then renovating is a good option, but if you have plenty of time you can go for a new building or construction because constructing a new building takes up a lot of time. You should consider every possibility before you make a final decision.
Fundamental Areas of the Church
- Children's space The attributes that are most important to consider before designing a children's facility are:
- Security Children's security is the most important consideration. You should be able to handle the security and safety of the children's areas. Due to many recent incidents, it has become an absolute necessity and priority for the churches to give extra importance to security to the children's facility.
- Theme The kid's area should look like a kid's area. Theme has gained quite a bit of importance in recent times; applying different colors and textures to the children's area will help kids feel comfortable in the space. It will make children excited to attend church.
- Multi-Purpose The children's facility should be designed to serve multiple purposes. There are many churches that conduct summer classes and weekend classes and a multipurpose space makes it easier for the ministry to manage it.
- Functionality If you have a big space that is not used for anything specific, (many churches have large hallways and corridors) try to make use of it and utilize it for other things. This will increase the functionality of the church. Play with the shape of the space to utilize it for other purposes. Sometimes extra space can be used for recreational activities for children. You can make puppet theaters or play areas to accommodate that space.
- Smaller classrooms Develop small classrooms around a larger space to avoid any adult movement in the children's space. It is not only distracting but it is unsafe for the children. It is also important to set up security check-ins to ensure the safety of the children's facility or area.
Community gathering space is very important. In today's world, communication and socializing is a must. The community space should be designed to serve many purposes. In many churches, community space is bigger than the worship or seating area. You can set up cafes, restaurants and seating, making this space like a collection hub for the church. It should be a venue for people to hang out and share life.
- Bigger Spaces The community space should be a bigger area and should have a variety of things and activities. This space might include restaurants, information centers, book store, coffee shops, hangout area and more.
- Think Outside the Box Your community space is not limited to the inner space. You can also extend your community space outdoors and make use of the area for movie screenings in the lawn and fire pits. This will take community space to a whole new level.
- Multi-Purpose Multi-purpose functionality is an important thing to take into consideration. The community space should also be built in such a way that it provides different activities for people. It is a place where people meet and greet and socialize so it can incorporate restaurants, book shops, and information centers.
- Check-in Areas You can incorporate check-in points around different areas of the community space. Checkpoints at indoor and outdoor community space can be very useful.
- Contemporary Worship Spaces
The environment of a contemporary worship area is more theatrical with dark ambience. The audio systems take up a lot of money in the contemporary worship space. The room is oriented in such a way that people can connect with the people they are worshiping with. These spaces avoid natural light so the lighting is minimal. In such churches, the emphasis is on the architecture, and the AVL should not be exposed. These churches rely on LCD and the speakers are incorporated into the architecture. Also, environmental projection is one of the latest trends in churches, using projection technology to transform the entire worship space.
Taking these fundamental areas into consideration will help you achieve the best result for your church’s needs in your new or renovated building. Churches can be entirely transformed without changing the basic architecture of the building.