Places of worship, seeking relevance, improvement and extension of their buildings and scope


A recent Gallup poll found that, for the first time in eight decades of investigation, the proportion of American adults belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque fell below 50 percent in 2020. In fact, the Membership numbers had been declining since the 1980s. And at less than $ 3 billion in annual construction value, according to Census Bureau estimates, the religious sector is often an afterthought in discussions of spending and trends. non-residential buildings.

Nonetheless, several projects that have emerged recently illustrate how places of worship still strive to play vital community roles.

Cheboygan Compassionate Ministries and the Cheboygan Church of the Nazarene in Wisconsin are building a new 6,000-square-foot, eight-acre outreach center. Image: George Pastor & Sons General Contractors.

•In October, Cheboygan (Wis.) Compassionate Ministries and Cheboygan Church of the Nazarene unveiled a 6,000 square foot facility that will house a new church, a 1,200 square foot soup kitchen, classrooms, two bathrooms and a laundry room. Under construction for fifteen years, this center, which should open its doors next summer, covers eight acres. A local architect, Richard Clements, is the designer, and George Pastor & Sons General Contractors, based in Livonia, Mich., Is the GC on this $ 500,000 project, which the ministry and Church are paying for through fundraising. funds. Ryan Pastor, the estimator and project manager, says the installation is being completed in three phases: currently his company is building the compound, after which church volunteers will step in during the winter months to install partitions. dryers, insulation, bathroom accessories, etc. forward. At the end of the spring, the GC will come back to install the building mechanics and set up its parking lot.

A rendering of the 35,000 square foot worship center at Grace Church Bethlehem.  Image: Courtesy of Serfass Construction
A rendering of the 35,000 square foot Grace Church Bethlehem worship center which will include a 650 seat shrine. Image: Courtesy of Serfass Construction

• In Pennsylvania, construction work was scheduled to begin on November 22 for Grace Church Bethlehem A $ 22 million, 35,000 square foot place of worship that will feature a 650-seat shrine equipped for in-person and online worship, an atrium, café and multi-purpose hall, spaces for children and students, administrative spaces and a memorial garden. Serfass Construction, which has built dozens of churches throughout the Lehigh Valley, is the prime contractor for this foundation project, designed by Mann-Hughes Architects, based in Doylestown, PA. It is the first church to be built in Bethlehem in over a decade. It is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.

Modern Gothic National Presbyterian Church Exterior
Washington DC’s modern Gothic National Presbyterian Church has just completed a major renovation that added nearly 6,700 square feet to the building. Images: Alan Karchmer

Interior of modern gothic national presbyterian church

• The National Presbyterian Church, as a congregation, dates back to 1795, and its Modern Gothic National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC, was built in 1967. A project team led by Beyer Blinder Belle completed the 24,062 square foot renovation of the main church last month and its 6,627 square foot expansion with two additions. (BBB was chosen as the architect for this modification after the company completed the church’s master plan in 2016.) The additions improve accessibility and offer new community spaces that introduce a new rear entrance and two new elevators . The second limestone-clad addition includes new outdoor classroom, meeting and gathering spaces with a patio and gardens. A central staircase now connects the three levels of the church and deals with accessibility, circulation and the unification of programming. The renovation also introduces flexible gathering spaces. The design rectifies deferred maintenance through waterproofing the patio, replacing the HVAC and boiler, upgrades to security, lighting and technology infrastructure. New sustainable features include stormwater retention, new mechanics and energy efficient lighting. The construction and renovation team included 120 Architectural Engineers (SE), James Posey Associates (MEP / FP), Wiles Mensch Corporation (CE), MCN Build (CM), Stroik Lighting Design (lighting), Jensen Hughes (Code / Life Safety), Michael Vergason Landscape Architects (LA), Miller, Beam and Paganelli (AV / Acoustique / IT) and Vertran Enterprises (vertical transport).

Rendering of the temples of Scarsdale Tremont and Emanu-el in New York.  Image: JZA + D
A rendering of the renovated temples of Scarsdale Tremont and Emanu-el in New York City, one of three synagogues recently designed by Landau Zinder. Image: JZA + D

• Princeton, New Jersey-based architecture and design firm Landau Zinder has three projects slated for completion by January or February: Yakov and Hava Telyas Chabad Jewish Center, a new 15,000 square foot 10 acre synagogue and learning center in Clinton, NJ; and renovations to the Scarsdale (NY) Tremont and Emanu-el and Sinai synagogue temples, a synagogue in Champaign, Illinois. For the Champaign and Scarsdale projects, Landau Zinder also consulted on site security and helped clients apply for grants from the Department of Homeland Security. At the Sinai Temple, the renovation has created a flexible sanctuary space, with a main ‘pod’ that can accommodate smaller gatherings for weekly services, and movable walls that allow the sanctuary to more than triple its capacity to 500 people. The temple’s suspended ceiling was designed to symbolize the two tablets of the Ten Commandments, and new window openings let in more light. Scarsdale’s renovation included demolishing the entire south-facing wall to transform the sanctuary and redesigning the building’s interior to present a more ‘timeless’ look. The Yakov & Hava Telyas Chabad Jewish Center has classrooms for kindergarten, Hebrew school and adult education, as well as a shrine, meeting rooms, offices, kosher kitchen, lounge for children. young people and a library / multimedia room. The site offers an outdoor learning space, a playground and parking for 70 cars. The New Jersey project construction team includes Integrated Green Technologies (GC) and Jarmel Kizel Architects & Engineers (SE, MEP). The Scarsdale project team includes Cow Bay Contracting (GC), Desimone Consulting Engineers (SE) and Loring Consulting Engineers (MEP). The Illinois project team includes Felmley-Dickerson (GC), CE Anderson & Associates (SE), and Henneman Engineering (MEP).

An exterior rendering of the Yakov & Hava Telyas Chabad Jewish Center
An exterior rendering of the Yakov & Hava Telyas Chabad Jewish Center in Clinton, NJ Image: Courtesy JZA + D


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