2009 Eastern Section Design Awards
Project Name: Garber United Methodist Church Ministry Center
Completion Date: March 2007
Location of Project: Trent Woods, North Carolina
Short Description of Project:
The original church facility nestles into its quite residential setting along the main artery access for Trent Woods. The weathered grey boards and brick give it an unassuming presence. When the membership demanded a larger space for fellowship, land was purchased across the road. The separation of existing and new with the road presented a clean break allowing the new buildings to define themselves instead of cohabit the same design space. The goal was to sympathize with the original pallet of materials and self satisfying geometry to create a new fellowship hall and classrooms described in a modern language.
Architect’s Statement Concerning Design Program and Solution:
The new fellowship hall and classrooms are askew from each other and parallel to their respective road frontages. Their asymmetry on the site creates a pivot point or knuckle which is also the access point from the existing church facility. The transparent two story lobby space which occurs at the knuckle serves as both link between the two new buildings, and also as gateway from the large parking area to the prayer garden walkway connecting to the existing church facilities.
The new buildings are situated close to the road as a walkway across the road was established to allow easy access between the existing and new facilities. The new parking lot is set back behind the new structures and shielded from view of the roadway. An earth berm was created around the new facilities to visually reduce the overall height of the structures.
The main fellowship hall is a voluminous space which transforms from stage, to movie theater, to basketball court, to dining hall as needed. This complex program requires the space to be many things while not one thing specifically. The multi-purpose nature of the program lead to the choice of versatile materials. Linoleum flooring wraps up the wall to create an easy to maintain floor and wainscot. The wood grained linear metal ceiling backed with sound attenuation material brings warmth to the space and contributes to acoustical performance of the space.
The three story classroom building provides office space for the church, Sunday school rooms, choir rehearsal space, and other supporting functions. The space between the two buildings creates a peaceful prayer garden and area for reflection and is partially walled to provide moderate separation from the road.
The zinc siding panels and brick façade evoke the original structure with a modern touch. The two materials are interwoven between the two buildings to create a visual balance.
Type of Construction
Zinc Siding Panels
Aluminum Frame Windows
Description of Physical and Environmental Context:
The existing church facility, new fellowship hall and classroom building sit along the main thoroughfare for Trent Woods, an upscale residential township near New Bern, NC. The site is surrounded on three sides by a single family residential development with a country club golf course on the other side.
Extensive use of linoleum on walls and floors
High efficiency lighting fixtures
Daylighting features in Main Fellowship Hall and Entry Connector
Reduced water consumption though the use of low flow plumbing fixtures
Permanent shading devices installed over windows
Stormwater pond on-site to reduce stormwater runoff