New Faith Baptist Church International

CompanyHarding Partners
Lead Designer
Prize(s)2nd Place in Architecture Categories / Institutional
Entry Description

The Worship Center supports the congregation’s mission to help each member fully engage their faith. The Center brings together the varied forms of worship, ministry and fellowship into a shared experience while expressing the outward focus of the congregation.

The Church presents a welcoming face to the adjacent highway announcing the presence of a Christian community. The curved public façade is screened with a suspended sunshade that changes profile in response to the solar orientation. The continuous entry canopy provides shelter and a human dimension for people gathering outside. Public functions including a bookstore and greeting center welcome newcomers. Seminar rooms are home to support groups and outreach ministries serving the community.

The 2,300-seat sanctuary maintains a sense of intimacy with a balcony that draws congregants closer to the platform. The fan-shaped seating reinforces a sense of community by allowing everyone to see the faces of fellow congregants. Projection screens capture the nuance of physical expression of the pastor and choir. The rhythmic pattern of the faceted walls references a human scale.

The Center builds a spiritual intensity by engaging multiple senses. Continuous skylights add a dynamic element to the narthex and sanctuary as the diffused daylight changes in color throughout the day. The natural sounding acoustics reinforce the connection between the congregation and the message across multiple types of media. Finish materials bring a range of texture and color activating the sense of touch.

Sustainable design elements conserve both natural and financial resources. The sun screen and heat recovery system combine with basic strategies such as added insulation to reduce energy costs by 20% preserving more of the operating budget for ministry.

The Worship Center creates a vibrant public space by intensifying the shared experience of worship through the careful composition of program, sound, color, texture, and light.