Friday, December 17, 2010

St. Ann's Church Renovation, William Rawn and Associates

Also inspirational is Rawn's renovation of St. Ann's church at Northeastern University in Chicago:

"...transformation of an existing church into a multi-use performance venue (330 seats), with the capability of adjusting for various events, including choral and orchestra recitals, banquets, lectures, small-cast theater events, and church services. The project sought to maintain St. Ann’s strong architectural character and to facilitate quick change-overs between use by minimizing the time and labor to adapt the space to different uses while reflecting the need to revert the space back to church every Sunday. Four key components to the renovation to accommodating multi-use performances are a new stage platform, a new lighting grid, new adjustable acoustics, and new furniture (loose chairs and tables)"

This provides an excellent model for equipping older churches for more modern use patterns, including updating their visual character:
1. light, UNIFORM side walls (don't clutter them up!)
2. pale glossy floors contrasting with a dark ceiling (a neat resolution of past and present)
3. comfortable seating in a bright modern color.

1 comment:

jaybox said...

This is really applicable to a lot of churches. Many Methodist and Presbyterian churches, for instance, could use redesign. With limited budgets and limited flexibility, it's helpful to have ideas. The only thing I don't like is the lighting. Blocking the stained glass seems like a faux paus to me. It's too bad that the grid had to be there. Otherwise, the colors seem to work well.

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