“Providing compelling worship facilities is important for Burbank Presbyterian’s effort to outreach into the community,” says David Keitel, senior associate at the Domusstudio. “Their pastor looks forward to a church campus that accommodates an intense level of service.”
Built in the 1950s, Burbank Presbyterian is a concrete masonry block building with two half towers facing the street.
“The church today looks unfinished,” Keitel explains. “There’s a stark, shadeless courtyard that is hot and unappealing. Plus, all of the lower level windows are mostly covered, leaving no exterior connection to this part of the church. The overall campus is simply tired from years of use, and the church isn’t able to utilize the space to its full potential.”
According to the senior pastor, Rev. Ross Purdy, only 10% of the facility is being utilized today. Only a few rooms are used for 90% of the church’s functions and ministries, and the sanctuary is only used on Sundays. Through the redesign, which includes an extensive ADA upgrade, the church will be able to utilize 100% of its facilities.
One of the biggest changes to occur on the church campus will be a new entry, according to Keitel. The existing entry, or narthex, will become a small chapel featuring a clear glass connection to the community and a new skylight that will provide an ethereal connection. The chapel will be backlit at night with colored LED lighting that changes with the liturgical seasons.
The church’s new entry will be created farther back on the campus, providing a better transition from street activity to ministry.
“Today when people leave the church, they are immediately on the street,” says Keitel. “Our new entry will bring the worship community together into a courtyard, where social ministries will flourish.”
While the bones of the church will not change, visually the church will be altered dramatically.
“The new facility will have heightened corners that will create a stronger image in the community,” Keitel explains. “Plus, the two towers will become three, when, as part of ADA upgrades, a new elevator tower will be constructed. These three towers will provide an architectural rhythm and functionally provide access to the three levels of the campus.”
According to Keitel, changes will be made to the interior of the church as well—changes that will allow the traditional stained glass windows adorning the sanctuary to bounce light throughout the space. In addition, the remodel will introduce new windows, skylights and light shelves, maximizing the effects of natural daylight and minimizing the requirements for artificial lighting for a more sustainable building.
Further enhancing future efficiency at the church, the basement of the existing sanctuary building will be dug out on one side to create a lower-level outdoor courtyard for youth assembly. The church’s main courtyard will be reworked as well for improved gathering space and ADA accessibility.
The project will be completed in the late summer of 2012, and will be constructed by HMH Constructors Inc. of Camarillo, Calif.
Image: BurbankPresDusk_30x47.jpg; Credit: Artwork courtesy of domusstudio.