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First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Rochester, Michigan by Constantine George Pappas AIA designed using AutoCAD
August 25th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Constantine George Pappas AIA
This project consists of a new 375 seat sanctuary addition with associated lower level community spaces. The total size of the new addition is 14,000 sq.ft., 7000 sq.ft. each floor. The concept is based on the cross sectional articulation of a box, and how to manipulate light into the interior of the worship space. The box, or church is divided into a series of tiers and clerestories. The first, representing the support area and seating of the Church. The second tier represents the Chancel or religious activity area of the Church. The third tier, created above the pipe organ platform, allows northern light to spill onto the pipe organ and Chancel area. Each tier is structurally detailed to strengthen its space below.
Intended to be intimate from its inception, the sanctuary allows the congregation to be no further than 40 feet from the Communion Table and Chancel. Further efforts to increase natural light into the sanctuary are derived through the use of high clerestories around the box.
On the exterior, the raised tier of the sanctuary is defined with horizontal lapboard siding. Protruding out of this material is the pipe organ platform, sheathed with vertical siding, expressing the vertical nature of the pipe organ. The remaining portions of the exterior building materials are defined with two colors of masonry, one representing the boundaries of the square, and the other representing the support areas of the Sanctuary. A 57’-0” high steel cross emanates from the Chancel and penetrates the roof expressing the Church’s mission and invitation to the community.
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