Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky by EOP Architects
March 5th, 2013 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: EOP Architects
A unique client’s vision and openness to abstract symbolism provided EOP Architects the opportunity to transform a long vacant and neglected retail mall into an energized campus with a newfound purpose. Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, requested a contemporary, iconic design that would be welcoming, inspirational and transformational but devoid of any traditional references to Christianity: there are no conventional steeples, crosses, or stained glass windows. However, the design response includes a number of abstract interpretations with references to these elements.
The LED-lighted sun screen that drapes the exterior of the educational center symbolizes a contemporary stained glass window and the slanted colonnade composition that defines the worship center’s exterior is a modern interpretation of the crucifixion. Additional design metaphors include references to the heavens through a pattern of recessed light niches and angular wall planes representing mountains.
The 140,000-square-foot space that formerly housed a large regional department store has been renovated into educational spaces. There are several teaching and group gathering rooms, a nursery, separate learning spaces for pre-school, K-2, grades 3-5 and a large center for student ministries for middle and high school students.
Adjacent to the educational spaces, a 49,000-square-foot addition houses the 2,800-seat worship center with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology. Three giant screens simulcast sermons from Southland’s main campus while a live band performs on its large stage. An asymmetrical baptistery with a dry area for family viewing mirrors asymmetrical exterior entrances. The curved balcony is fronted by a concrete, cantered façade which helps collect low bass notes to enhance sound quality.
The educational spaces and worship hall are joined by Connection Point, marked by a large, asymmetrical polygon with a nautical symbolism for easy wayfinding. At Connection Point, there is a large café for pre- and post-functions as well as an information desk where visitors’ questions are answered.
In addition to the building renovation and addition, the project includes the redevelopment of the 30-acre campus. The site plan includes a formal plaza and parking for 1,800 vehicles.
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