The growing congregation of the historic College Lutheran Church was feeling a space crunch as their numbers grew. Multiple levels and confusing circulation paths within the existing building made access difficult for members and visitors, particularly those with limited mobility. Working with the church, Hughes Associates A&E developed a master plan that preserved the character of the existing building while providing new, modern spaces easily navigated by all.
A raised plaza accessed by stairs and ramp offers a generous outdoor gathering space. Directly inside, a new multifunctional commons and corridor augments the existing narthex and serves a central spine, clarifying circulation paths from the front entrance to the rear entrance of the church. Two strategically-placed elevators resolve the problems of multiple floor levels. Part of the commons can be partitioned off as a chapel for smaller events. A new rear foyer serves a consolidated administrative suite and offers controlled access to office areas during off-use hours. A drive under porte-cochere was added to the rear entrance to provide a covered drop off location in inclement weather. HVAC improvements allow for control of this area’s environment independent of the rest of the building.
The façade of the existing church was clad in Catawba stone which is unavailable today. In order to seamlessly join old and new, stone concealed by new construction, was harvested and reused.