First Presbyterian Church

Among several elite firms invited to submit qualifications for one of the most significant ecclesiastical commissions in the nation, Trahan Architects was chosen to design a new 1,750 seat sanctuary, as well as master plan support facilities on an entire city block located in the heart of historic Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Location
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Date
2013

Project Size
118,000 SF

Project Team
Trey Trahan, Brad McWhirter, Ed Gaskin, Erik Hermann, Emma Chammah, Luis Quinones, Mark Hash, Blake Fisher, Michael McCune, Sean David, Ben Rath, David Merlin, Tara Street-Bradford, Christian Rodriguez, Ivan O’ Garro, Judson Terry

Collaborators
Arup Acoustics, Arup Chicago Structures + MEP, Arup New York Lighting + Daylighting

Tags
Religious

In response to existing facilities characterized by church leadership as “fortress-like” combined with a desire for a ministry focused on community outreach, a new atmosphere of accessibility permeates the master plan and sanctuary design. The experience begins at the west and south edges of the site where forbidding street walls characteristic of existing church structures are replaced by a welcoming plaza, supplemented by a bookstore, café, and generous landscaped space.

Open space as urban counterpoint draws a page from the Palmer Plan, Colorado Spring’s original and still relevant master plan, by adopting the strategy of Acacia and Alamo Parks, where a single block creates a civic room for community gatherings. New support facilities along the northern site edge provide significantly larger fellowship and music rehearsal spaces, protect plazas from prevailing winds and create a unified campus experience by fostering linkages with adjacent existing facilities. Primary among the campus links is the creation of a climate controlled promenade, a circulation spine interconnecting the existing Narthex to the new Narthex as well as a series of lobbies and atriums along the way.

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