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St. Stephen Lutheran Church

Liberty, MO

Construction of a new sacred worship space for a growing Lutheran community on a prominent hilltop site that maximizes the sprawling views of their “Mission Field” while creating a sacred environment

Challenge

Develop a cost-effective plan for providing a new 330-seat worship space that could be expanded to 550 seats in the future, without sacrificing the intimacy and sacredness of the worship environment.

Process

Working closely with the Church Building Committee, the design team explored options for creating an expandable worship space. One option involved creation of a temporary worship space which would convert to a narthex once a permanent worship space was added. Another option explored creating a worship space now that could be expanded to accommodate growth of the congregation.

Solution

A new worship space was created to meet both current and future space requirements.  Rather than overbuild the worship space at this time, classrooms were located in space that will eventually convert to worship when the capacity is needed. The new worship space takes advantage of the site’s hilltop views with expansive windows for natural light and a vertical tower element that will be visible for miles. The natural light which bathes the worship space creates an environment that is continually in animation through the changing position of the sun.

Awards & Publications

2015
MADA Gold Award – Civic + Government, International Interior Design Association - Mid America Chapter

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