First United Methodist Church located in Orlando, Florida, was recently awarded the 2013 Design Award for Best Religious Structure for Precast Concrete. The church has been located in the city’s downtown area for over 100 years. Judges for the competition said, “This project was selected because of the unique pattern in the precast concrete and because most of its LEED Silver points came from the precast panels due to their durability, energy efficiency, and the lifecycle precast adds to a facility.”
CDH architects and interior designers created a modern addition to complement this traditional-styled sanctuary. In April 2012, the spacious fellowship hall was completed. It contains an 82,000 square foot contemporary worship center with a seating capacity of 350. Also included in the design is a 125-seat chapel that contains a parlor, bride’s suite, music suite, adult and children’s classrooms, nurseries, and an administrative suite. Designers placed the parking area beneath the new addition to help with its sustainability while reducing the overall footprint of the project.
The fellowship hall was designed to be spacious containing areas where people can meet and gather. It also contains an upscale café and a full service kitchen. An oversized sculpture resembling Stonehenge creates an imaginative divider between the fellowship hall, kitchen, and information desk. It also serves as a recreation destination for children, who play on its painted metal towers.
A custom 16-foot light fixture hangs in the center of the fellowship hall and is highly visible through glass exterior walls, which form a three-story atrium and serves as a signature feature to the new ministry center. At night this striking feature becomes a luminary for the city of Orlando. This structure is LEED Silver certified. Energy costs were reduced by almost 18 percent through lighting selection, e–glass windows, high efficiency solutions for HVAC, high efficiency water reduction fixtures, and energy-star appliances.
To read more about this structure and its place in the 2013 Design Awards, please click here.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently opened its new analytical laboratory and office complex near the Port of Savannah in coastal Georgia. The firm selected to design this high-tech, secure facility was CDH Partners—an architectural and design practice located in Marietta, Georgia. The project design team incorporated sustainable design strategies that led to the facility being awarded a LEED Silver Certification. It also received the Award of Excellence in the Low Rise category from the Georgia Chapter ACI awards.
CDH provided full professional services that included architectural, engineering and interior design for the project. The 38,100 square foot one-story facility contains 12 state-of-the-art laboratories including level 100 and 1000 clean rooms, a garage/warehouse, five analyst team offices with breakout areas and a conference room. The Customs and Border Protection Agency opened the 25 million dollar laboratory as a replacement for a much smaller facility. Customs officials use this location to analyze imported merchandise ranging from raw chemical products to finished manufactured goods, such as clothing and steel products, as well as controlled substances and contraband imported in violation of U.S. laws.
“Millions of tax dollars are at stake,” says a spokesperson in a recent article published by GPB News, “It’s not just food and toys. Shoes, handbags and all types of clothing are taxed at varying rates depending on their materials. The lab tests those microscopic fibers. Some of the work done at the Savannah crime lab has led to nationwide product recalls. It investigates trade and law enforcement cases at ports from Philadelphia to Key West.”
The design practice of CDH Partners, Inc., was founded in 1977. The Marietta firm was named after its three founding partners, Bill Chegwidden, Don Dorsey, and Chuck Holmes. Over the years, it has repeatedly been recognized as one of the top most progressive architectural firms in Atlanta, the southeast, and the country.