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.