When the leadership of Burnt Hickory Baptist Church considered a move to its new 28-acre campus, they asked CDH to create a master plan that would include plenty of space for future growth and expansion. During the first phase, a 131,500 square foot traditional brick and stucco multi-purpose worship facility was constructed.
The 1285-seat worship center can be easily converted for banquet seating for 700. The facility serves an additional purpose as a full sport gymnasium. A welcome/resource center encourages casual interaction between members and serves as a place where visitors can pick up information about the church and upcoming activities.
Church leaders wanted a plan that provided adequate space for young families, who make up a large portion of the church’s demographics. This led to over 50,000 square feet of the space being designated to preschool, children, and youth.
Designers used a vibrant color palette for the youth area, which features as a 400-seat youth auditorium complete with video, audio and theatrical lighting capabilities, a game room, a 200-seat children’s drive–in theater, and The Solid Rock Café. Each area contains age appropriate themes.
Burnt Hickory Baptist Church
Powder Springs, Georgia
Power House is part of the children’s ministry (grades 1-5) of Mt. Paran Church. This space includes a large game room to serve as a gathering space and the Power House theater. The active themed environment is animated with fully integrated lighting and audiovisual capabilities. It includes a stage and auditorium and five large classrooms that serve as a breakout space for children to be taught in grade level Bible studies.
Mount Paran Church of God
5,500 – PowerHouse
11,800 – Bibleland
WFX 2008 Solomon Award Winner of
Most Innovative Church Facility
The First Presbyterian Church of Dalton, Georgia, is located in the northwest corner of the state. It has a rich history that began in 1847. Over the past few years, the church has experienced significant growth. When session leaders contacted CDH Partners, their greatest need was for a master plan that would help them expand their current church campus and enable them to meet the needs of a growing congregation and community.
The master plan for this traditionally designed church was divided into three phases. Phase one includes the construction of a new Family Life Center, which contains a youth lounge area, walking track, basketball court that also can be used for volleyball, and a weight room. During this phase, adult classrooms were remodeled, the existing fellowship hall expanded, and additional parking added. Two additional phases will follow.
After purchasing a 160-acre golf course alongside the Little Miami River in Cincinnati, Horizon Community Church leaders worked with CDH to create a master plan for a new church campus. A primary objective was to preserve the beauty of the natural site while positing the new campus buildings in an area that takes full advantage of the pristine landscape. The complex was designed with sustainability in mind and features a cluster of buildings that resembles a European village. Energy is conserved through high performance thermal envelope and a selection of sustainable materials.
The design team worked closely with church leaders to create many of the outdoor features that clearly define the campus. The first phase is a traditional French Country design and sets the foundation for future growth and expansion. The focal point of the church narthex is a grand fireplace with a large hearth that serves as a gathering place for members.
Large windows in the worship center and in the narthex open up the interior of the building to the surrounding scenery. Well-positioned, handcrafted chandeliers along with the use of wood, ironwork, stone, and other natural finishes add a timeless detail. A 3.5-acre pond with 10,000 square feet of terraces is used as a place of spiritual reflection.
A 400-seat chapel that served as an initial worship space was included in the first phase of the master plan. A café, bride’s room, large gathering spaces, administrative offices, classrooms for children, educational spaces for adults, a warming kitchen, and parking to serve were also included in the initial construction.
The CDH design team created a multi-phased plan that added much needed space to this church campus. The master plan included the church’s relocation and the construction of a multi purpose facility that contains a worship center, a youth theater, and nursery and preschool areas. When fully developed the site will offer, green spaces, picnic areas, softball and soccer fields, over 800 parking spaces, and a large pond in addition to the proposed buildings.
The church campus buildings are constructed on different elevations; and yet, they are well connected to one another. Themed spaces are bright and spacious. A central chapel incorporates traditional elements, which includes wood, stained glass, and a steeple. Each additional building included in future phases will be fashioned to reflect the unique ministries need for the area. The campus includes informal gathering spaces such as a coffee café, bookstore and media center, and information kiosks.
Designers also utilized radial parking that emanates from the buildings, providing close parking to all area of the campus. A porte-cochere will allow for drop off near the worship center building and chapel. The parking is planned with walkways that segment pedestrian and vehicular traffic for ease of entry and exiting.
As the leadership team of Hope Church met with the interior designers one thing became clear: the new children’s area needed to reflect the church’s strong vision and energy for missions. Designers took their cues from this meeting and specifically created a themed space to instill excitement and involvement with various cultures and ministries around the world.
This area was created to reflect everyday life in a foreign culture. Interior elements include recognizable features such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a familiar red telephone booth from Great Britain, and the Roman Coliseum in Italy.
Design elements are colorful, vibrant, and incorporate the use 3-D features that capture the youth’s attention. Recognizable wall murals, patterned carpet, and solid finishes were strategically placed to help children and their parents access classroom and activity areas via clearly marked pathways.
When creating the master plan for Gardendale Baptist Church, architects faced a challenge concerning where to position this sanctuary. They chose to place it atop a small ridgeline for maximum visibility. The church is positioned on 95 acres and has three levels—one is recessed into a hill. Parking is distributed on three sides of the sanctuary. A series of glass atriums at the front of the worship center provide light and a sense of spaciousness. These areas mark the main points of entry to the facility.
Exterior finishes include stone, brick, and glass and were chosen to blend with the landscape while interior surfaces complement and support the sense of being in a natural environment. Blues and earth tones add a touch of warmth to the structure. A café, bookstore, and educational space designed for youth, college, and singles are strategically placed near the sanctuary and create intimate yet spacious settings.
Phase two of the master plan joined the campus to a 2,800-seat worship center and provided educational space for senior adults, elementary, preschool, and nursery groups. Phase three involved the addition of support and educational space while phase four included the construction of a 4,500-seat worship center. Phase five is marked by the construction of a family activities building. Please see the video below.
Gardendale’s First Baptist Church
Following the purchase of 23-acres in a popular suburb north of Atlanta, Georgia, leaders for Johns Creek Baptist Church turned to CDH Partners for a master plan that included the renovation of their existing facilities and the relocation of their worship center. The construction of a 500-seat interim sanctuary and educational facility was also included in the plan.
Church leaders placed a high emphasis on congregational involvement and fellowship within the community. Therefore, phases two and three of the master plan included the construction of additional educational space, gathering places, a choir room, and a spacious 1,000-seat-multipurpose fellowship hall, which easily transforms into a gym for recreation.
The final stage of the master plan included the construction of a 2,100-seat worship center. Traditional design features include a brick exterior combined with cast stone elements. A large three-story tower increases the visibility of the church campus and allows outside light to flow into the church’s atrium. Interior design elements included the use of painted millwork, wood, and a rich color platelet enhancing the worship experience.
The sanctuary is equipped with a hidden rear screen projection system that includes blackout shades for the large windows. State-of-the-art lighting, speakers, and audio controls are concealed within the ceiling bulkheads. A pipe organ designed from solid cherry by Italian artisans fills the space with magnificent sound.
The architects and interior designers at CDH Partners are responsible for bringing Perimeter Church’s vision of “KidsTown” to life. It developed as a result of the church’s desire to expand their campus and address their growing children’s ministry needs. The design concept of this new space gives the sense of stepping back in time on a city street with traditional storefronts, town homes, cast lantern light poles.
This unique children’s area has propelled great enthusiasm within the congregation. Opposite the town home façade is a movie theater ticket counter that is the entry into the kids worship space. The children’s theater is a series of carpeted stadium style seating steps for up to 400 children. The exposed ceiling structure is black with pipes, ductwork, catwalk and carpet accented in a collage of colors that are activated by black lights. The asymmetrical stage is equipped with a large rear screen projector to allow for multiple points of focus. These new facilities provide a safe, high energy environment that promotes fellowship, fun, and spiritual growth opportunities.
When considering elements to include in a master plan, church leaders expressed a desire to provide worship and educational space for the children first. Therefore, CDH designers created a plan for a children’s center that included 62,000 square feet dedicated solely to children’s ministry.
Architects were asked to design an area that specifically addressed a variety of programing needs. Welcome areas are theme-based with sunbursts and moon shaped lighting fixtures. Cloud shape ceiling panels appear to float throughout the area creating a whimsical and bright atmosphere.
Phase one of the master plan for this church included educational space, preschool facilities, a theater, game room, puppet room, and fellowship hall equipped with theatrical lighting, and audio and video controls. Despite being located on the lower level of the facility, the children’s area is easy to access and contains large windows that provide plenty of daylight exposure. A secure fenced playground is located at the rear of the campus.
Free Chapel Worship Center
First Place for 2005 Private Sector in the Southeast Chapter of (DBIA)
Design Build Institute of America
First United Methodist Church of Orlando is located in the city’s trendy downtown area and has had a presence in the downtown area for over 100 years. CDH architects and interior designers created a modern addition to the traditional styled sanctuary.
In April 2012, a 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 was a 125-seat chapel that contains a parlor, bride’s suite, music suite, adult and children’s classrooms, nurseries, and an administrative suite.
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. The new structure is LEED 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.
First United Methodist Church
PCI 2013 Design Awards
Best Religious Structure
Award of Excellence
2011 Golden Brick Awards
Downtown Orlando Partnership
LEED Silver Certification
Church Executive Magazine, May 2012 Worship Facilities Magazine May/June 2012
The Gathering has a rapidly growing congregation that supports a progressive style of worship. The church, located in Sevierville, Tennessee, provided an ideal opportunity for the CDH design team to create a master plan that takes full advantage of the surrounding mountainous environment. Church leaders asked designers to create a setting that would bring people together from all walks of life—members and visitors, churched and non-churched, congregation and community.
They also wanted this multipurpose facility to have the look and feel of a modern mountain lodge—one that was highly visible to the community. Designers created an eye-catching space where the outdoors transitions inside and is blended with natural surfaces and earth tone finishes. Comfortable seating, a stone fireplace along with wood columns, and timber-beamed ceilings add to the lodge atmosphere.
The structure’s highly visible glass exterior walls form a two-story atrium that is topped with a dynamic silver cross serving as a signature feature to this state-of-the-art ministry center. At night when the church is illuminated, the church becomes a striking feature against the black backdrop of the Smoky Mountains.
Phase one included the construction of this 42,000-square foot contemporary multipurpose facility that currently seats 1150. It contains an administration suite, educational classrooms, children’s ministry zone, bookstore, and a cafe. In a future phase this multipurpose facility is scheduled to become the church’s fellowship hall.
38,718 Multi-purpose Building
28,250 The Lodge (includes 2400 for outdoor dining)
2010 WFX Solomon Awards
Best Church Design 800-2000 seats
CDH was asked to create a master plan for this large metropolitan church that included the incorporation of the original sanctuary along with other existing buildings. Church leaders believe that youth programs and small group studies are catalysts of a healthy, growing, and active church. Therefore, instead of being a “church on a corner,” the congregation wanted to develop a campus that was a perfect place for worship, discipleship, community outreach, and recreation. The addition of a lake and thoughtful development of the church’s 100 acres achieved this goal.
Additional phases included a three-story educational and church community facility that contains 25-foot wide corridors in the educational space along with murals that include streetlights, awnings, park benches, and trees providing a park-like.
The third phase of the master plan included the construction of a 400-seat children’s theater with stepping aisles, a split thrust stage, and completely outfitted audio and video production environment. A cobblestone street flanked by various township facades leads up to the facility, which also contains a turn of the century 1800’s box office. A senior high area houses a two level indoor amphitheater, rock climbing wall, game room, half-court basketball courts, café, and offices.
One of the greatest challenges facing the CDH design team in creating a master plan for Burnette Elementary School was the steep topography of the location. Other challenges included state waterways, an existing pond, and an extensively planned expansion of the street frontage by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Designers for CDH Partners adapted the master plan from a prototype school to provide standard classrooms, core program spaces, and layout, while offering an economically approach to the site constraints. Entry features at the front and rear of the structure address key points of access and security for students and visitors while maintaining administrative control of the campus.
The building was designed off a split-level plan and is accessed from upper and lower level parking lots and drop-off areas. Design elements incorporated in the facility include brick, concrete, and durable finishes. Neutral colors punctuated by a bright primary color palette in classroom areas create a sense of structure and spaciousness. A state-of-the-art media library, science labs, and dining room were included in the plan. Large windows at the entrance of the facility allow natural light to fill the front hallway. An external contemporary canopy greets parents and students along the park entry.
Underground detention and retaining walls redefined the site and maintain easements and site requirements. Playfields are located on the rear of the property and are connected to the main campus by a bridge.
Board of Education
Gwinnett County, Georgia
This church campus is located in a highly picturesque area surrounded by stunning mountainous views and a wooded landscape. Because of the steep, architects faced several challenges. Phase one included the construction of a 1,200 multipurpose sanctuary. This three-story structure is an extension of its natural surroundings and incorporates the use of stone, glazing, stucco, slate flooring, and heavy timber elements.
The grand lobby is literally a window to the outdoors. It’s elegant lodge-like feel and large fenestration and clerestory features, an immense fireplace, and mission styled furniture that come together to create a sense of warmth and welcome. A small café also serves as a gathering place for members and visitors.
Designers continued the lodge atmosphere throughout the worship center by incorporating richly textured fabrics, wrought iron, stone, and millwork. Two large walls of windows create a sense of spaciousness and light. They are fixed with roman shades and blackout shading. Themed environments such as the youth and children’s areas are bright and durable. The structure’s series of roofs are finished with standing seam metal and asphalt shingles. Parking was designed to accommodate 550 vehicles.
Mount Paran Church of God has a rapidly growing congregation that supports a progressive style of worship. When designers for CDH Partners began to develop a master plan for the church, the location of the campus was an immediate concern. The church is situated on a corner with a major thoroughfare on one side and high-end houses on the others. Considerable time was spent meeting city zoning regulations and neighborhood covenants.
The first phase of the Master Plan called for construction of a parking deck and a 200-seat chapel with educational space and elevators. This traditional-styled facility served as a connection point between the new and existing buildings.
In the second phase a new 2,400-seat sanctuary was constructed near the front entry to the property. Church leaders asked designers to create a space that would emphasize fellowship, worship, and prayer as foundational elements of their church.
The previous sanctuary and administration buildings were razed and replaced with the Great Hall—a multipurpose area used for fellowship and community events. This area is quickly can be quickly transformed into a theater. This building also houses educational space for children, along with the Power House and Bible Land theaters.
This spacious sanctuary was designed to reflect the church’s contemporary and progressive style of worship with such elements as open rafters and exposed ductwork. A large tower with a rotunda at the entrance of the sanctuary keeps the flow of this massive structure fluid and inviting.
The wedge shaped 3,500-seat sanctuary with on-site parking contains a theatrical stage that was designed with acoustics in mind. Phase One of the Master Plan also includes the construction of educational space, a theater, a youth game room, a fellowship hall, and preschool.
Free Chapel Worship Center
Master Planning, Architecture, Design Build, Interior, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
2005 First Place Southeast Chapter of Design Build Institute of America
Four years before moving into their new worship center the leadership team of Dunwoody United Methodist asked CDH Partners to create a master plan that included the construction of a 1200-seat worship center. The facility features traditional, liner-seating.
It also includes space for administration and educational offices along with a choir rehearsal suite. The church’s liturgical style of worship set the pattern for the design that includes a large platform to accommodate the church’s processional.
The traditional colonial style designed worship center contains palladian windows that create an atmosphere of spaciousness and light. Designers incorporated a generous use of painted millwork for rich detail. The choir loft along with its refurbished pipe organ is located at the rear of the nave.
Acoustical engineers provided the highest level of design function when dealing with surfaces that includes a marble floor, wood, and an elliptical vaulted plaster ceiling. Audio and video controls including two large retractable screens are also discretely located in the loft. A catwalk hidden from view is above the ceiling providing technicians access to lighting and the retractable video screens.
Dunwoody United Methodist Church
Dunwoody, GA 30338