Conflict in the Church - Building, Money, and Stewardship

June 6, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

Money issues are complicated. It’s hard for a congregation to talk about money. It’s even harder to ask for it. You can expect any issues concerning building, money, and stewardship to produce conflict in the church. While it’s safe to say that the majority of us would like to have more money, perhaps that is all we agree upon. For example, some people think of credit card debt as an acceptable ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Church Change

Church Kitchens and Accessibility - 5 Issues to Consider

October 23, 2015 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Accessibility issues can be particularly complicated and challenging for churches.  When it comes to church kitchens and accessibility, there are a surprising number of gray areas in applying building codes and permitting requirements.  Here are five issues that need to be considered early in the planning of your kitchen:   Volunteers are not Employees and not all that goes on in a Church Kitchen ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Building Codes / Codes & Permitting

Successful Stained Glass Back-Lighting

October 7, 2015 by: Eric Mac Inerney

In the past, stained glass back-lighting has been quite difficult.  The fluorescent and incandescent light sources we had to work with created heat, were hard to access, and had color issues.  The stained glass never looked good compared to the natural lighting provided by sunlight.  However there are some new LED solutions that are making it much easier to have a beautiful installation without ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Liturgical Arts / Technology

Chapel of the Holy Cross Proves Architectural Ideas Take Time

December 11, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

How did an unrealized design concept for an urban cathedral eventually give rise to a desert chapel?  Some architectural ideas take a long time to develop, but this one really took some interesting twists and turns. This fall, I visited the Never Built:  Los Angeles show at the A+D Architecture & Design museum in Los Angeles.  I was surprised to discover an early, though vastly different, ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Modern Architecture / Architects and Construction / Design Process

Architectural Design Process Shared - Faith & Form Article

December 2, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

The national journal, Faith & Form, published Ben Heimsath's article "A Shared Process of Creation."  He wrote about the architectural design process as a collaborative venture.  A design created in a truly shared process has the potential to express a unique sense of spirituality.  The journal does not post on-line, so the editor has given us permission to copy the published article for ... Read More

Worship Space / Church Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Design Process / Building Committee / Master Plan

Architectural Watercolor Prompts Questions During Tour of Spain

August 11, 2013 by: Clovis Heimsath

What draws American architects to Europe, generation after generation? This question came to mind as we were leaving Madrid for Chicago, a long flight home after travel in Spain and Portugal. Maryann and I celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary with a tour around the coast of Spain and France.  We’ve been able to see much of Europe over many trips, but this was our first visit to Granada, ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Master Plan / Presentatons

Disappearing Steeples? Not These Churches!

June 23, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

How did I miss the eulogy for church steeples?  Apparently, in 2011, a reporter from US News and World Report noticed lots of disappearing steeples, and penned an article to mark the trend.  While there’s no question that some congregations have difficulty maintaining older buildings, our experience is that steeples, and similar structures, are increasingly important for churches and places of ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Historic Preservation

Church Steeple Restoration - Our Lady of Guadalupe in Austin

April 16, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

  The church steeple restoration at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Austin is nearly complete.  The project consisted of replacing most of the exterior materials on the original tower and restoring the original trim profiles.   The church called upon Heimsath Architect’s expertise when a portion of a column fell to the ground.  Originally constructed in the 1950’s, the church tower had been patched and ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Master Plan / Historic Preservation

The Church Design Process – Does It Look Like a Church?

March 21, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

In the early stages of a church design, when we begin working with congregation members, someone inevitably will say “I want this to look like a church.” In most instances, the person has a strong image in mind, often based on the church where they grew up.  The person may also be expressing displeasure with the current building, which, by implication, does not look like a church. But what should ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Design Process

The Master Plan - What It Does and Doesn't Do

September 18, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

Start a business without a business plan?  The fact is, you couldn't!  No one would lend money or invest in your business unless you laid out a clear vision for the venture.  A facilities master plan is just like a business plan, it is an essential first step for any significant building program.   All too often organizations and congregations jump into a building program with no master plan at ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Design Process / Master Plan / Site Development