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: Ben 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

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

Architectural 3D Design - My Personal Perspective

January 16, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

A half century ago I was an expert at drawing 3D images with a T-square and triangle. Architects drew on large sheets of vellum or mylar with sharp pencil leads and precise technical pens. The process of laying out a 3-D drawing started by locating the horizon line. We worked from a 2D plan and would then project from the elevations by manually taking each line to the proper vanishing point. We ... Read More

Design Process / Master Plan / Presentatons / Promotion

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 all. ... Read More

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

Sacred Place is Home For The Arts

August 31, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

In the early 1970s our firm had just completed an innovative branch library in a developing area of Northwest Houston. It was an instant community success and shortly thereafter the pastor of a local church, Glen Wilkerson met with me to share his vision for a new kind of church ministry. He wanted to create a sacred place that would also be a home for the arts. Cypress Creek Christian Church ... Read More

Holy Place / Worship Space / Church Design & Construction / Artists / Design Process / Master Plan

The Essentials of Master Planning - Working With Congregations

July 30, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

This is the final in the a three-part series on master planning with congregations. The success of the master plan can determine the outcome of a congregation's building program. The time and effort spent in master planning raises important issues early. Participants should help set the vision and establish realistic expectations for the building program to follow. 7. Zoning and development ... Read More

Design Process / Building Committee / Master Plan

Church Design Starts with a Good Master Plan - More Essentials

July 27, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

This is the second article in a three-part series on church master planning. The success of any church design can depend on the effectiveness of the master planning process. Here are more of the 10 Essentials of a great Master Plan: 4. Community involvement program. If your congregation doesn't support the program, it will virtually go nowhere! How the members bring their creativity and ideas ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Building Committee / Master Plan

Master Planning for Congregations - 10 Essentials

July 10, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

With this post, we begin a three-part series on what it takes to produce a great Master Plan. If you'd like to have a copy of all 10 Essentials, you may download them now. The Master Plan is a crucial first step when a church or religious community prepares for a building program. The success of the Master Plan can determine the success of all the later steps of design, fundraising and ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Adaptive Re-use / Campus Architecture / Building Committee / Master Plan / Presentatons / Site Development

The Church and Development - What's Missing Here?

May 11, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

After the 2nd World War, many cities in Europe were rebuilt as New Towns. These developments were based on many of the principals of the Garden City Movement, promoted by Ebenezer Howard. These New Towns became an important precedent for American suburbs, though most often without the encumbrances of the European regulatory environment. But we missed one thing the Europeans got right. The church ... Read More

Holy Place / Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Design Process / Master Plan