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

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

What is a Narthex?

March 15, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

What is a Narthex? Why is it so important in church design? The Narthex is the entry space for worship. It is a space where all the worshippers gather together before and after service. The Catholic Bishops define the term in their publication, Built of Living Stones: “The narthex is a place of welcome—a threshold space between the congregation's space and the outside environment. In the early ... Read More

Holy Place / Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Design Process / Site Development

Austin Churches Designed by Heimsath Architects

January 20, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

Use this interactive map to see names and descriptions of Austin Churches designed by Heimsath Architects. View Heimsath Architects - Austin Area Churches in a larger map We've had a number of requests recently for tours to see Austin churches designed by Heimsath Architects. It has been very instructive to revisit some of these sites and to note how successful they have been for each ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Austin / Site Development

Simultaneous Use Makes Communities Livable

September 25, 2011 by: Ben Heimsath

Simultaneous Use is what makes a town or city great. As a senior designer, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Clovis Heimsath has been concerned with these issues for many years. He believes there is a new appreciation for the human scale in our communities. The architecture and planning professions have begun to place a higher premium on healthy interactions of people over the ... Read More

Sustainable Deisgn / Site Development

A Closed Street Can Have Surprising Benefits

June 1, 2011 by: Ben Heimsath

As a planning commissioner, I took a strong stance against street closures. In the late 90's, we had a wave of applications from builders trying to make their projects feel more exclusive. Those requests really bothered me. A public street is an essential connector that makes private properties into a city, town or neighborhood. If these requests had been approved, (and nearly all were denied) ... Read More

Building Codes / Site Development