Churches and Natural Disasters -Trends With Not so Obvious Impacts on Church Design

January 05, 2018 by: Ben Heimsath

Considering so many events last year were so unprecedented I’ve been thinking about the effects of all these changes. A number of not so obvious trends are poised to have big impacts on the built environment. What's more, these trends may change the way we understand spiritual places and worship environments. Salem Lutheran Church in Houston - Rising waters spared the new sactuary, but old ... Read More

Church Design & Construction

Deadly Church Roof Collapse in Nigeria

December 10, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Shocking news this evening of a church roof collapsing and killing as many as 60 people. Reigners Bible Church was under construction, but a service was being held under the incomplete structure when it collapsed on the assembly. Early reports suggest there may be more deceased and many more injured. News of a collapsed structure, sadly, is not that uncommon in Nigeria where lax standards and ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Church Demolition

House of Religions, a Place of Shared Faith in Bern

November 29, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, and an Alevite all went to their place of worship -- and it was the same place! That means they were in Bern, Switzerland where an inspired idea that began over 15 years ago has blossomed into a vibrant institution. The House of Religions is a mixed-use facility constructed jointly by faith groups that share a heritage in the local community. In ... Read More

Worship Space / Church Design & Construction / Religious

Worship Facilities Entries Don’t Measure Up

October 22, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Features on the Worship Facilities newsletter and website offer a snapshot of current trends or cutting edge ideas in church design. Targeted to a largely evangelical Christian audience, recent features have ranged from branding (for both the ministry and the pastor) to evaluations of seating options. The current Worship Facilities feature on church entries, with its emphasis on covered drop-offs ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Worship Spaces

Looking For Sacred Space at WFX

September 26, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

The excitement of attending last week’s WFX 2016 conference in Louisville continues. One observation, stays with me as I recall the intensive gathering of many evangelical and growth church leaders. Other than youth gatherings, this is probably the youngest assemblage of church leaders I’ve attended recently. And by young, I mean under 50, since that’s often the youngest crowd at many church ... Read More

Holy Place / Church Design & Construction / Religious

Ark Encounter is One Big Boat

July 14, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

If you had 800 acres in rural Kentucky, $100,000,000 and 3.1 million board feet of lumber, what would you be doing? Making the largest wood structure in the world, of course! That building would be the Ark Encounter theme park that opened on July 7 in Williamstown, Kentucky. Building Design and Construction just featured this project on its online news site. There’s been a lot of controversy ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Sacred Symbols

Study Shows Non-Churched Don’t Like Going to Church!

July 07, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

How do people feel about churches and why should that matter? There’s a big concern among church leaders that many Americans are turning away from congregations and church membership. This non-churched group is growing in size and diversity. The Pew Research Religious Landacape Survey showed that the fastest growing group were those who answered “None,” when asked about religious affiliation. A ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Worship Spaces

Lessons From Rebuilding Palmyra and Displaying Calder

June 02, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

The British publication, the Spectator, has an interesting article from Nicholas Mayes supporting the rebuilding of ancient monuments in Palmyra that were willfully destroyed by ISIS. Mayes was responding to another editorialist arguing against the rebuilding, suggesting it would be a fakery. A re-created temple, the argument goes, wouldn’t be the real artifact and therefore should be ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Historic Preservation

Shuttered Church Is a Sign of Greed

April 26, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

There’s something just a bit upsetting about visiting an empty church building. The property in Universal City on Kitty Hawk Road had a “For Sale” sign in front, so I stopped to take a look around. Google maps still lists this location as the home of Emmanuel Baptist Church and Radiance Academy of Learning. Faded lettering on the marquee sign in front can just be deciphered, “Shekinah Learning ... Read More

Church Design & Construction

Waco Bowling Alley Converted To Grace Church

April 10, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

For sixty years, this building was a bowling alley, but today was its first day as a church. I’ve blogged about a several churches in converted facilities. Some are more successful than others. Grace Church of Waco seems to be a great fit for this adapted reuse location. I stopped by in the afternoon at the suggestion of a member of nearby Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, (thanks for the tip!). She ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Adaptive Re-use