The program for the Lakewood Ranch Church Renovation Project had several phases to address key issues with the functionality of an existing worship facility. The existing church had a combination of outdated common areas as well as shell spaces which had never been built out. In the first phase we reimagined the main entrance and lobby as well as created an administrative center in one of the shell spaces.
In the second phase we reworked and reorganized the main outdoor areas adjacent to the lobby, providing a logical entry sequence and as well as a series of dedicated spaces for different types of gatherings. The front courtyard was divided into two areas, splitting an overly large expanse of concrete into two distinct programmatic zones.. The main divide was created by a linier fountain designed to direct arriving parishioners towards the appropriate bank of entry doors. The other side of the fountain created an outdoor seating area adjacent to a new coffee bar on the far end of the lobby.
The rear courtyard on the south side of the lobby was particularly challenging due to its exposure. The client had attempted to create a playground and field on this side of the church, but found it underutilized for the lack of shade. Our solution for this area was a set of interlinked canopy benches. The benches were designed to create a cool microclimate for parents with a vantage point to children using either the playground adjacent to the church or a large field further the south. The benches also were arranged to create a memorial garden. The memorial garden includes a green wall highly visible from the lobby, an invitation to draw parishioners from the lobby.