ANF is working with Evergreen Presbyterian to re-imagine what it means to be “church” today. The church left their beautiful, historic building to give Rhodes College the space they needed to grow and moved into a urban/commercial space located in the heart of the Evergreen neighborhood.
Our process began with an intensive master planning and programming phase in which we met with church members, elders, and staff to gather information so our design team could fully understand the vision, collaborate and translate it into a design that serves the church’s purposes while becoming an invaluable asset to the community.
One of the most important considerations expressed by all users was for the space to remain flexible, malleable, and open so that all kinds of people & groups can use it for a multitude of purposes throughout the week. The goal is to become a hub of community activity where church happens daily – not just on Sunday. The idea is to create a sense of awe and wonder in the everyday world, not a “retreat” space that is separate from the world, but a place that invites people to greet the holy in the midst of their everyday.
It is important the new space reflects the rich history of Evergreen Presbyterian. A key component in the exterior design is to incorporate Evergreen’s Historic Church Bell. Finding the right mix of cultural relevance and energy are critical to combat assumptions that could be made about a “storefront” church. The goal is to have an attractive, functional space that also lifts the spirit and inspires. While the building remains flexible and accessible for many different types of use, thoughtful & deliberate design elements signify that this is a holy space: a place set apart from the day-to-day.