Best of Concrete Masonry

Door Creek Church Addtion

The Door Creek Church congregation outgrew the original facility built in 2000, and needed to transform their campus to respond to their ministry needs.  This project involves a new atrium with a cafe, a variety of seating areas, a Fireside Room, a 300 seat Chapel, and a lower level containing new classrooms, meeting spaces and a Youth Large Group Venue.  The existing facility was remodeled extensively, transforming the Atrium, Auditorium, Library and Children’s Ministry area.

The Project team consisting of Church staff and leaders, NCI Roberts, and Strang Architects, Engineers and Interior Designers, collaborating successfully to create this project within a modest budget. 


The site plan design is respectful to the surrounding topography.  The radial geometry of the parking lot and drives follow the contours of the site and focus the new chapel as the focal point of the campus.  Landscaped terraced parking help break up the paved area of the parking, creating a pleasing foreground to the facility.  An amphitheater provides a venue for outdoor worship services and performances.  Cut and fill was balanced to maximize economy of the sitework costs by eliminating the need to transport earth on or off the site.


The new skylit Atrium provides a welcoming front door with a Welcome Center and a variety of seating areas for fellowship over a cup of coffee.  The Atrium consists of a higher middle space flanked by more intimate spaces with lower ceilings that provide comfortable spaces to interact.  The Atrium is thoughtfully designed to balance community and privacy, providing a variety of spaces with varying degrees of definition and privacy.  The rhythm of the 30’x30’ column grid provides a sense order to the space and definition to the variety of spaces in the atrium.  An arched stone fireplace at the west end of the atrium provides a focal point to the space, while helping provide definition and privacy to the Fireside Room without the use of doors.  The stone fireplace and the voussoirs of the arch were carefully designed and crafted to compliment the proportion and scale of the atrium. Picture rails integrated into the design and gallery quality lighting provide excellent facilities for the display of art.


The creation of a 300 seat Chapel was in response to the need for a worship space for their traditional service, as well as a venue for weddings and funerals.  The form and massing of the Chapel reflects the existing facility, and elevates it to a more transcendent level.  Deep overhangs pick up on roof forms of the existing facility and provides diffuse cool daylight into the chapel.  The Chapel is intentionally designed to be the focal point of the Church campus and the anchor of the overall massing and composition of the building. The exterior walls are constructed of three colors of split face concrete masonry units that are composed to reinforce the scale and massing of the building.  A cross crafted from the three colors of CMU graces the exterior of the Chapel Chancel.

Carefully crafted stone clad piers anchor and frame the interior space of the Chapel, creating an atmosphere of warmth, permanence and transcendence.  The stone piers provide a solid base and visual support for the steel structure and wood ceiling of the chapel.

Acoustics was a form-giver to the design of the Chapel. The multi-faceted reflective planes that define the space serves to reflect and diffuse sound, enabling congregants to hear themselves singing.  This space was designed for longer reverberation times, acoustic instruments, and vocal music.  The Chapel has turned out to be an excellent venue for acoustic music.  The use of clear Birch plywood clouds and exposed structural beams and curved knee braces that animate the ceiling plane was an economical design strategy, turning the need for frugality into an aesthetic virtue.  The excellent acoustics, daylight streaming through three levels of windows and views out to the landscape come together to create a truly transcendent space.

Mechanical and accessibility code requirements are seamlessly integrated into the design of the Chapel.  Supply ducts into chapel are housed in an octagonal bulkhead ring that reflects and reinforces the octagonal geometry of the chancel.  The door connects the required accessible ramp to the Chancel platform and is carefully integrated into the wood paneling and trim detailing of the chancel wall, so that it is indistinguishable from any of the other wood panels.


The project team successfully handled the challenge of phasing construction in order to facilitate the continued use of the facility all through the construction and remodeling.  Through the careful staging and scheduling of the project by NCI Roberts, worship services and church ministries continued and flourished throughout the construction process.

The existing building has been remodeled extensively, transforming it so that there is a seamless transition between new and old.  An anecdote that is very satisfying is the number of congregants that continue to say that they cannot determine where the original front door used to be, and where the new one begins.  The new finishes and trim have been integrated into the public spaces of the existing facility and a new, light filled cafe has been created at the south end of the existing atrium.  In the words of Lead Pastor Marc Maillefer, “We did not just gain 38,000 square feet of additional space, we now have a brand new 87,000 square foot facility.”

Architect: Stang, Inc

WMA Producer/Supplier: County Materials Corporation