PLACES OF WORSHIP: Northwest Church Remodel | Fresno, CA | Built
Designed at a time before the introduction of audio/visual technology to worship, the Sanctuary space of Northwest Church had become littered with overhead lighting trusses, speakers, and catwalks that diminished the character of the space as a place of worship. Finishes were dated and worn and the long fixed pews that allowed for “continental seating” with no intermediate aisle made entry and exit difficult. The architects were tasked with creating additional space for a new Lobby, a Bride’s Room, and Storage Room as well as upgrades to existing Toilet Rooms to meet current requirements of the American’s with Disabilities act. Space under existing exterior overhangs was captured to meet programmatic requirements for area expansion. The center of the Sanctuary roof was opened and a four sided clerestory was added. Motorized roller shades were installed to control natural light. The Worship Space can be darkened from controls located at the new A/V Control Room created at an underutilized mezzanine level. By introducing natural light to the space and allowing the ability to control its quality and character, the ambiance of the Sanctuary can be changed depending on the desired atmosphere for worship.