Studio RED recently earned a Solomon Award in the Sanctuary Design category for Holy Spirit Episcopal Church. The WFX Solomon Awards recognize churches and their partners for excellence in facilities design, building expansion or remodeling, operational excellence, innovative use and technical production.
Holy Spirit Episcopal Church
Studio RED was selected to renovate the existing 10,700-square foot sanctuary building for Holy Spirit Episcopal Church and to design a 1,000-square-foot community room/parlor addition constructed west of the existing building. The renovation and modernization of the existing sanctuary improves accessibility, increases natural lighting, and improves audibility of the spoken word and music through modifications to the sanctuary finishes and choir loft walls. This project was Phase One of the Holy Spirit campus master plan, also developed by Studio RED. The team developed the master plan through a series of weekly meetings with key groups from the church and school and structured the plan to be implemented in multiple phases based on the church’s financial and fundraising capacity.
Updates made in the sanctuary building include removing existing carpet and adding stone at the aisles in the 350-seat sanctuary and throughout the narthex, refurbishing and respacing the pews, revising and supplementing interior lighting, and modifying and raising supply air ducts to allow for an unobstructed view of existing stained-glass panels. The center aisle was widened to increase accessibility and wheelchair seating locations were added. The narthex at the south side of the nave was opened up for improved visual access and a hearing loop was installed to assist individuals with reduced ranges of hearing.
The addition of acoustical room shaping on the choir loft walls enhances sound projection of the choir voices and distributes sound more clearly throughout the sanctuary. Finishes were also updated in the Sanctuary and adjoining church spaces to support the function of the church. Renovations made to the 8,500-square-foot sanctuary/nave area and 1,200-square-foot choir loft reveal a bright, open, and inviting space that welcomes patrons visually, auditorily, and functionally. Sanctuary finishes and choir loft wall improvements enhance the overall acoustical experience for the congregation through increased music projection of the choir and clearer spoken word projected from the chancel.
The new 1,000-square-foot addition constructed west of the Sanctuary building includes a community room/parlor and an enlarged accessible women’s restroom. The existing men’s and women’s restrooms that were in a space adjacent to the narthex were demolished and replaced with an enlarged accessible men’s restroom. The new community room/parlor provides the church with much-needed meeting space that serves a wide range of church groups. With the community room/parlor located adjacent to the enlarged women’s restroom, the parlor can also serve as a bride’s room for weddings with the restroom for the bridal party conveniently located across the vestibule. The parlor will also serve as a family room at funerals, a place where bereaved family members can gather together before and after the service.
About Studio RED Architects
Studio RED Architects was founded in 2004 because of a desire to create an architecture firm that was different and better. The company is dedicated to creating innovative designs that can be built within budget, providing hands-on principal involvement throughout the entire process and remaining a client-driven company rather than ego-driven. Studio RED Architects is a nationally-recognized award-winning firm and was named the 2015 AIA Houston Firm of the Year.