The new home for ChristChurch Presbyterian is at a prominent corner on Peachtree Street, the main north-south local axis through Atlanta. This community church acts as a gateway between the Downtown Arts District and the mixed-use hub of Buckhead.
The congregation asked us to solve three key issues: a) to create a sanctuary for 925 worshipers; b) to create an urban church that is welcoming and approachable to support the church’s mission of outreach to the diverse community that they serve; and c) to satisfy a complex program, which includes an art gallery, twenty-one children’s and youth classrooms, seven adult classrooms, offices and a public café.
The contemporary design includes recycling a 1960s office building for the classroom part of the program. An intimate light-filled multi-purpose sanctuary, in an amphitheater configuration, is expressed on the exterior as a separate form. A new art gallery and lobby extend along the length of the building ending in a dramatic two-story space with an open stair linking the different levels. At Peachtree Street is a new pavilion, with cross tower, which houses the offices and a ground level café. A new courtyard entry is created at the corner as a transition from the busy urban street to the contemplative character of the church.
Reinforcing the desire for a modern non-traditional feel for the church, the additions are clad in large scale porcelain tile, which are set in a bold pattern enlivening the exterior and creating a dramatic addition to the Atlanta streetscape.
Associate Architect – Atlanta: Tunnell, Spangler & Walsh Architects