Grace Bible Church began as a small group of believers who were committed to bringing celestial hope to the great city of Ann Arbor.
Project: Grace Bible Church Entry Addition
Size: 2,800 SF
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Client: Grace Bible Church Ann Arbor Architect
Partners: Robert Darvas Associates / Structural Engineering O’Neal Construction / Construction Manager
The idea of a healthy church family that could gather and grow the congregation in the midst of a culturally and educationally vibrant city like Ann Arbor fueled those early GBC members, and as the city grew so too did the church, relocating several times before landing on South Maple Rd. in 1971. After several years of ‘making due’ with the existing facility, Church leadership began a campaign to correct several deficiencies with the aging building, beginning with a unified entrance and social space for the congregation.
Located at the highest point in the City of Ann Arbor, the new addition is sited to form a contiguous gallery program across the church facade to unify the existing disconnected entrances of the original building. Access to natural light, development of social/gathering space, and consolidation of internal circulation were of paramount importance.
The form of the new gallery addition slopes sharply to the north forming an occulus which takes full advantage of views into the adjacent woods and provides access to an outdoor patio for social gathering in during the warmer months.
A large expanse of acid-etched glazing screens views eastward, towards the existing parking lot while providing and large amounts of indirect natural daylight to penetrate the entire gallery. In the evening this volume of translucent glass glows warm and bright, creating a highly visible lantern along Maple Rd.