St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran Church operated as two adjacent, but distinct buildings a sanctuary and a separate educational building. Additions and renovations integrated the two buildings into one seamless experience for the congregation.
The three-story addition improved significant bottlenecks in the buildings, which previously curtailed congregation and conversation before and after services. An undersized small side entry vestibule into the sanctuary is supplemented with the construction of new front and rear entries. Both entries offer handicapped accessible pathways from the exterior to two floor levels. Inside the building, a new 5-stop elevator provides an accessible pathway from the new entries to all three floor levels. A visually open interior environment beckons those entering from either entrance into the new centrally located Welcome Center. This gathering space replaces the existing narrow bridge corridor connecting the two buildings, creating a relaxed casual seating area and a coffee bar – encouraging interaction and forging a stronger congregation.
The new entry stairs, elevator, and handicapped accessible toilet rooms support the welcome center, sanctuary and meeting rooms; offering accessibility for all ages to each all space within the building. Renovations to the existing education building include new lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and fresh finishes in the reception hall, kitchen, corridors and offices in the education building.
2018 Bucks County AIA Honorable Mention Award
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