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The Orchard Evangelical Free Church

Project Details:

  • Construction Completed: Winter 2017
  • Renovation: 43,000 sq. ft.
  • New lobby and café remodel
  • Kids area check-in and basement remodel
  • Library area expanded and moved
    to the front lobby
  • Wayfinding, branding, and signage
    by Fishhook
  • New Family room
  • New space for “Unlocking the Bible” Moody Radio resource in connection with lobby action center
  • Gym
  • Mother’s room
  • Family bathroom
  • Multi-purpose room
  • Worship Central space used for sanctuary storage
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Project Background:

Deep love for church. Passion for worship. Drive for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. All of these things define The Orchard Church and its congregation. Their mission: “To glorify God by multiplying God-centered, Christ-exalting, world-transforming believers through the gospel in the greater Chicago area and around the world.”

As part of fulfilling their calling as a church, The Orchard launched four new sites between 2010—2017 from the original Arlington Heights campus. To thrive in this next chapter of their story, the church’s leadership recognized that it needed the Arlington Heights campus to be a vibrant, growing, sending campus—the center of an expanding multisite church. Turning the Arlington Heights campus into a 21st century space was a key step to ensuring The Orchard would live out its mission.

The Arlington Heights campus had received little attention or updating, however, to keep it fresh and functional. The Orchard could no longer thrive at this location and provide central services to its other campuses.

Aspen set to work on creating space for ministry impact at The Orchard. After embarking on a deep Discovery process to uncover key ministry priorities that would drive design-build-furnish decisions, the main sanctuary rose to the top of the list, followed by fellowship space/café, and a better welcoming experience for new families, especially visitors with kids. Ultimately, the church needed more space overall for their congregation of 1,600 people.

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Project Results:

Aspen’s new design maintains the reverent feel of the sanctuary, while maximizing the space to make room for approximately 100 more people per service, so as many people as possible have a chance to hear the gospel and worship together.

The lobby and café space give attendees and members a warm and welcoming place to land and “do life together,” a key part of The Orchard’s core ministry. No longer do people feel the need to rush out of the building immediately after worship. It’s a fantastic meeting and transitioning space for before, after, and in between services. More and more people are taking advantage of this inviting, comfortable space, and it has significantly improved The Orchard’s first impression to new guests and visitors. Families use it as their meet-up spot, and more individuals migrate here on the weekdays for meetings or to have a quiet work space.

Before Aspen redesigned The Orchard’s children’s space, it looked and felt like the basement it was in. There were long, narrow, cramped corridors, which made dropping off and picking up kids challenging. There was no additional space for parents to stay and visit while their kids played after services. Now, the space is bright and highly functional. Parents are thrilled with how this space has been transformed. Because there is so much more room, parents can actually congregate to visit or even work while their kids play. It has a welcoming and open feel, and it’s much easier to navigate. Clear signage puts visiting parents at ease.

Ministry is being facilitated and life together is happening at The Orchard. People are hanging out at church where they didn’t before. Business meetings, play dates, and fellowship are happening in a multitude of new spaces. People are enjoying the space to gather as opposed to just using it for events.

The Orchard’s newly renovated space will help the church continue to live out its mission of bearing fruit, not just at the current campuses, but in many to come.

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Additional Images

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Ready to Get Started?

Feel free to reach out to us at any time. We’d be happy to discuss the vision for your church and how we could help!