- Completion date: October 2021
- Approximate project cost: 1.7 million
- Renovation: 10,000 sq. ft.
- New entry configuration
- Open lobby space with coffee bar
- 200-seat worship venue with adjoining family room
- Safe kid's check-in area with nursery, mother's room, classrooms, and large group gathering space
- Core of ADA accessible restrooms
The Search for a Permanent Home:
The Orchard Vernon Hills campus had been meeting in a local hotel—not an ideal situation—but when a vacant office building became available, The Orchard called upon us to help them renovate with a goal of having a “full Sunday experience” on the first floor. As construction ramped up, they continued to meet in the hotel space, but when Covid hit, they were faced with a decision to vacate their temporary space. But where could they find another short-term space to meet and worship until construction was completed?
The set-up of their new building answered the need. A second entrance allowed for a path into the building and up a set of stairs to the second floor—completely avoiding the construction area. The congregation was able to meet and worship on-site of their future new home while construction continued on—what we call “Ministry in the Dust.”
A Full Sunday Experience on the First Floor:
This former medical office building, with its sterile atmosphere and cramped corridors, wasn’t a welcoming environment for the kind of church experience The Orchard was looking for, so we worked on opening up the space to create better flow and a natural traffic pattern. Upon entry, a bright and open lobby and café space invites people to connect. Soft seating, mixed with high- and low-top tables, provide options for gathering to build relationships. There are clear sight lines from the lobby and worship spaces to the kid’s check-in area, which includes a nursery, mother’s room, classrooms, and a large group gathering space. The intimate 200-seat worship venue is flanked with windows, and includes an adjacent family room with a glass window.
Because the building had previously been an office, the space didn’t have the typical core of men’s and women’s restrooms, so they opted for groupings of ADA accessible family restrooms in the lobby and kid’s space on the first floor, giving them greater flexibility.