Orland Park Christian Reformed Church

Project Details:

  • Overall design and construction
    budget: $3.87 million
  • Completion date: December 2017
  • Overall square footage renovated: 
    17,463 sq. ft.
  • Overall square footage added:
    663 sq. ft.
  • Renovation of lobby for better flow
    of traffic
  • Small entry vestibule addition
  • Sanctuary renovation, including new seating, windows, balcony, and AVL
  • New worship platform for better connection between pastor and congregation
  • Renovation and addition of restrooms
  • Renovation of nursery wing with updated security
  • New wayfinding signs and lighting for better visibility and flow

Project Background:

Orland Park Christian Reformed Church in Orland Park, Illinois, was built in 1970, and in the past three decades, the church building has undergone three major additions. Over the years, Orland Park found that there were several physical barriers inhibiting the worship experience.

In the sanctuary, there was a disconnect between the pastor and the congregation due to the nature of the existing worship platform, which was too high and not wheelchair accessible. The balcony didn’t lend itself well to good sight lines so the pastor was forced to stand at the back of the platform in order to be seen from the balcony.

There wasn’t enough existing pew seating, and it was outdated and in need of repair. The original windows were faught with energy performance issues and needed much repair. The existing Audio, Visual, and Lighting within the sanctuary required an update. 

Additionally, there were overall wayfinding and visibility issues throughout the dark and difficult to navigate church, and a lack of flexible connecting space. The existing nursery wing was dark and dreary, and was not serving the function of the church families, and its security was outdated and confusing. The existing restroom core was difficult to access and navigate and the women’s restroom was too small to handle traffic.


Project Results:

Aspen Group was called upon to address these issues in the form of a full renovation to the Sanctuary. The balcony was re-tiered, which gave the congregation a better sight line to the pastor, and allowed him to move freely on the platform and have closer proximity to the congregation on the main level. Additionally, the platform was renovated to incorporate a ramp for wheelchair accessibility.

New fold-down theater seats were added to the traditional pews, to appeal to multiple generations and preferences. New windows were added to increase energy performance as well as daylighting within the sanctuary. A new, state of the art AVL system was installed, the existing pipe organ received an intense overhaul, and camera updates were made to allow for live-streaming of the worship services online. Also included was a hearing loop system, which enables people with hearing disabilities to enjoy the service like they never could before.

Multiple areas within the narthex were opened up to maximize visibility and flow. Operable glass walls and new seating were incorporated to improve flexibility of the space. Aspen provided all new wayfinding signage and lighting to improve the overall navigation and visibility.

The women’s restroom was doubled in size and new men’s and family restrooms were added, each equipped with handicapped push-button doors to maximize accessibility.

Orland Park is now positioned to better enable the worship of God, be more accessible and guest-friendly, facilitate better connection between people, and enhance the experience of families.


Additional Images


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