Midland Bible Church’s vision and values of “a family of faith lived out in the world,” were captured in subtle yet powerful ways in its new campus designed by the Beck Group.
WFM Staff · August 1, 2014
Midland Bible Church’s vision and values as “a family of faith lived out in the world” were captured in subtle, yet powerful ways in its new campus, which was designed by the Beck Group. Through simple forms, natural materials, light, transparency and creative functionality, the design enhances and communicates the church’s identity.
Midland Bible’s decision to relocate was prompted by an old facility that was inadequate for the church’s vision. The Beck Group team used a collaborative and experiential design process to lead the church in identifying its strategic mission goals and in creating a master plan and facility concept that reflected those goals.
The heart of the church’s life and campus — and the focal point of Beck’s design — is a central, interior “community plaza,” which connects the different ministry and building components. Practically, this community plaza serves as the primary entry and circulation area, lobby for the worship center and place for formal activities, including public baptism services and dinners. The space also was designed to support spontaneous, but essential, Sunday and weekly meeting opportunities for church members and guests.
Relocation (Midland Bible Church)
Project Size: 301-800 seats
Completion Date: April 2, 2013
The Beck Group’s design of the “community plaza” creates a transparent, glass-faced side of the space, fronting the main views to the neighborhood and entrance street, enabling the life of the church to be fully seen. To further engage and connect with the community, the internal plaza’s functions move outward from the building with a large porch and front “lawn.” This integrates the interior and exterior space of the church functionally and visually, reaching the community and supporting the life of the congregation.
Connecting to the community plaza is a 500-seat worship center, spaces for children, student and adult ministries, bookstore and administration. These spaces all were equipped to provide multiple functions as well, maximizing the church’s investment in its first phase of a new campus.
The forms and materials of the building also further the ideas of home, family and faith. Wood, slate, stone, metal and other materials create a natural, authentic and friendly touch. Pitched roof forms appear to float over lower the horizontal building elements, enabling the building to both blend into the surrounding neighborhood scale and to feel set apart as a special, more sacred place.
Natural light was also an important design element, in the worship area as well as other building areas, to help communicate an open, warm and celebratory experience. The local semi-desert climate and intense sun made the use of natural light challenging. Beck’s design incorporated glass in strategic areas, enabling natural light to penetrate extensively throughout the building. Careful orientation of the building and use of deep roof overhangs enable the benefits of natural light while providing a comfortable and energy-efficient design. During the evenings, illumination from inside the building flows outward through the same glass openings, making the facility an appealing beacon of life to the community.