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Solomon Awards 2018 – Sanctuary Covenant Church (Church Building Design, Traditional and Contemporary)

Sanctuary Covenant Church intentionally sought a facility solution that would reflect and refresh their community with identity, connection, revitalization, sustainability, and economic and ethnic harmony in their rough urban neighborhood. They wanted to honor the local landscape and culture of North Minneapolis neighborhood while also establishing themselves as a center for hope for the surrounding area.

The selected lot, a previously underutilized site with condemned and empty buildings, boasted strong block architecture with opportunity for creativity in design and construction. One of the original structures on the property – a heavy block warehouse – was salvaged, becoming a part of the spacious , bright lobby of the church’s new worship center. The exposed ceilings and beams of the original structure reference the industrial roots of the North Minneapolis area while pointing to the innovation and new life being brought to the community.

This newly created facility, of 19,577 square feet, is constructed on what was to become a revitalized block in North Minneapolis transitions a residential neighborhood to the nearby commercial corridor of West Broadway. Pops of color provide graphic wayfinding, emphasize Sanctuary’s branding, and lighten the industrial elements. All interior spaces are multi-functional and mixed-use to provides an opportunity for the community to gather. Large expanses of glass bring in natural daylight and reflect the church’s values of transparency and openness. An aluminum and glass garage door replacement in an existing opening provides a connection to a future patio for community gathering.

The project honors the past and sets vision for the future for this North Minneapolis neighborhood.


• Adaptive-Reuse of existing block warehouse building with mezzanine level on tight urban site.

• 500 seat multi-use worship space with sound and projection system.

• Multi-use, “community” lobby with worship overflow and outdoor patio connection

• Multi-use meeting/gathering and education space (11 rooms total)

• Support systems including catering kitchen, restrooms, storage and mechanical

• Site work including bike parking, 25 parking stalls, storm water infiltration, sidewalks and landscaping

Technical Data:

• 2 Story, Type IIB Construction

• Color stained & anti-graffiti coated precast concrete exterior walls for the multi-use worship addition

• Randomized metal panel clad structural steel and steel studs for the two-story education addition

• Existing CMU block exterior walls for the multi-use lobby

• Completely new energy efficient mechanical and electrical systems

• LED lighting on sensors throughout

• Upgraded structure at the worship addition and conduit to allow future installation of roof-mounted photovoltaic panels

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