Working with a similar design language as the existing building and a “warehouse” theme adopted by the student ministry, the Student Center was designed with the help of Waldon Studio Architects to create fun and engaging spaces for youth.
The addition redefines the first impression that visitors have as they drive up, producing an inviting identity for the southeast side of the building. The industrial warehouse feel was created with exposed steel, masonry, cable railings, and large windows, and is balanced with wood accents and colorful elements fitting with the church’s branding.
Numerous gathering and activity environments were designed throughout the Student Center to form places for students to connect with each other and adult leaders.
The café seats around 100 people at a high-top counter and tables where students can get a snack or beverage before an event. The 300-seat student auditorium integrates state-of-the-art AV equipment and acoustic treatments, for a contemporary worship experience and small concerts. The central gathering area is set up with gaming tables, seating areas, and shipping containers on the mezzanine, housing video game consoles and casual seating. A “social stair” extends from within the building to the exterior, forming an indoor/outdoor amphitheater that serves as both a hangout and teaching space. The exterior patio provides an place for outdoor activities and is protected by a deep cantilevered canopy.
The Children’s Wing addition on the west side of the building adds new classrooms and a special fourth/fifth grade room, named the U.S.S. Annapolis. Fitting in with the children’s ministry’s “underwater” theme, the room was designed to resemble the inside of a submarine and arranged to serve two functions: large group worship utilizing the stage, video, and lighting, and small group time where children sit at restaurant-style booths with a leader for discussion and crafts.