Worship Facilities Awards is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Solomon Awards 2019 – First Baptist Church Muskogee (Church Sanctuary Design [Non AVL technology focused] Traditional and Contemporary)

First Baptist Church Muskogee was filled with rich, historically significant architecture, but had developed some unique problems since it’s last renovation 30 years earlier. The church was adamant about preserving the history of their building, while updating the space for today’s multigenerational audiences and worship styles. Paragon 360 recommended a holistic approach that would involve a change in the acoustical feel of the space, new seating, changes to architectural lighting, new color palettes, opening the lobby up to the sanctuary and all new audio, video, lighting systems.

In an effort to strengthen the coordination and control cost, Paragon 360 brought architectural services to the project through its architectural partner, Torgerson Design Partners. The addition of Torgerson made the process easier, and simplified proceedings for First Baptist Muskogee.

As Bob Coburn, the chairman of Muskogee’s renovation Committee stated, “Having Paragon provide the architectural services through Torgerson Design Partners made for a very seamless experience that was a real advantage to us. Paragon has the expertise, knowledge and just seems to have a handle on everything it takes to transform these spaces.”

The end product that Paragon 360 delivered for First Baptist Muskogee was a great example of respecting the history of the facility and the wishes of the church, while perfectly executing their vision and creating tasteful, modern improvements that ensured the sanctuary would be relevant to multi-generational worship styles for many years to come.

“It takes much more than audio, video and lighting to change the experience in a space and create new engaging environments” stated Donnie Brawner, Paragon 360 CEO. “Ultimately we are trying to improve and enhance the connection and engagement felt in the space. To achieve this in that particular room, we have to touch almost all the elements of the space, especially when much of the original architecture is remaining.”

One of the biggest changes to the space was the seating. Paragon 360 designed and provided new theatrical style seating with elegant pew ends. This allowed for more seats than the traditional pew and better mobility throughout the space, because of the increased aisle size with theatrical seating. The custom, wood pew ends blended the seat rows with the more traditional architecture, while still giving it a modern flare.

Paragon 360 changed the paint schemes in the previously all-white room. Rich colors and contrasting neutrals were used to highlight the original architecture of the space while combining it with a more modern design. Columns in the space were highlighted in contrasting colors. The ceiling paint schemes were designed to help conceal modern technology. New flooring was selected that included modular carpet tiles and wood toned LVT that was used to pull in more of the rich wood tones, all of which combined to modernize the space. The new color schemes and associated wood tones brought warmth to the room which it desperately needed from its original condition.

One of the other big transformations of the space included the acoustical feel of the room.

The initial sanctuary space had many acoustical challenges that had to be overcome before any new audio system would be functional. All of the walls in the room were completely covered with new FabriTRAK acoustical product that increased control of the room and completely change the environment. The material not only allowed us to control the acoustics, but it also went along way towards helping us change and modernize the aesthetics of the space. On the balcony face the original molding was used to encase new acoustical material allowing, once again blending the old with the new.

The original under-balcony space felt dark, secluded and closed off. Paragon 360 transformed this space by replacing the back wall of the sanctuary with glass, opening it up to a fresh new lobby. New paint schemes, lighting, raised ceilings and new ceiling speakers greatly enhanced the under-balcony experience.

Paragon 360 provided custom scenic and staging elements that helped modernize the space while carefully blending the old and new architecture, such as a new pulpit. These elements included illuminated modesty walls that cleaned up the stage look and allowed for flexibility in the stage design.

The back wall originally featured some molding elements that Paragon 360 replaced with illuminated elements that created depth and dimension off the back wall and utilized the same molding. New screen surrounds were created to look just like the original ones even though they were designed and built them to house new LED walls. The original arch over the stage space was lit with low profile LED lighting.

New LED architectural lighting throughout the space brought color, warmth and much more intensity to the space which added great depth to the transformation. The stage was redesigned, re-surfaced and enlarged while keeping with the original shape. Automated blinds at the stain glass windows surrounding the room now allow for the natural light to be blocked when service needs require.

Paragon 360 led the redesign efforts, along with provision and installation of all seating, custom scenic and staging elements, acoustics, automated blinds, new audio, video and lighting systems and interior design services. Paragon 360’s partner, Torgerson Design Partners, provided all of the master planning and architectural design services for the project. The partnership ensured that First Baptist Muskogee’s goal of modernizing their sanctuary while maintaining their historical architecture was met, while project delivery was on-time and on-budget.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *