Fellowship Bible Church is a large, non-denominational church located in west Little Rock. Their original site was comprised of a cluster of buildings with little spatial definition between them. The church purchased 60 acres with the goal of getting their entire congregation under one roof in order to facilitate interaction within their multi-congregational community.
The church had two potentially opposing goals. They wanted to park almost two thousand cars as close as possible to the building. In addition to that, they also wanted to create a park-like environment on this site, with a program that included a large playground, volleyball court, koi pond, exterior baptismal and fountain, meditation garden, amphitheater and a large recreational field to be used by soccer and football leagues. The challenge was to do this while staying within their somewhat modest budget of $750,000 to plant 60 acres.
The architect’s design concept for the building is essentially four simple rectilinear buildings arranged upon a cross axis corridor which is bent; also within this axis is a series of arcs which accents the bend of the axis. The design concept for the site plan played upon this theme by extending those lines and letting the extensions create the geometries of the paving and planting areas at the four main entrances. The patterning of the paving was accomplished using simple concrete with three finishes: broom, sandblast and terrazzo.
The perimeter of the site was designed as a simple tree and grass landscape. The north quarter of the site is graded to be a large recreational field. This field is commonly occupied by children (church members and non-members) playing soccer, football, Frisbee or flying kites. The sloped areas of the perimeter were designed to be a “no mow” zone, planted with native grasses and trees to reduce water consumption and maintenance requirements.
The resulting site meets all of the program needs of the church in a way that provides visual interest and contains planting which varies greatly by season. Most importantly, the site acts as an outreach to the surrounding community by providing a park-like setting with activities that families can enjoy together.
Fellowship Bible Church was last modified: November 19th, 2014 by Jay Young