University Presbyterian Church
Suzanne Turner Associates worked with the University Presbyterian Church community to envision a new approach to their campus master plan. The design team held a charrette with committee members to gather ideas and input. Through the vetting of several schematic design options, a final design was chosen which provides a new playground, entry courtyard, fountain, columbarium, and parking area.
Church officials required as much parking as possible to accommodate daily visitors, weekend services, and special events such as weddings and funerals. Parking requirements were analyzed and streamlined with thirty three percent, or 5,760 square feet identified as overflow needed for Sunday services. Since those spaces would only be used on weekends, a gravel-pave pervious surface was chosen to further capture water and filter it prior to reaching nearby University Lake. Additionally, 93% of parking lot runoff is collected and slowed in vegetated swales prior to being released into the city sewer system.
The design team was able to achieve the intended goal of creating a new entry experience where the visitor symbolically leaves the worldly environment and enters into a restful transition space. This space prepares them to enter into the spiritual world of the sanctuary.