Posted in From the Editor on August 13, 2015 9:14 am EDT

Church Buildings Aren’t What They Used to Be—They’re More

Architects, engineers and consultants work in disciplines that are intertwined -- "enter-twined" if you take into consideration the worship and performance space aspects of modern churches.

Watermark Community Church, Dallas. Architect: Omniplan. Photo by Peter Calvin.









Sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter Designer Today to stay up to date with all we do at Designer and with what's going on in the field of house of worship architecture.


TAGS: architectural design, avl design, collaboration, technology,


By Carol Badaracco Padgett

No one can deny that architecture and technology are inextricably linked; nowhere is that more evident than in today’s educational spaces—a focus of Church Designer's July/Aug issue. [Find the digital edition here: (visit link).]

Architects, engineers and consultants work in disciplines that are intertwined—“enter-twined” if you take into consideration the worship and performance space aspects of modern churches. These spaces entertain with theatrical and architectural lighting, video walls and other projection technology, and sound systems that both rock the music and intelligibly deliver the spoken message. They help immerse us in age-old concepts, new ideas and relevant spoken word that resonates with us throughout our busy weeks. And in another turn, these spaces serve as a place for quiet contemplation or private conversation in moments where we are unplugged and looking to engage with each other and settle into the environment itself.

Watermark Community Church in Dallas, our feature profile on p. 18 of the issue where we examine its Phase III expansion, exemplifies this “enter-twining” in its merging of architecture and technology. As Robert Rose, LEED AP and senior consultant and vice president of Idibri in Addison, Texas, notes: “One of the things we worked very closely on with [architect Omniplan] was: how do we allow them to continue to express [the Watermark theme] through the architecture, but at the same time make the room work well acoustically, or for technology? Because sometimes, those are in direct conflict.”

Throughout the rest of the JulyAug issue, we present stories that hopefully will help you, the church designer, resolve this conflict. On p. 30 we list projection equipment that has a strong following in churches across the country, from laser projection to ultra short throw and more. And on p. 26 we delve into AV for learning environments and look at the question of why today’s worship spaces are so tech-heavy when today’s church education spaces are oftentimes lean on technology. Yet, as writer Dan Daley point out in this piece, that is changing.

On p. 40 we look at signage and wayfinding. This topic too has undergone a merging in static materials and digital technology. Everywhere you look on a church campus today, you cannot have one without the other. As Eric Henry, signage solutions lead at Tightrope Media Systems in Saint Paul, Minn., says, “Video walls and large LED panels are also being deployed at large facilities where visual impact is key.”

Enjoy the issue and let us hear your feedback; it’s important to us and helps keep us abreast of topics affecting architecture and technology in the church setting. You can reach us at



What people are saying


 Add your comment:


Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?


Please enter the word you see in the image below: