church architecture

Finding the Right Commercial Architect for Your Church

If your church is ready for a new building, you and your building committee have a lot of work to do before breaking ground. One of the most important steps is finding the right commercial architect, ideally one with experience in worship center design. Of course, finding one you and your building committee feel comfortable with is important as well. Once you’ve chosen a few to interview and have initial conversations scheduled, you’ll need to prepare for those meetings. Being prepared will help you and the architect know if you are a good match.

Before Your Calls

At this point, you don’t need to discuss specific details. The architecture firms will need an overview of what you are looking for. Being able to share information from this list is sufficient for a first or second meeting.

  • What do you want your facility to look like from the outside? Today’s churches look vastly different from those a century ago. Find some examples of what you may want your building to look like on the outside.
  • Why are you building a new facility? Most commercial architects hear one of two answers: their current space isn’t sufficient and there is nowhere to put an addition, or they are a new church ready to start on their own building.
  • What are your interior space needs? This question includes many answers. While you are interviewing architecture firms, you can have a list that includes an overview such as size of sanctuary, additional rooms for children and youth groups, whether you want a fellowship hall, and what sort of narthex you envision.
  • If you have things you want but aren’t sure will fit in your budget, share those as well. Think about elements you’ve seen in other churches that would be nice to have but not essential. Some may include a children’s indoor or outdoor play structure, a commercial kitchen, the ability to convert one of your larger spaces into an indoor basketball court, or a practice room for your choir.

Once you choose the commercial architect, you’ll have a lot more to discuss. However, going into the meetings, you’ll want to be prepared to share an overview of your wants and needs.

Questions to Ask Each Architecture Firm

Architecture firms have different methods of doing business. Some charge a flat fee for their services, others charge a percentage of your building costs. Be sure to ask their fee structure. If your goal is a local commercial architect, ask how involved they will be throughout the project. You may find it of value to pay more for their overseeing the project for your building committee. If you haven’t seen their previous worship center projects, ask to see them and ask for a contact at each of those facilities. You will also want a designer to assist with choosing all the interior elements. Some architecture firms have designers on staff, others offer some they have previously worked with, and others are happy to work with whomever you want to include on the project.

Looking for a Commercial Architect for Your New Worship Facility?

Sandbar Architecture can help. We understand that when it comes to new church construction, the steps in the planning require a great deal of consideration, conversation, and attention to detail.  You’ll find that clients of all industries who team with us have a new facility they love that meets their needs today and well into the future. We’re confident you will too. Click here to schedule a consultation or call us at (727) 308-1773