Over the past number of years the traditional role of the Architect when dealing with Church clients has disappeared. Unfortunately, in many cases what has replaced it has not been beneficial to either the church or the lending institute they are working with. This shift in roles has led to the architect becoming less involved, only a draftsman for the church, being paid for preparing drawings, but turning control of the project over to a General Contractor, Construction Manager, Design Build Firm or even the Trustees.
I have heard of and have been called into consult for many cases where the Church has been left flailing after an architect has come in and designed a facility far greater than any amount of money that church could ever raise, or hope to borrow. These churches sit there with great quantities of construction drawings and details which they have dearly paid for, but with no means in which to turn these drawings into an actual finished facility. I have seen these same churches hire contractors and sign contracts even before they have financing in place. Some of these contractors have succeeded in convincing the churches to construct these enormous facility in what they refer to as “phases” a practice that has left unfinished skeletons of a congregation’s vision scattered all over the country.
This is not good stewardship of the churches resources and is definitely not the way I approach our church clients.
My company was conceived over forty years ago for the express purpose of establishing an architectural firm that would help navigate churches through the process of planning, design and construction of their facilities. Working with them as together we strive to provide the church with the resources that will give them a quality, functional facility to meet their ministry needs and financial ability.
Over the next few months I will be sharing with you articles that lay out the general steps for every project as a church moves through the processes of planning, design and construction. I will relay to you some of the pitfalls to be aware of and a suggested course of action for each as you try to better serve your church congregations in making their dreams a reality.
John W.G. Rosecrans, AIA is the Owner and President of DIMENSIONAL DYNAMICS, Architects and Planners, Inc. located at 455 Old Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA 19317. phone: 610.388.0755 fax 610.388.2761 email: firstname.lastname@example.org webpage: www.dimdyn.com