Oh, the places they’ll go! Spotlight on churches

December 5, 2017

Curves are a subtle design element that may not be noticed right away—despite all your hard work installing or designing them. Curves make surroundings look so natural that even you might miss some. We challenge you to look up and down the next time you’re in a library, store, school, hospital or church to spot all the curves on the ceiling, walls and floor.

The truth is we all could use some extra time to look around because what people do with our products impresses us every day. Following are two recent church installations that are worth a deeper look.

Inspired by nature

In Texas, Scott Martsolf, AIA, of Scott Martsolf Architecture, Fort Worth, says he wanted to make a natural extension of the curves found in nature in Texas when designing Christ Chapel West in Willow Park. Curved ceilings and floors were used throughout the space to create a cohesive flow. Rice Drywall Inc., Burleson, Texas, installed 480 linear feet of 6-inch Flex-C Trac and 1,000 linear feet of 3 5/8-inch Flex-C Trac. The products were distributed by Cowtown Materials Inc., Fort Worth, Texas.

The worship center seats 625 people and has state-of-the-art audio and visual technology. The children’s building includes classrooms for children in nursery through sixth grade. The space features a multipurpose room for elementary worship, fifth- and sixth-grade silo, and a Special Friends room. The student complex also has outdoor sports and play areas.

Between the rigid forms occupied by the children’s building and worship center is a lobby, designed to be an open gathering space filled with curves and a free-flowing feel. Flex-C Trac primarily was used at the window wall of the lobby, which faces an oak tree grove. Martsolf says the curves on the ceiling and floor lead occupants to the window wall to admire the view outside.

Martsolf adds: “I love curves and use them in almost all of my designs. Curves soften a design and create a very attractive way to create nice forms. They visually make a building’s interior more comfortable.”

Merging history and heritage

In Louisiana, there is an architectural style called Acadiana, where French, Cajun and Louisiana styles merge into a rich story of history and heritage. For St. Pius Church in Lafayette, curves are an equal part of that character.

“Curves were used on ceilings, arches, doors and windows throughout,” says Wayne L. Corne, an architect with Corne-Lemaire Group, Lafayette. “The curves depict continuity, class and a free-flow form that defines the dynamic interior spaces within the church with its appropriate features.”

Delahoussaye Co. Inc., Scott, La., installed 20-gauge 3 5/8-inch Flex-C Trac (200 pieces); 20-gauge 2 1/2-inch Flex-C Arch (20 pieces); 20-gauge 3 5/8-inch Flex-C Arch (170 pieces); and 20-gauge 6-inch Flex-C Arch (100 pieces).

Timing and scheduling were important to Delahoussaye Co. to stay ahead of other trades.

“The reasons we used Flex-Ability Concepts’ products are we can lock it in place before we install it, and it was best for our application” says Danny Delahoussaye, president of the company.

The Delahoussaye crew has used the products on previous projects, so Delahoussaye knew the advantages.

The $19-million project is 34,000 square feet and has seating for 900 patrons. It is the first new church in Lafayette in 22 years.

Quality and teamwork

Both these churches make a statement about the power of quality craftsmanship and installations, as well as the need for strong design inspirations. Whether it’s the rolling hills of Texas or the heritage of Louisiana, curves have been used to make inspiring worship spaces that reflect their surroundings. As architects and contractors continue to work cohesively together, the places that curves can go could know no bounds.

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