Wesley United Methodist Church
The architect that designs an addition is oftentimes not the architect who designed the original structure. For Scharnett Architects & Associates, in addition to the science of ensuring all the new mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements worked together with the old, successfully designed additions that flow together artistically and visually. In order for each space to be a natural extension of the other, Scharnett utilized two simple yet powerful approaches: the repetition of original patterns in new spaces, along with adding new elements that appear both indoors and outdoors. These two strategies help an original building and its additions be cohesive and intentionally joined together.
- Organization: Wesley United Methodist Church
- Type of Organization: United Methodist Christian Church
- Location: 3502 E Front St, Bloomington, IL 61701
- Type of Project: Ecclesiastical Addition and Landscaping
- Project Overview: New Fellowship Room & Hallway addition, East Entrance, East Garden and Prayer Path, West Garden Prayer Circle, interior signage, exterior signage, and landscaping.
- Unique Features: Landscaping was intentionally chosen to bring vibrance and color with the changing of each season, while providing spaces for prayer. The additions have white curved elements present on the exterior and interior of the building, bringing everything together into one cohesive space. Additionally the hallway to the Fellowship room intentionally goes in and out with small alcoves to accentuate entrances and act as natural divisions to hang coats and store other items.
Inside and Out
We blended existing and new structures by repeating patterns to appear both inside and outside. This included thick white rounded edges present on exterior awnings for the new Fellowship Room and East Entrance, along with a matching rail along the second floor of the interior sanctuary. The curved white acoustic ceiling tiles tie in the design internally as well.
Patterns and Contrast
Adding the horizontal sweeping curved structures through the exterior and interior provide a beautiful visual contrast to the vertical column repeating pattern you see throughout the original structure. The original pattern repeats inside and out within the brick walls, the stairwells and among the sets of windows. The new pattern is also present in multiple areas, pulling all spaces together into one.
Darker wood lines the edge of each step and floor at the front of the sanctuary to provide a visual cue to anyone stepping up or down, making the edge of the stage more visible and helping prevent missteps. Other visual cues are present throughout the property, including the uniquely created prayer labyrinth. The pavers create a walkable prayer circle creating a space for guests to meditate as they walk. On the northeast end you'll find another walkable prayer path providing solitude, yet the pavers and trees at the entrance are a visual cue that guests are welcome to use the space.