Tucked within a grove of heritage oaks, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit is a peaceful, light-filled retreat that offers a connection to nature, draws the church community closer together, and provides a cost-effective plan that anticipates the church’s future growth.
The project started as a master planning exercise with the church’s Sacred Space team. A highly interactive process, various massing schemes were considered and precedent images researched in order to fully understand the church’s desires and goals. The process culminated in a vision that included a sanctuary with a deep connection to the surrounding natural environment.
I brag to everyone around the Diocese what a blessing Overland Partners has been to the building of this Sacred Space. We cannot wait to serve the Lord from this space!
Much of the design incorporates, and at times reinterprets, symbolic elements found within the region’s historical liturgical architecture. The blue ceilings of the porch and sanctuary call on the traditional use of Haint Blue: it was believed that blue porch ceilings, reminiscent of the sky, would deter birds and mud daubers from nesting there; church ceilings were typically painted this same shade to ward off evil spirits. A similar blue is seen in the stained concrete floors, this time symbolic of baptismal waters. The exterior red oak door provides a contemporary variation on the tradition of a painted red church door, and provides continuity in materiality with the interior pews. The steel door pulls were fabricated in house by the Overland Workshop, and a red oak cross emerges from the voids created by the pulls.
Ultimately, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit creates a place of connection and balance: steeped in tradition but reflective of its own time, embedded in nature within a larger urban environment, a space for peace and reflection within a vibrant community.