The Orchard: Before, After, & Everything in Between
An Aspen Project featuring Lead Architect David Wilde
Walk into The Orchard’s Arlington Heights campus on a Wednesday afternoon and you will be greeted by the organist rehearsing a variety of hymns. Though the hymns sounded traditional, the lobby looks like a fresh slice of contemporary pie. You would never guess what it used to look like before David got his hands on it.
The Orchard’s members are mostly comprised of seniors and that was largely reflected in the previous style of the church. They wanted to renovate not only to update the space but to attract new members as well.
Before, you couldn’t see into the lobby when you were walking up to the church. Solid doors with small, rectangular windows blocked the field of sight and natural sunlight.
After, you can see the smiling faces at the welcome desk as you walk up and natural light floods the lobby.
The Lobby & Café
When you walked in before, there was a foyer/gathering area and small cafe to the right. There wasn’t much natural light and the dark doors made the space seem small.
Before & After
During renovations, the cafe was relocated to the other side of the lobby to leave space for a family room. Now families with small children can have a clear line of sight into the sanctuary with glass windows, glass doors, and tv monitors.
Cookies, coffee, and specialty drinks are waiting for members of The Orchard when they finish with worship. There is an expansive fellowship area complete with a coffee bar, pastry display, tables, and comfy seats!
The front of the church had stadium seating for the choir, a stage that was too deep, and covered up the lower portion of stained glass.
The stage was re-worked to accommodate space for the choir, instruments, and more seating for the members!
Out with the old and in with the new! The Orchard had a volunteer crew do most of the demolition.
Traditional pews and small stained glass windows were replaced with cushioned theater seats and clear glass windows! Now the church can accommodate a larger audience and appears more open with natural light streaming in.
The beige wall color combined with lack of visibility made the gym seem small and uninviting. The doors were solid and there were only windows on the lower level.
Bright paint, polished floors, new wall mats, and updated basketball hoops almost light up the new gym more than the additional windows and new doors!
Before The Orchard seemed very dark and closed in. Now it has an open floor plan with spacious hallways, neutral colors, and plenty of natural light. Take the virtual tour below!