The Northside Church decided to reinvent their stretch of lawn as a dynamic new multi-purpose plaza, the primary goal was to create something special, whether it be for celebrating the birth of a child, affirming one’s faith or for friends and family gatherings and church events welcoming one and all. The church’s goal was to provide a place for people to connect – to their faith and to one another.
The church saw several different decorative concrete projects, reviewed several hard samples to select the final material. The final scope of work included 41,000 square feet of exposed decorative concrete flat work, 650 lineal feet of walls, and some 4,000 square feet of the Bomanite Custom Polished Concrete Patène Teres System in The Frappe House. Northside Christian Church ended up selecting a combination of the Bomanite Exposed Aggregate Systems; Sandscape Refined Antico finish in Bomanite Light Brown, and Bomanite Sandscape Texture in three colors to get the cohesive yet varied look they wanted in order to connect the exterior spaces.
To expand the range of interest and energize the plaza during daily use, The Frappe House, the new handcrafted coffee shop was built animating the baptismal pool and amphitheater seating. In all, the plaza design objectives were to connect the church’s primary entrance, the youth ministry center next door and the coffee shop while also servicing individual and group baptismal celebrations in a harmonious space. The design blends a lot of forms and walls, rock work and fire pits, along with both integrated and movable seating choices. Roll up garage doors and rough raw materials fill The Frappe House to capture contemporary design sensibilities common to many chain coffee shops.
The challenge was in working to accommodate a diverse program of possible uses and group sizes. Appropriate exterior spaces that accommodate many different groups and purposes also had to be fit into a relatively small area tucked between three structures of independent functions. Creating harmonious connections throughout the plaza while having a modern, socially contemporary design aesthetic led to the use of curvy linear patterns spiraling out from the baptismal pool in the center of the design. Radiating outward, the patterns form seating areas, viewing sections and gathering spaces as the plaza steps up from the baptismal pool toward each building. The use of curves allows the energy of each space to easily be focused on either the main building it serves or conversely toward the center during baptisms. The key to tying it all together was in the primary hardscape choice – Bomanite decorative concrete.