When architect and church leader Steve Fridsma of Elevate Studio asked r.o.i. Design to collaborate on the interior design of their new church space, we knew from the start it was going to look more like an art gallery than a church.
The project converted a former manufacturing warehouse space into a place of worship, learning, and love. Engaging a variety of people, Monroe Community Church had planning and design committees composed of church members, Elevate Studio, GDK Construction, and r.o.i. Design for the interiors.
The entrance of the building opens into the Gallery, which is the largest space of the facility. It holds a prayer shelter, a café, lounge seating, and a play area just outside of the kid’s ministry rooms. It has maple plywood walls, open ceilings, concrete floors, and lots of light walls and windows.
The Worship Space is open to the Gallery but in contrast to that room, is focused on a darker wall with theatrical lighting used during services and presentations. It has a calming presence.
Kids areas use more color and the committee agreed to use graphic stripes in subtle ways to create interest and indicate different age groups.
The project’s budget was challenging and while compromises were made, the outcome was not compromised.
Monroe Community Church has a tradition of loving art and the urban community they serve. Their ministry is celebrated in part by their engagement with the city of Grand Rapids as being a venue for ArtPrize. In the fall of 2021, they opened their new facility, welcomed members and guests to their new space the same week that ArtPrize opened. The church, filled with art, met its design and community goals.
Hundreds of people will visit Monroe Community Church and get a glimpse of how they Love God, Love People, Love the City, and Love Art.
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