Pasadena Christian Center

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Pasadena, California
Completed 2001

The Pasadena Christian Center, a Pentecostal congregation, purchased a World War II-era movie theater, with a clear-span Lamella roof structure. While the original theater housed a single function in a unified volume, the church’s program sought to accommodate three different functions simultaneously. This design preserves the strong presence of the roof system and its sense of volume, while creating two volumes underneath for children’s worship and education. These interior volumes are clearly articulated as dependents contained within the parent volume.

For Pentecostals, the act of worshipping is privileged over iconographic and symbolic representations. Their buildings are often provisional, and their beliefs are not symbolized, but rather performed. Conceptually, the design and construction of the interior forms are directly related to the Pentecostal tradition of “ecstatic” worship, which includes speaking-in-tongues, charismatic preaching, and faith healing. The shell forms correspond to the improvisational quality of the congregation’s rituals, as well as the “impure” nature of recycling an existing building. The design and construction of the interior shells required a process of digitized modeling and the invention of a notation system for construction.

 

BREAKDOWN:
9,110 sq. ft. adaptive reuse building area

CLIENT: Pasadena Christian Center
PROJECT TEAM: Peter Tolkin, Maria Iwanicki, Christopher Girt, Eric Townsend, Anthony Denzer, Scott Uriu
ENGINEERS: Karl Blette (Structural design), Stanley Owen & Associates (Structural), Daniels Heating & Air Conditioning (Mechanical), Chenco Engineering (Electrical)
CONSULTANTS: De Karr Music (Audio/Video), McKay Conant Brook Inc. (Acoustic), Entertainment Lighting Services (Lighting)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: WF Construction
PHOTOGRAPHER: floto + warner

entry to area of worship

entry to area of worship

area of worship

area of worship

view of interior from the pulpit

view of interior from the pulpit

children's bible study room

children's bible study room

shell detail

shell detail

entry to area of worship thumbnailarea of worship thumbnailview of interior from the pulpit thumbnailchildren's bible study room thumbnailshell detail thumbnail