Community Life Center at Holy Apostles Parish

Dedicated in 1994, Holy Apostles Church had already outgrown its facilities that support the social, educational, and administrative functions of the Parish. Because the church is the “heart” of the parish, L|L+B designed the new Community Life Center addition as a collection of simple forms that reduce the overall massing and defer to the church, but recognize the increasing campus-like quality of the site. The notion of the New England farmhouse-barn typology, apt inthis community with rural roots, informs the exterior relationship between the church and the recreation center. It was imperative to locate the new spaces behind the existing church to minimize their impact. The detail of the chapel wing, as the most direct extension of the church, matches the church and is connected by a glass corridor through which the new prayer garden is visible. The orientation of the classroom/office wing and the gymnasium parallel to the lot line reinforces the primacy of the church and maximizes the use of the narrow area behind the church. This orientation, in conjunction with the glass connector, allows the church to “breathe” on all sides and creates the opportunity for dynamic exterior architecture through which visitors can navigate.