Debartolo Architects were commissioned to develop a master plan for the growing church in a satellite community of Metro-Phoenix. Debartolo Architects developed a new language for a church that named themselves after an existing pistachio grove that once and still partially thrives on their 22 acre site. With three existing buildings, built by the congregation and designed by volunteers, the idea was to develop a more strategic approach to the next generation of development, growth and use of the entire site.
Inspired by the existing 10-acre grove of trees on the site, combined with the church’s humility and passion to “send” people from their church around the world to places like Liberia and Haiti to serve – the idea for a new worship space is one that terraces down into the ground to create a diverse collection of seating environments.
These seat-groupings are gathered around a common focal point and roofed by a massive horizontal plane that hovers just below the tree tops – engaging the grove of trees and allowing them to dominate the site instead of the new worship space. The concept of being in the space will be reinforced by the connection on all four sides to the site and the immediate context of the trees.
Having a very strong art component to their community – the principle walls that will support the horizontal plane of the roof – will be armatures for art, artifact and memory from the church’s many contributions and investments in communities all over the globe.
Just starting design on the first new phase of construction, over the next several months Debartolo Architects will work with leadership and define the buildings with greater detail and precision to take the concepts shown here into construction drawings.