Architects: Fentress Architects
- Year: 2008
Photographs:Jerry Butts, Ben Tremper Photography
Text description provided by the architects. Mile Hi Church in Lakewood, Colorado has added a new dome to their campus. The expanding congregation commissioned Fentress Architects to create a new Sanctuary to accommodate their growing needs for space. The design is a contemplative space with attentive consideration for the church’s needs and the campus history influencing the design.
The church has been located on its existing campus since the early 1970s and had grown significantly, necessitating the new Sanctuary by Fentress Architects. The first building on the site was built in 1973 and is also a white domed structure. Two other buildings, a Community Center and administrative building, were added in 1999.
The new building by Fentress Architects was considerate of the particular needs of Mile Hi Church. The church required a space to seat 1500, but wanted to do so on a budget. The building by Fentress Architects not only addressed the need for space, and budget restrictions in their design, they also took sustainability and the particular spatial qualities a religious sanctuary evokes into special consideration.
The new Sanctuary was completed in 2008 and the dome structure was actually much less expensive than a traditional steel roof structure. Fentress Architects constructed the dome from the interior. A fabric roof membrane was inflated, insulated and reinforced with steel rebar and a concrete coating to form the 232 foot wide and a 60 foot high dome. The dome is the largest in the metro Denver area and is surrounded by a brick structure around the exterior with supporting program.
The large dome allowed for the interior space to be an impressive open span. The Mile Hi Church Sanctuary is fitted with a large stage, theatre seating and an advanced sound and lighting system. Speakers have been arranged within the dome to form an “all-seeing eye” above the congregation.
Fentress Architects created an original building for the Mile Hi Church. Their design fits the needs of the church and adds to it many levels of thoughtful consideration. The new Sanctuary is a proud new building on the Mile Hi Church Sanctuary to be enjoyed by generations to come.