Mark Trier, FAIA,
Fern Creek Christian Church | Louisville, Kentucky
As the congregation began to swell at Fern Creek Christian Church, the need for an expanded place of worship became apparent, and JRA Architects was asked to help relieve the crowded pews. Our institutional knowledge, gleaned over the years of creating religious architectural environments, coupled with our intensive exploratory process resulted in a master plan to shepherd the church well into the future. Finding the appropriate land, ultimately a 15-acre plot, to construct the new space was a critical phase of the process along with consulting throughout the zoning procedures. We located a high point of ground to facilitate the highest visibility from well-traveled Bardstown Road and used the surrounding woods as our backdrop.
The desire of the church was to create a welcoming, joyous place of worship while also preserving as much of the natural beauty of the land as possible. The church building—with worship space for up to 1,000 parishioners—serves as the hub of the complex with the education and fellowship wings spiraling out from this center point. Small earth berms and evergreen trees were installed at the perimeter boundaries to provide screening for the neighboring homes. In addition to conserving the surrounding trees, some of the harvested wood was recycled and repurposed for flooring and furnishings when possible.
Today, the church will accommodate twice the number of parishioners as before, and the space is a re-imagined place of worship in a more contemporary style.