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ONE Community Church
By: Jennifer Walker-Journey

From the moment ONE Community Church was founded in Plano, Texas, it was as if the church was destined to succeed. It flourished under the direction of Dr. Conway Edwards in ballrooms and auditoriums around town. People from the evolving communities of Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney were drawn to Edwards’ unique ability to communicate the scripture in a relevant and uncompromising manner. As membership grew into the hundreds, the leadership of ONE knew they needed a place to call home.

When the opportunity came available to move into an existing church and Christian school’s campus, ONE leadership jumped at the chance. The building offered a sanctuary with seating for about 700 people, as well as classroom and fellowship space. One wing of the building continued to be leased to the existing Christian school.

However, in just a matter of years, the church was not only filling its 700-seat worship space, it was holding six services there every weekend to accommodate the crowd. Church leadership called on architects to draw up plans for a 1,800-seat worship room within a set budget, then voted which firm best captured the church’s essence. Leadership chose OmniPlan, a firm with offices in Dallas and Phoenix. Together, they fine-tuned the design and created a master plan.

OmniPlan’s design involved a large worship room on the campus designed to seat 1,800. The building as set at the back of the U-shaped campus, closing in the campus and creating a courtyard accessible from all buildings.

The worship room would offer state-of-the-art audio-visual components, theatrical lighting and sound, and a large performance stage with a platform stage that arched out toward the audience.

The seating was organized in a half moon radial orientation, explained OMNIPLAN architect Scott Hall. This layout allowed for more seats in the room and the back row is no farther than the back row in any other area.

“It allows for a stronger connection between the pastor and the audience, and between the audience and the pastor,” Hall said. “So you always have a sense of being part of a community.”

A 7,000-square-foot community lobby provided ample room for membership to gather before and after worship services. It opens to the courtyard, which offered more space for pre- and post-worship gatherings as well as special events.

“The idea of ‘community’ was big, and the courtyard gave them more bang for their buck,” Hall explained. “This also gave them a lot of flexibility in how it could be used.”

The interior was designed with a warm palate using wood and stone. The open and welcoming lobby was designed with plenty of windows for natural daylighting.

For the exterior, Hall opted for concrete tilt-wall panels, which would not only provide strength and durability, but also help hold down construction costs. Plus, the panels enabled the building to expand to a 2,200-seat capacity with relatively minimal construction to accommodate anticipated future growth.

The exterior design was made to complement the existing building on the campus. “We like to create architecture that is contextual so that it feels familiar and is appropriate for the space,” Hall said.

The new worship room would enable the church to convert the existing worship room into facilities for youth.

With the plans in place, ONE leadership moved forward with construction but was adamant about sticking to a tight budget, which made for a very efficient end product, Hall said. “We had to continually push hard to find the most economical system, but it turned out to be a very beautiful building considering what the budget was.”

The building took about nine months to construct and was completed in September 2014.

“It’s a pretty straight forward project considering the budget,” Hall said. “But I think the new worship space reinvented the campus and we provided a project to that church that reflects what they’re all about.”

Since its founding in 1956, OMNIPLAN has been committed to creating engaging, innovative, and enduring architecture for its clients and community, www.OmniPlan.com.

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