BLOG: VOICES FROM CEDAR LANE
A field trip to the United Christian Church in Reston VA on August 10 gave Cedar Lane Renovation Team members and others exposure to renovation possibilities for our own building. Derek Norton, of Ritter Norton Architects, is leading the Cedar Lane work, much as he did for the Reston church.
Like Cedar Lane, the Reston church is nestled among towering mature trees. Its floor-to-ceiling sanctuary windows pull the congregation into its peaceful surroundings, and its soaring ceiling creates a dramatic “nearer to God” feeling. Derek showed how the spacious reception/lobby area guided congregants into the glass doored sanctuary. He also talked about what had to be cut or revised to honor the church’s budget and how he used an acoustical specialist who considered room size, materials used, and choir requirements to get the ideal audio result.
As Derek led the nearly two dozen Cedar Lane visitors through the sanctuary, meeting rooms and classrooms he pointed out features, why they were used, and their possible application to Cedar Lane. It was unanimously agreed that seeing the building firsthand made a world of difference that helped everyone visualize Ritter Norton’s Cedar Lane design elements.
Renovation of the Reston church, which is home to four different Christian congregations, involved a large new addition to an existing church, unlike Cedar Lane’s renovation of an older structure. But many of the features could be easily incorporated into our own Cedar Lane type renovation.
Mary Means and Maryann Dillon, who are co-chairing Cedar Lane’s Renovation Task Force, declared the trip successful beyond their expectations. Maryann said, “It’s one thing to see a design on paper but it comes alive when you see a finished product in person. We now have a much better understanding of how amazing the results of our Cedar Lane renovation can be.”
An second tour of United Christian Church will be scheduled in the fall to give more Cedar Lane members a chance to see it for themselves. Watch for an announcement.