Liberty United Methodist Church / Dake Wells Architecture
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Text description provided by the architects. By the time this project was conceived, Liberty United Methodist Church had outgrown its current campus on a prominent hill in the city. Measuring 18,000 square feet, this project is the first step in moving the church to a 32-acre site that supports and encourages the growth of church members. With an emphasis on serving young families through a contemporary worship style, the project offers a new flexible worship space combined with classrooms for children and adults.
Liberty United Methodist Church has a strong history filled with traditions and symbols, not least of which are the Cross and the Flame. Researching the origins of the symbol and finding connections to Renaissance representations of the Holy Spirit led to the development of an architectural expression of the biblical scriptures Acts 2: 3.
Although the phrase is largely symbolic, it served to unify a congregation struggling with the change required to reach people in a new era. In the entrance courtyard, the colors are most vivid as one walks under the Methodist badge and historic bell of the original LUMC church. White terracotta shingles covered the upper part of the exterior representing the outstretched wings of a dove. The shingles never touch the ground, hovering above the masonry, the symbol of the earth, with red and orange colors representing elements of the fire of the Holy Spirit. The metaphor is carried inside the worship space, with a white ribbon wrapped around the perimeter.
The ribbon bends and bends to respond to acoustic reverberations while admitting the mysterious daylight into space – it only touches the ground at the level of the cross. The central gathering area provides spaces for forming personal relationships while framing views of neighboring neighborhoods. This framing of points of view reminds the church of its ultimate mission to serve its community. The simplicity of the building’s form reinforces its presence on the hilly natural landscape, identifying the building as a place of spiritual connection.