image Addition to National Hall image SoNo Ice House

Black Rock Congregational Church

Demolish majority of existing church to construct new Worship Hall, Classroom Wing and Welcome Center. The portions of the church which remained were completely renovated.

Photos by:  Molly Richardson

Project Details

Demolished majority of existing church to construct new Worship Hall, Classroom Wing and Welcome Center.  The portions of the church which remained were completely renovated.

Challenges: The design for the fit out of the Worship Hall was coordinated by Wiles Architects, but the final design of this particular space was ultimately the responsibility of a separate design firm.  The weights and locations of the sophisticated A/V system, ceiling panels, and other miscellaneous hung equipment was not determined prior to construction of the primary structural system.  Close attention had to be paid in the design of the long-span open web steel trusses which were being supplied by Canam.

The stadium seating was originally designed to be supported on standard steel framing and concrete slabs.  The construction manager, Tocci Construction, made the suggestion to use geofoam.  The use of geofoam for stadium seating has been used, particularly in theaters, but the application here at the church did not have the same confined conditions.  We had to “think on our feet”, and work closely with the supplier to check that the system will perform adequately for the owner.

As part of the demolition, existing glulam beams were salvaged.  The owner wanted to re-use this material for possible cost savings, but also for a bit of nostalgia.  We were asked to design the new roof system over the chapel using the existing glulam, but the proportions of the glulams had to be changed.  One of the parishioners, who runs a construction rehabilitation company, was able to re-mill the existing glulams to the shapes needed and construct the new roof for the church.

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Project Overview

  • Project:
    Black Rock Congregational Church
  • Awards:
    Winner of the 2014 AIA People’s Choice Award
  • Location:
    Fairfield, CT
  • Architect:
    Wiles Architects
  • Mechanical Engineer:
    IES
  • Contractor:
    Turner Construction
  • Cost:
    Approximately $18M
  • Completed:
    2014

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The Di Salvo Engineering Group is a professional consulting engineering firm offering comprehensive structural engineering services throughout the Northeastern United States. Since its inception in 1973, the firm has grown to be one of the largest consulting firms in the Northeast, dedicated exclusively to structural engineering.
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