ST. THOMAS MORE CHURCH


The space is very uplifting…Every detail shows the amount of thought put into it…Everything is truly beautiful in both the Sanctuary, Chapel and throughout! "

Anthony Catalano, AIA

St. Thomas More Parish Building Committee, Chair

This is an engaging and effective renewal…The design makes significant changes without sacrificing the original architecture or damaging its quality, which could have easily happened in less capable hands…The intelligence of the design is admirable."

Jury Comments

AIA National - IFRAA / Faith & Form
2014 International Design Award for Religious Architecture

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Facts + Figures

Client: Diocese of Venice In Florida
Address: 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota, Florida
Completion Date: 2013
Construction Cost: $5.2 million
Project Size: 23,000 SF / 2,300 m2

Construction Manager: Willis Smith Construction
Structural Engineer: Wilson Structural Consultants
MEP + FP Engineer: Smith, Seckman, Reid, Inc.
Acoustics Consultant: Siebein Associates
Architect of Record: Cobrooke

Photography: Greg Wilson Photo
Ryan Gamma Photography
JNW Studios

Project Description

While wishing to retain structure from the existing church building where appropriate, this renovation and expansion increased capacity from 760 to 1,400 worshippers. The design continues the Modern vocabulary of the existing building but is much richer and more dynamic spatially. The building maintains Parish memory by creatively salvaging certain items, reusing the shell of the existing northern Chapel and existing southern entry, then, inserting the addition in between the two, bringing a flood of human energy into the heart of the building - bathed in calm northern daylight and warmed by measured quantities of direct sunlight. The visible warm focus of the wood clad wall and east window behind the main altar reinforce the focus and sense of celebration that is the focus of the liturgy the building is there to house.

The significant quantities of glazing indicate that the building is always 'open' and the Sanctuary visible. In the interior, parishioners assemble in close proximity to the liturgy. Despite its size, the Church is intimate and welcoming. The curved pews on the sloped floor provide a bowl of seats bringing the assembly together with light and natural acoustics. The neutral color palette allows the gathered assembly to provide the color in the space.
The Church is now a hurricane resistant structure and now includes sustainable design strategies for the air conditioning and lifting systems. Energy is recovered from the air that has already passed through the Worship Space and both the interior and exterior lighting are largely LED fixtures. Furthermore, the building color and roof finishes provide Energy Star rated building reflectance limiting the energy required to heat and cool the building.


Project Recognition

2014 AIA National IFRAA / Faith & Form INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARD FOR RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE
2014 AIA Gulf Coast / Sarasota Magazine SPIRIT OF SARASOTA PUBLIC CHOICE AWARD
2014 AIA Gulf Coast DESIGN AWARD

2017 Public Architecture - Center for Architecture Sarasota exhibition
2015 AIA National Convention Exhibition, Atlanta
2013 Architecture Served - Curated Work From Leading Creatives on Behance

Sketches + Drawings

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Design Development

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Construction

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