St. John's Lutheran Church

Bloomington, Illinois

St. John's Lutheran Church in Bloomington, IL has a large building with multiple floor levels and entrances. BLDD was hired to create a master plan that would accommodate growth in their various kids ministries and worship services. After much collaboration, a two-phase plan was created to renovate the existing 10,000 sq. ft and create a 10,000 sq. ft addition.

  • New and remodeled Sunday school classrooms
  • Remodeled space for preschool with enhanced security
  • New cafe-like gathering space for youth
  • Larger and more versatile senior and junior high youth rooms
  • New infant and toddler nursery
  • Dedicated space for adult education
  • Expanded sanctuary to seat 500+
  • Additional gathering space with new restrooms and coffee area
  • Remodel and add office space
  • New main entry with drop-off canopy
  • Remodel more Sunday School classrooms
The Challenge

How can a larger 21st sanctuary space be built while retaining the shared memory and liturgical significance of a beloved sanctuary?

The Solution

The existing sanctuary was preserved as a welcoming gathering space that offers intimate and formal meeting areas that allow members of the St. John's family to remember the cherished memories of worshiping from years' past. 

"The talented BLDD team provided an innovative design that met all of our goals and their advice and management of this very complicated project helped us accomplish it all under-budget and on time."
- Shari Buckellew, Executive Director of Operations St. John's Lutheran Church
The gathering space was created by repurposing the former Worship Center into a place for fellowship.

The sliding glass walls are built in the shape of the former worship area, where the stage was located, to create a new intimate chapel space for small gatherings. The large cross and stained glass remained in the old space as a focal point for the area. When sunlight hits the stained glass, it illuminates the gathering space. A small white table within the chapel space was custom designed from the former marble altar that once sat at the center of the area.