Worship Center

Matteson, Illinois / United States of America

The Worship Center for a growing African-American Congregation represents a new approach in the design of large, contemporary, multi-media based religious facilities by integrating daylight to elevate the worship experience. Daylight is incorporated into the space while preserving the quality of the theatrical lighting and digital projection system. The curved façade is screened with a suspended sunshade that changes profile in response to solar orientation. The foyer beyond is filled with light diffused through the sunscreen and skylight. In the sanctuary, daylight fills the space through the coffered ceiling. Wood accent panels, rich fabrics, and daylight bring a sense of warmth to the space. Absorptive materials and engineered sound system deliver natural-sounding acoustics that reinforce the connection between the congregation and the message. The Worship Center demonstrates that the experience in a large religious space can be elevated through a connection to the natural environment and the careful composition of technology, sound, color, texture, and light. Green strategies, including the horizontal sunshades, rain screen wall systems, high efficiency mechanical equipment with demand ventilation and a heat recovery system, and generous insulation reduced annual energy costs by 45%.

Architect of Record

Harding Partners


New Faith Baptist Church International

General Contractor

Powers and Sons


  • Matrix Engineering
  • WMA Consulting Engineers
  • Wight and Company