First United Methodist Church is a growing congregation located in the historic downtown district of McKinney, Texas. The student ministry had out grown its current space on the 2nd floor of the existing education building and was needing to expand when an opportunity arose to purchase a piece property adjacent to their existing campus. This 150+ year old church has been a staple in the community and is well known by its iconic Gothic architecture. The challenge became developing a modern design that seeks to capture the interest of today’s student while still connecting to the heritage of the existing campus as well as responding to the contextual issues of being located within the historic downtown district.
The initial design goals were three-fold: First, develop modern ministry space for students, while incorporating the heritage of a 150+ year old existing campus. Second, provide for flexibility where spaces could serve a variety of users: Student ministry, Adults, Conferences, etc. Third, connect with the surrounding community. In an effort to be relevant to a younger generation, the new building was designed utilizing modern design forms that contrast the Gothic architecture forms of the main church campus. In order to connect the “new” with the “old”, building materials and design details from the existing campus (i.e. Brick, Cast Stone) where incorporated throughout the new Student building. The clean lines of the modern architecture mixed with an “industrial” styling allowed for the incorporation of icon symbols (i.e. Cross). Traditional Methodist symbols (i.e. Cross & Flame) were expressed in a contemporary interpretation of steel and perforated metal on the front facade of the glass stair tower further links the new building to the existing campus.