First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood 

Kirkwood, Missouri (2007)

First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood

Kirkwood, Missouri (2007)

Although a newcomer would not notice it, one of the most significant design achievements of this renovation/addition project was the resolution of severe way-finding and accessibility problems in the old church layout.  Prior to this time visitors to the church were given a map to guide them around the maze-like structure.  Multiple floor level changes made parts of the church inaccessible to anyone with impaired mobility.  Our new design creates a uniform floor height and simplified circulation paths.  The new central courtyard and clear glass walls are appreciated for the beautiful conditions of natural light they create, but just as importantly they allow occupants to orient themselves wherever they are in the building.

One of the most beautiful elements in the new design is the Tree of Life Chapel, where 17-foot tall stained glass windows stretch along the north wall.  Designed by Brother Martin Erspamer and fabricated by Emil Freil Studio, the windows abstractly depict a tree as it undergoes the transformation from spring to winter.   

The master plan and design also included a new educational wing with adjoining outdoor play area, a multipurpose fellowship/service hall, a kitchen, support services and a space for gathering before and after services.  We also prepared presentation drawings and building models for the church’s professional fund raising consultant and we participated in presentations to the congregation.