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  Chapin Presbyterian Church


Neal Prince Architects
110 West North Street, #300, Greenville, SC 29601

General Description

Location: Chapin, South Carolina
Date Bid: May 2005
Construction Period: July 2005 to Oct 2006
Total Square Feet: 19,900 Site: 14.7 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: First floor, 14,300; second floor, 5,600; total, 19,900 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 14’; second floor, 13’; floor to floor, 14’; total, 38’.
Basic Construction Type: Type III-B, Sprinklered/New. 
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced, slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: CMU, brick. Roof: Asphalt shingles, membrane. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.  

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: CMC Cary Engineering - 534 Old Howell Road, #100, Greenville, SC 29615
General Contractor: Cannon Associates - 739 Kendall Road, Newberry, SC 29108
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: ME&P Engineering - 95 Laurel Lane, Campobello, SC 29322
Landscape Architect: Allees Landscape Architecture - P. O. Box 353, Prosperity, SC 29127

Chapin Presbyterian Church

Neal Prince Architects was commissioned to provide master planning services and phase one design work for Chapin Presbyterian Church, a new church that had been meeting in an elementary school. The design challenge was to provide an initial building that would accommodate the church's program and growth needs while also establishing the identity the church wished to convey to the community. The building needed to stand alone as a "phase one" building while also fitting into an overall campus as future phases are built. Care was taken to use the appropriate materials and building massing that would also be used in future phases.

Phase I is a 2-story building that features a 600-seat sanctuary, fellowship space, and education space. The design of the common spaces incorporates a Main Street concourse concept with the second floor circulation overlooking these areas. This creates a large gathering space for the church members before and after services as well as an overflow space for worship and fellowship events. The kitchen, restrooms, and other support spaces are all located along the edge of the building, making all the other areas in the center easily reconfigurable. The Phase I worship space incorporates seating risers, a feature of the school auditorium the church previously used and wished to preserve. The risers also helped maximize the seating capacity of the worship space while minimizing the square footage of the space. Church members rescued the sanctuary pews from an old chapel about to be demolished at a local army base. A church member re-finished the pews to match the new stage floor in the worship space. These pews are placed on the risers with chairs on the main floor to preserve the flexibility of the space.

The site was heavily wooded, so care was taken to locate the building and grade the site to preserve as much of the wooded character of the property as possible. The site is relatively deep in relation to its frontage so the building is located to one side of the property and midway back, allowing for maximum use of the site with parking surrounding the building. Outdoor mechanical units are located on the roof of the support spaces concealed by parapet walls to avoid a large service yard. A steeple tower is used to identify the church from the main road. The use of a free-standing tower allows for future expansion without worrying about relocating a steeple. The church now has a building that fits its unique personality and helps the church further its ministry to the community.


DIV. 4: Brick: Hanson Brick.
DIV. 7: Shingles: Elk; Membrane: Carlisle. 
DIV. 8: Curtainwall, Entrances & Storefronts, Windows: U.S. Aluminum. 
DIV. 14: Elevator: ThyssenKrupp.  

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