North Side Baptist Church
Neal Prince Architects
110 West North Street, #300, Greenville, SC 29601
Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Date Bid: Nov 2005, Negotiated
Construction Period: Nov 2005 to Sep 2007
Total Square Feet: 48,087 Site: 17.79 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: Basement (mechanical space), 6,508; first floor,
32,657; second floor, 8,922; total, 48,087 square feet.
Building Height: Basement (mechanical space), 11’; first floor,
19’3”; second floor, 23’; floor to floor, 19’3”; total, 60’4”.
Basic Construction Type: New/IIB/Structural Steel.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick, curtainwall.
Roof: Asphalt shingle, built-up, metal. Floors: Concrete.
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.
Structural Engineer: Cary Engineering - 534 Old Howell Road,
#100, Greenville, SC 29615
General Contractor & Cost Estimator: Triangle Construction - 2624
Laurens Road, Greenville, SC 29607
Electrical Engineer: Burdette Engineers - 102 Pilgrim Road,
Greenville, SC 29607
Mechanical Engineer: Peritus Engineers - P. O. Box 16598,
Greenville, SC 29606
This dynamic facility consists of a new 1,200-seat sanctuary along with
a multi-purpose lobby space and support functions. The lobby space
accommodates a coffee bar, bookstore and ministry information area.
The Building Committee of the church was seeking to build a new
sanctuary that would provide space for a growing membership, and that
would express their mission to reach out to the surrounding community.
The solution was developed through a series of collaborative work
sessions with the Building Committee. A number of alternative concepts
were explored, leading to a solution that transcended preconceptions.
The final concept places the sanctuary sideways on the site, in front of
the existing church complex. The sideways placement allows the lobby
space to open up in the direction of the community, while connecting
into the existing building. The primary flow of vehicular traffic from
the adjacent community faces directly toward the glass wall of the
lobby, drawing attention to the vibrant, welcoming activity of people
The lobby is designed to accommodate a smooth transition for people
waiting between services. The two-story light filled space provides
multiple locations for visitor/member interaction including a guest
service desk, a computerized information kiosk, and a coffee bar. A
combination of natural light during the day and interior lighting at
night accentuates this space and draws focus from the community into the
The worship center uses theater-style seating that can accommodate about
1,200 people. It was designed to accommodate all of the technological
features that make it physically work for contemporary worship and
music, but was visually detailed with ceiling clouds that hide the
technology, so it would not be the focus of the space. Functional and
theatrical lighting within the black box worship space creates an
ambiance that reinforces the style of worship ranging from the more
traditional to the more contemporary services.
The configuration of the building was developed from the church’s
theological foundations. The stability of the four cornerstones of the
church’s theology is expressed in the four solid corner blocks of the
sanctuary building. The theological centrality of the cross is shown by
the cruciform roof that overshadows the four-square block of the
building. The theological thrust to reach out to the surrounding
community is expressed by the extroverted glass lobby. The ‘steeple’
tower carries a two-fold expression: in elevation its verticality points
toward an uplifting heavenly viewpoint; in plan its horizontal axis
points out from the church on a skewed axis oriented toward the
surrounding city. Finally, the arched roof of the lobby creates a sense
of the sheltering wings under which people gather together for worship
The result is an economical, crisp, and dynamic worship center that
provides a current, inviting, and engaging environment for community
DIV. 4: Brick: Boral.
DIV. 7: Shingles: GAF; Built-up: Carlisle Syntec.
DIV. 8: Curtainwall: YKK AP America.
DIV. 9: Flooring: Lees, Johnsonite, Crossville Ceramics.