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  Beautiful Savior Lutheran ChurchBeautiful Savior Lutheran Church


Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A.
201 Main Street S.E. #325, Minneapolis, MN 55414

General Description

Plymouth, Minnesota
Date Bid: Aug 2005 Construction Period: Sep 2005 to Feb 2007
Total Square Feet: 69,700 Site: 36.5 acres. Number of Buildings: Two; Shell only.
Building Size: First floor, 67,500; second floor, 2,200; total, 69,700 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 67’; second floor, 15'; total, 67’.
Basic Construction Type: New/2B.
Foundation: Cast-in-place. Exterior Walls: Brick, metal, curtainwall.
Roof: Metal, membrane, asphalt shingles. Floors: Concrete.
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: Reigstad & Associates, Inc. - 192 West 9th Street, #200, St. Paul, MN 55113
General Contractor: Anderson Builders - 4220 Park Glen Road, St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Karges-Falconbridge - 670 West County Road B, St. Paul, MN 55113

In the spring of 2004, Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. (Cuningham Group) was approached regarding a Phase II expansion to the existing Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church located in Plymouth, Minnesota. Cuningham Group completed Phase I on this 36.5-acre site in late 1996.

Phase II was to be the culmination of a 20-year vision to build a permanent worship space, a gathering commons, and additional learning spaces to meet the continued growing needs of Beautiful Savior. Cuningham Group began the process with a Space Needs Programming effort that updated all areas of the Church, including the three primary areas: education, fellowship, and worship. At the completion of the Programming phase, the Church elected to go directly into design with Cuningham Group.

The Beautiful Savior Building Committee directive was simple: “create a landmark building within the community that is a beacon of hope for all who pass by. The design team believed that a dynamic building form and unique material for the sanctuary would be a strong statement to the community about worship and faith. After much discussion concerning the Scandinavian heritage of the worshipping community, northern climate, budget challenges, and unique qualities of the congregation, designers presented a metal skin and a red flat seam panel, to serve as a metaphor of the ocean-going vessels that brought Scandinavian immigrants to America.

The floor plan is simple and direct. The progression from the front door is axial in nature, beginning in the parking lot, moving through the front door and the center of the Commons, through the Worship Center entrance and the font area, down to the main alter and ultimately to the Cross. The Commons is a place to meet and orient one to the facility. The semi-circular-shaped, sloped Sanctuary floor is designed for intimacy as well as a sense of community and togetherness. All guests in the Sanctuary can see activities as the front chancel is elevated by five steps, and a carved-out section on the right of the chancel allows a variety of music groups to perform.

The Sanctuary structural system is primarily a steel frame, incorporating large-scale trusses to allow for a column-free space. The exterior skin is composed of Belden Brick (where it joins Phase I) and two-color metal flat seam vertical paneling (denoting worship space). The space is appointed with carpeting, paint, and has many interior windows to allow visual access throughout the Church. The exterior landscaping is straight forward and mainly consists of local plantings for easy maintenance, appropriate scale and appearance for Minnesota.

At the grand opening the Building Committee, headed by the Pastor Thomas Stoebig, stated that the church had achieved all its facility goals on a functional and creative basis. They were ready to welcome the community into their space – as a Beacon of Hope for all.


Brick: The Belden Brick Company
Aluminum Panels: Petersen Aluminum

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