Church of the Nativity|
3702 E. Kachina Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85044
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Date Bid: Apr 2012 Construction Period: May 2012 to Dec
Total Square Feet: 18,288 Site: .89 acre.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Sizes: First floor, 12,077; second floor, 6,211 (shell);
total, 18,288 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 13’; second floor, 13’; floor to
floor, 13’; total, 40’ max.
Basic Construction Type: Adaptive Reuse.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, slab-on-grade, CMU stem walls.
Exterior Walls: CMU, curtain wall, storefront glazing. Roof:
Foam insulated. Floors: Concrete, B deck/concrete over steel
joists. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.
Structural Engineer: Caruso, Turley, Scott, Inc. - 1215 W. Rio
Salado Parkway, #200, Tempe, AZ 85281
General Contractor: Redden Construction, Inc. - 4131 E. Wood
Street, Phoenix, AZ 85040
Mechanical Engineer: Engineering Resource Group - 1615 E. Warner
Road, #1, Tempe, AZ 85284
Electrical Engineer: Systems Design Engineering, Inc. - 3322 S.
Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282
Acoustical Engineer: Tony Sola/Acoustical Consulting Services -
P.O. Box 41182, Mesa, AZ 85274
Civil Engineer: Erie & Associates, Inc. - 3120 N. 24th Street,
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Church of the Nativity (COTN) was founded six years ago and had moved
from an elementary school to the first floor of an office building.
However, the leadership team knew the church needed a permanent home.
Due to the economic collapse of the region, COTN was able to purchase a
partially completed two-story office building in an upscale north
Scottsdale location. Originally designed as a six building office
condominium campus, the site had been abandoned three years earlier due
to foreclosure and had become an eyesore for the surrounding
As the church and architect first walked on the site, they were overcome
by the impression that the unfinished masonry walls recalled the stone
walls of a European cathedral during construction or after a WWII
"I felt immediate clarity that we should design a desert cathedral",
says Steve Barduson AIA, LEED AP, the church's architect. The Rector
Reverend Susan Snook also had a strong initial impression that the
church nave should face south, overlooking the Phoenix Valley skyline.
Working in collaboration with liturgical consultant/interior designer,
Reverend Cindy Voorhees, Steve began to envision a transformation of the
building from a mansard roofed two story office building into a masonry
"desert cathedral" with several internally lit spires and a new covered
There were two other major design cues. First, the winter home of Frank
Lloyd Wright (Taliesin West) is located only a few miles away. Some of
the colors and architectural graphics are inspired by Wright's regional
influences. Second, the American "home" for the Episcopal faith is
represented by the Episcopal "National Cathedral" in Washington, DC.
National Cathedral inspired some of the gothic window shapes, the
structurally necessary CMU buttresses and the massing of the steeple and
gable facade to the south. Additionally, there is a touch of joviality
found in how the tops of COTN's buttresses mimic the infamous "Darth
Vader" gargoyle located on the National Cathedral.
More seriously, the intent was to also allow the design of the interior
spaces and finishes to represent the "sacredness" of the desert
The nave has mostly hard surfaces and natural materials, allowing COTN
to have one of the longest controlled acoustical reverberation times in
the state of Arizona. This helps enhance the worship experience,
especially when led by the organ or choir. However, the church also has
a state of the art line array sound system for speech intelligibility,
which can be adjusted on an iPad from any chair in the nave. There are
also two sets of high lumen video projectors and retractable screens for
less traditional services.
"We had three goals for this building", says Barduson, "the church
desired it to be welcoming, warm and sacred (Christ Centered) and they
wanted it to be carried out as a blend of the traditional and the
inspirational (contemporary)". "What a privilege to be able to work with
Reverend Susan and Reverend Cindy on such a worthy project".
Roofing: Sprayfoam Southwest Flooring: Interface, Daltile
Curtain Wall, Entrances & Storefronts: Arcadia
Lighting: Cooper, Lightsmith