Risen Savior Lutheran Church, Chandler, Ariz.

Callahan Studios designed a contemporary expansion with curved walls for Risen Savior Lutheran Church. The expansion added functional space to the existing structure. Project goals for the worship center included a space that was accessible for all people, intimate, yet able to seat hundreds of people, and contemporary, yet sacred.

A one-story, 36,000-square-foot building has a contemporary worship venue that seats 728, and the congregation continues to use the sanctuary for a more traditional worship format. The project included a large commercial kitchen, classrooms, offices and an expansive front yard area for events.

Rev. Ronald Burcham, senior pastor at the church, says the congregation wanted a worship space that could be used for purposes other than worship, as well. “We were out of space in our current building, especially in the winter months when the winter residents are in town. There was no place for us to grow our contemporary worship services, and we had no dedicated space for junior high and senior high ministry. We are a multigenerational church, but we were looking to do a better job at ministering to younger families in our community.”

Project challenges included building geometry. An elliptical worship center had to meet and blend seamlessly into a rectangular shape that houses classrooms and meeting rooms.

Josh Hansen, construction manager at Hansen Construction Management Group, general contractor, says, “The footprint of the worship center is a true ellipse. On the exterior wall of the worship center, there are five rows of both interior and exterior shelves. The exterior shelves were designed to be light shelves, while the interior shelves were designed with acoustic panels running in between the shelves. The shelves followed the elliptical geometry of the building footprint. Flex- C Trac and Flex-C Arch were used in the framing to form the face of all radiused shelves.”

Executive West Building LLC, framing and drywall contractor, installed 36 pieces of Flex-Ability Concepts LLC’s 6-inch, 20-gauge Flex-C Arch and 114 pieces of 6-inch, 20-gauge Flex-C Trac.

For two weeks, six crew members installed the ellipse. Executive West Building’s measurements and calculations had to precisely line up with the steel framers’ work.

Allen Gravitt, director at Executive West Building, says, “This was a very ambitious design. Though we are very experienced with bending interior track, in this situation, we definitely thought it would be more beneficial to use Flex-C Trac. We have had good experience with the track in the past, and this install went very smooth.”