Saint Bede Catholic Church

Project Overview

  • Extensive 37,000 square foot expansion
  • Georgian details nod to the existing Commons
  • HRACRE Award of Excellence, Best Institutional/ Public Building

With a creative eye and practical thinking, GuernseyTingle gave a congregation room to grow.

After decades of growth, Saint Bede Catholic Church had outgrown their current space and was in need of a larger space to better serve their congregation. A master plan was developed, divided into two parts: phase one, construction of the workshop and commons area, and phase two, adding two wings for additional education and administration space.

Through consultation with the client, the need expanded to create three wings to serve three needs: education, fellowship, and administration. Additionally, the goal was to keep the massing of the wings lower so that views of the new worship space would not be obstructed.

In keeping with the master plan, two of the wings form a central outdoor courtyard at grade level, allowing the congregation to easily gather. The third wing was constructed under the new court yard, accessible to the other wings. This creative solution allowed for the buildings to follow the intent of the original master plan but still provided the additional space needed for housing the Church’s more expansive programs.

Design benefits of the Administration Wing include convenient access to visitor parking for those visiting the administrative and ministry offices; the building also benefits from natural light on three sides. Furthermore, the parish hall and kitchen in the Fellowship Wing allow for service areas to be screened from primary pedestrian views. The lower level Education Wing, including flex-meeting rooms and classroom space, is accessible from all areas.

The addition’s exterior is designed to give the appearance of being built at the same time as the original Church. The design of the new wings is consistent with the details, materials and character of the Commons building. Georgian details, including gables, chimneys, white muntined double-hung windows, brick-arched arcades, and porticos unify the additions with the existing Commons and recall themes of nearby historic Williamsburg.  The architect for the original building, Kerns Group Architects of Alexandria, VA, was the consulting design architect to GuernseyTingle for the project.


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