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Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

Project Information


Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ


Madison, WI








President | Chief Executive Officer


Project Manager


Executive Vice President | Chief Design Officer

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A Strategic Choice

The Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ partnered with Strang on a transformative journey aimed at renovating their 50-year-old building to align with their evolving programming needs. Recognizing that their current facility fell short of meeting both current and future requirements, the collaborative planning process centered on a comprehensive and purposeful renovation to meet the church’s needs now and for many years to come.

The Strang team collaborated with the church to create a range of design options. The church, in consultation with Strang, strategically opted for the option that specifically addressed the most important goals of creating a more welcoming experience while improving the infrastructure and function of the building and accommodating critical needs within the worship hall, focusing on improving functionality and enhancing the worship experience. The objective of this option was to tackle the shortage of space for musicians and choirs in the worship hall, address poor sightlines for viewing musicians and projected images, and facilitate a smoother and more convenient exit from the sanctuary.

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A Spectrum of Enhancements

The design solution curated by Strang encompassed a spectrum of enhancements to address the diverse needs of Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ. The envisioned transformation included:

  • Remodeled entry
  • Welcome space renovation
  • New restrooms and showers
  • Transformed Friendship (Fellowship) Hall
  • Updated office and classroom wing finishes
  • Roofing, exterior wall repair, and window replacement
  • Landscape improvement
  • Electrical and fire alarm updates
  • Energy-efficient mechanical system upgrades
  • Add solar water heating system
  • Office and Classroom reconfigurations
  • Expansion of Worship Hall Seating
  • Larger, more flexible Chancel with new window
  • Improved Worship Hall Sightlines
  • Upgraded Finishes throughout Facility
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Significant Transformation

The strategic choice to embark on this significant transformation resulted in notable gains for Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ. The Entry and Reception were improved with intuitive wayfinding and sightlines improved from Reception to the Entry and improved flow. An “enfilade” was created through the 3 main community spaces: The Friendship (Fellowship) Hall, the Crossing (Narthex), and the Worship Hall. By replacing solid walls with floor-to-ceiling glass, space and light flow right through the building. The uninspiring existing Friendship (Fellowship) Hall was enlivened by the rhythm of plywood planes creating a vaulted space. A Labyrinth in the floor and new windows graced by relocated stained glass that draw in light and color complete the transformation of the mundane into the transcendent. The Worship Hall was transformed by opening up the Chancel with views to the outside. A transcendent worship space was created by introducing daylight and a connection to the outdoors, where the congregation experiences the changes of the seasons all year round.

The result was the creation of a welcoming space where we experience hospitality, conversation mutuality, and abundance.