Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Church Office Conversion

First, let me be clear. Conversion, in this post, does not refer to a rebel on his knees in a pastor's study opening his life to the Lord's dynamic intervention. Rather, this post is about a space conversion, the adaptation of a space for a different use. Stick with me and learn about: adaptive reuse.

Proclamation Presbyterian is a mission congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.  Founding minister, Rev. Troy DeBruin, rented an office on Main Street in Mt Joy, Pennsylvania. This temporary space is close to the Church of God building where the fledgling congregation meets each Sunday evening at 5 p.m.

At the end of the summer, I undertook the challenge of helping the pastor turn an ugly, on-the-street office into an inviting, multi-use church base.

The new church headquarters is two rooms, a large outer room and an inner office. The outer, multipurpose room is about 13 by 30 feet, and the inner room is 16 by 19 feet. Both rooms have nine-foot ceilings.

Originally, the outer room walls were painted fatigue green and the woodwork bisque. Because we were working with a bare bones budget, I decided to change only the wall color and work with the  neutral woodwork. After all, this is rented--not permanent--space. In the fall, a group of volunteers came and helped us give the walls two coats of Benjamin Moore paint (linen white).

I purchased a comfortable sofa and chair covered in a soft, yet durable, wool and had floor-to-ceiling draperies constructed to warm up the huge room.

On the wall where a folding table served as a make-shift desk, we placed bookcases.

The ping-pong table which leaned against the opposite wall was adapted to become a conference table. 
It was painted Benjamin Moore Roxbury caramel to match the draperies.When young people drop by, a net and paddles resurface, the conference room chairs are wheeled out the way, and the table can again see competition.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the main room, the young pastor has a stand-up desk where he can work when his desk chair gets uncomfortable.

 Hidden behind the stand-up desk is a microwave, mini-fridge, and coffee maker.

With the outer room ready for guests, the inner office needed to be refreshed. When the church first rented the space, the bare walls and temporary furniture made the room look makeshift.

However, a couple more gallons of linen white paint and two more sets of ceiling-to-floor draperies   transformed the space.

Then, new-to-the-church desks and credenzas add professionalism to the office.

Now the space is being used by all ages--from tots enjoying daddy's computer, to teenagers playing pingpong, to adults at prayer.
This is what I call adaptive reuse!