First Presbyterian Church

Image First Presbyterian Church

Durham, NC



DTW Architects designed the complete renovation of this 36,000 SF church. The historic sanctuary and a residence were built in the 1920s, with a fellowship hall, education wing and lobby added over the next forty years. These additions melded the buildings together into one massive structure, but there were underutilized and unorganized spaces, and numerous circulation bottlenecks. In addition, certain adjacent spaces in the building could not be accessed without backtracking and large portions of the building were not handicap-accessible. DTW addressed all of these problems with well-considered solutions, including interweaving a new elevator at the intersection of three of the earlier buildings, each of which had differing floor levels.

The sanctuary was also completed renovated, and a front choir balcony was removed to allow the choir to be at the chancel level. Other improvements included extensive plumbing, mechanical and electrical upgrades.