Oregon Church Recognized for Sustainable Design

A Unitarian church in Bend, Ore. has been recognized for its sustainability.

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Unitarian church entry
Unitarian church entry

A Unitarian church in Bend, Ore. has received the 2015 Honor Award in the international Religious Art and Architecture Design Awards program.

Built by Kirby Nagelhout Construction Co. and designed by Hacker Architects for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon, the church incorporates a 260-seat sanctuary featuring a minister and choral platform, various classrooms, meeting rooms, administrative offices and support facilities—including a commercial kitchen.

The building’s design is meant to mirror that of a fractured rock, which shifts and moves in order to admit light and air. The structure is organized around a main circulation and central gathering space, and most of the building’s rooms and suites open up to this public area.

According to Heery International Inc., who commissioned the project, the building also received a Gold Certificate from Portland-based non-profit Earth Advantage, a company focused on sustainable building practices.

“Sustainability and the church design’s theme of rock, light and air go hand-in-hand,” Richard Young, executive associate at Heery, said in prepared remarks. “We were proud to work with the architects, the contractor’s team and the client to make sure the theme was pulled through the building’s mechanical operations.”

Photo courtesy of Lara Swimmer Photography via Heery International