ChristChurch Presbyterian is planning to build a new, modern building on Peachtree Street. This rendering shows the courtyard view.
ChristChurch Presbyterian is planning to build a new, modern building on Peachtree Street. This rendering shows the courtyard view.

ChristChurch Presbyterian soon will break ground on a new sanctuary at 1740 Peachtree Street in Buckhead.

Unlike a traditional Southern or Gothic worship building, the new church will feature a modern design that will incorporate much of an existing office building on the site. The design is intended to complement its urban setting, the church said in a press release.

“We are outgrowing our current facility and cannot adequately expand our congregation and reach our city without additional space where we can worship and meet together, invite people to join us and provide gathering spaces for youth, classes, meals, counseling and ministry work,” Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Paul Gardner said in the release.

New York-based architecture firm Gertler & Wente Architects is serving as lead designer and architect of record, and Atlanta-based Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates is the local architect, the church said.

Work on the new church is set to begin in June. Construction is expected to last about 18 months.

Four years ago, the congregation purchased a three-story office building at the corner of Peachtree and 25th streets, just a few blocks from the church’s current location, and began the process of clarifying what they wanted to do with the site. Church members agreed they wanted to incorporate as much of the existing building as possible into a new facility, rather than destroy it.

“We researched and interviewed a number of architecture firms,” said Carter Reames, chairman of ChristChurch’s building committee. “We were familiar with Gertler & Wente through their innovative repurposing of a 1913 Manhattan parking garage into a spectacular new church for Redeemer Presbyterian Church. We believed they could bring fresh and exciting ideas to Atlanta to transform our vision for a new sanctuary into a beautiful design,” Reames said.

“TSW recently won a national award for the design of a new contemporary worship facility for Woodstock Community Church, and having them on the design team brings local expertise that’s so important in a project like this,” Reames said.

The two architecture firms collaborated on a design that expands the existing building on its south side, and elevates the roof and windows above a 925-seat sanctuary. Seating inside the sanctuary will be provided by stackable chairs, rather than permanent pews, making the room flexible for other uses apart from worship services.

The Peachtree Street side of the building will feature a tower with three crosses facing north, south and east.

Jerry Spangler of Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh said the new church would feature a coffee shop facing Peachtree and an art gallery on the building’s south side.

“The exterior will be clad in a large-scale porcelain panel along with the brick, glass and steel. Passers-by will know it’s a church, but they might have to take a second look to be sure,” he said.

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Collin Kelley