2008  |  Olin T. Binkley Church  |  Chapel Hill, NC

Szostak Design completed a series of renovations and additions to the Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church to reshape and revitalize the 1960s-era building. Renovations included new finishes, lighting, and furnishings for the church’s fellowship hall and classroom wing. Additions included a new narthex entry, choir practice room, administrative suite, and a meditative chapel.

Though the original church had been designed as a well-proportioned, modernist sanctuary, its overall character lacked cohesion and a clear sense of identity. In response, a series of modest but strategically placed additions have been introduced throughout the building, designed to enhance interior circulation and offer much needed elbow room, particularly in the church’s narthex. Each of the small, eccentrically shaped plan additions are conceived as animated embellishments which stand in contrast to the orthogonal geometry and subdued material palette of the original church. The resulting collage of contrasting form, color, and iconography transforms the building, granting it a newfound sense of welcoming identity. A complimentary redevelopment of the church’s site and landscaping completes the transformation, creating a clearly articulated entry beneath a glass and structural steel canopy.

Photography by Wyatt Blackwell