Trinity Church

Location: Kelowna, BC


Status: Complete

Type: Places of Worship

Client: Trinity Church

The design of the sanctuary for a church is an awesome responsibility and opportunity. When you think of the ramifications of God’s WORD being expressed to a substantive audience, this should inspire the traditional ‘Fear of the Lord’ to get it right.

The measure of a sanctuary, with the technology that is available to us today, is its versatility to accommodate anything from a Presenter/Pastor/Teacher to a full theatrical dramatic performance. It is not uncommon to find that in a case such as Trinity’s, where advanced theatrical displays are required. It is so exciting to consider and to have experienced first-hand the Christmas Productions that were accomplished even in the former theatre. That experience is taken to a whole new level in the design of the new sanctuary, which is as optimal as possible. In the course of the demolition, sprinklers in the ceiling of the sanctuary suffered burst pipes which caused water to rain down through ceiling lights into the sanctuary below. Thankfully the place was mostly empty of furniture and equipment at the time, but the damage caused was extensive. The timing was also fortuitous as it allowed some of the renovation budget to be offset by insurance claims.

To manage the sound environment is another incredible feat. The services of Jay Kaufman from Los Angeles were engaged and an incredible acoustic environment was created such that the room itself performs as a musical instrument with the appropriate diffusion and reflectance in the walls to make the room, in combination with its sound system, an experience in and of itself. Much of the reflectance and the sound absorption on the walls was constructed by the church volunteers, which further added to the success of the project. These contributions allowed for a greater effect than what would have been achievable within the financial constraints, making the solution superior. The former pews which were replaced with theatre seats were used to create diffusers on the back wall of the sanctuary. The wood of the pews is performing very effectively in this regard.

Historically there were some severe sound problems which were identified with a clapper that showed excessive reverberation just to the front and left of the main stage platform. This reverberation which needed to be managed, in the final outcome, has been exceptionally well handled. The opportunity to collaborate with Dave Huber with his depth of experience, and the added input from Joel Armstrong and the extensive experience of Jay Kaufman allowed for the acoustic and presentation experience at the Trinity Church to be second to none.

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