Plymouth United Church of Christ

This historic 1913 Alexander Eschweiler-designed church is located on a tightly constrained site in a quiet residential neighborhood near the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. Although blessed with architecturally significant details, the building interior and exterior suffered from a variety of functional shortcomings that diminished its usefulness and sense of welcome for the congregation. Poorly designed interior circulation paths on multiple floor levels made visitor wayfinding confusing. Key meeting spaces were designed with open, half-wall construction and placed along main circulation paths, making it difficult to hold meetings without interruption. The primary exterior side entrance was cluttered and poorly designed, lacking a graceful sense of identity and welcome. 

LOCATION

Milwaukee, WI

SCALE

7,000 sf renovation + addition

STATUS

Completed 2013

TKWA developed a facility master plan to identify a prioritized set of design options that could be completed within a limited construction budget. The recommended design solutions offer significantly improved internal circulation and more intuitive wayfinding. A larger, more graceful reception hall increases opportunities for formal and informal gatherings by congregation members. Meeting rooms were reorganized for improved functionality and privacy. 

TKWA improved internal vertical circulation by taking an underutilized stair and connecting it more fully to all building levels. A new elevator offers improved ADA accessibility throughout the building. A small, but attractive new addition helps frame the entry courtyard and creates a unique and inviting meeting space and study area. A green roof on the new addition reduces stormwater runoff. New exterior courtyard landscaping creates a more graceful entry. 

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