Mahan Rykiel prepared the landscape plan for the First Baptist Church which connects a new 3000-seat Worship Center with an historic 1890 Sanctuary and provides a welcoming new “oasis” in the heart of Dallas. The project occupies two city blocks and serves as a gateway for those entering the city.
The goal of the modern architectural design of the building and plaza is intended to reflect the beauty and majesty of God and the revitalization of the downtown area. The overall project includes three-quarters of an acre of greenspace, a new five-story family center, a new parking garage, a glass bridge, and dramatic water feature. The carefully orchestrated arrangement of paving, planting and bermed walls accentuate the new architecture while respecting the character of the early 20th century parish which shares the site. Against the backdrop of the historic sanctuary, the design of a small courtyard provides a more restrained contrast to the theatrical plaza beyond. Seating areas and shade trees in this area offer a contemplative place for individual or small scale activities and an accessible route to the existing building.