Located on an eight-acre site in Coralville, Iowa, the new facility for the Unitarian Universalist Society replaces their original 108-year old sanctuary in Iowa City. With a growing congregation of around 300, the original building no longer fulfilled the church’s programmatic needs. The new facility includes spaces for worship, fellowship, religious education, and administrative offices, which are conjoined by a central narthex. A gestural curve of the building embraces the wooded edge condition bringing the outdoors in with expansive views of earth and sky.
With sustainable performance a project goal, the building incorporates 429 ground and roof mounted solar PV panels, a ground-source geothermal heat pump system, all LED lighting, and 100% on-site storm water infiltration. Building materials were selected for their durability, accessibility, low environmental and human health impacts, and beauty. Natural outdoor playscapes, woodland walking trails, food gardens, and electric car charging stations maximize the use of the entire project site.