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St. Luke the Evangelist

Growing from a 35-acre site of gifted farmland, this worship and school facility provides a nourishing and welcoming home for all seasons of life. It is a place of inclusive worship that provides lifelong service and education opportunities. Future planned phases will expand the school and add a senior living component, following the parish’s motto of “We worship, we teach, we care.”

The 32,000 square foot, $6,834,000 structure assembles simple forms with Midwestern pragmatism, to finish the ensemble in forthright materials that integrate sustainable systems throughout.

From the north, a low line of classrooms accentuates the gym and sanctuary volumes. The sanctuary, oriented to the east, honors Catholic traditions via light, procession, form, and materiality. A gothic-arch window with exterior wood louvers anchors the wall behind the altar. Clerestory windows usher in filtered daylight. Exposed structural frames provide cadence and measure.

Locally sourced, durable, and low maintenance materials lend a contemporary identity rooted in the vernacular. Primary exterior finishes include limestone and Corten weathering steel, installed as a rain screen and fabricated into solar shades. On the sanctuary roof, steel covers a water resistive air barrier membrane. Precast concrete sandwich panels are integrally colored, using limestone aggregate with medium sandblast. Wood is stained cedar and poplar. Floors are sealed concrete.

Both school and sanctuary minimize energy usage and maximize beneficial solar penetration. The classrooms’ angled ceilings direct northern daylight deep into the space. Operable windows deliver air circulation and user control. Stepped lighting controls are governed by daylight and occupancy sensors. Plumbing fixtures are low flow. Decentralized VRF mechanical systems transport energy with fluid instead of air, maximizing efficiency and minimizing plenum space. Continuous insulation in the building envelope minimizes thermal bridging. As the net result of these intelligent passive and active strategies, the building utilizes 45% less energy than comparable church and school buildings.

The building’s design decisions were made to support the organization’s mission of lifelong worship, education, service, and community-building. Doing so in a sustainable manner reduces operational expenses and assures that tithed gifts are maximized to support the organization's mission.

Project Type: Worship, Education

Location: Ankeny, Iowa

Size: 32,000 SF

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