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St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church Exterior

St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

Kissimmee, FL

Engaged by the Catholic Diocese of Orlando to design a new church on an economical budget, PRA is collaborating with St. Catherine of Siena in Kissimmee to create a beautiful, shared vision. Maximizing seating capacity, functionality, and aesthetic expression, the new 12,000 sq. ft. church reaches the Parish’s mission to serve “a community rich in diversity, united in faith, service and fellowship”.

Meeting the budget was a paramount goal. With an economical footprint and building form, the elegantly simple design affords itself to a metal building structure, necessary to keep costs as low as possible. The new 730 seat worship spaces is expandable to add 600 additional seats for the growing parish, and it is anchored by a prominent Sanctuary and adjacent choir. A future Adoration Chapel with seating for 120 is being conceptually designed to harmonize with the larger worship space. The generous narthex and welcome center provide spaces for gathering and fellowship while two Reconciliation Rooms, a Working Sacristy and Priest Sacristy serve the Sacramental enrichment and Liturgical needs of the parish. Finally, an audio visual room supports the Music Ministry and presentation requirements of this faith community. Together, all these spaces unify to create a dignified yet economical layout.

Working with St. Catherine of Siena’s Building Committee and representatives from the Catholic Diocese of Orlando began with a focused two-day “Hands On Workshop.” This PRA-facilitated process fosters maximum collaboration and idea generation by all members of the team. In this process, everybody is encouraged to participate in the creation of the shared vision. Walls decked with paper become filled with words, diagrams, and graphics – all generated by the Building Committee, who enjoyed the opportunity to draw concepts with the architects. A key part of the workshop is “Puzzle Play”, where colored cutouts of rooms are arranged on a large blank sheet of paper to create committee-driven concepts of how the floor plan and site might layout. A variety of these puzzle diagrams are then developed into potential floor plans and site layouts that are tested and discussed. From here, three dimensional aspects of the concepts begin to take shape and within two days of interactivity, a real foundation is established for the continuation of the design. As the workshop fosters numerous quality design options in a burst of activity, it does something else that may be the most important. The workshop builds trust and confidence among the Building Committee’s members and between the Building Committee and the design team. We are equal partners in the shared vision, and every voice is heard.

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