Gangnam Joongang Baptist Church

    41,500 m2 (446,000 SF)
    Beck – Architecture Beck – Interior Design

Gangnam Joongang Baptist Church is one of the fast-growing churches in South Korea with 6 worship hours each Sunday on their existing campus in Seoul. When continued growth was not feasible any longer, the church leadership decided to create a new campus on the exiting site.

The new design by Beck will enable over 7,000 persons to worship together at one time, while providing a spiritual architectural statement for the Korean church. The unique design solution has approximately 41,500 M2 (446,000 SF) of space which accommodates a 2,740-seat Main Worship Room, 400-seat Chapel, 400-seat Performance Hall, Children, Youth and Small Group Ministry spaces, 500-seat Cafeteria, Book/Café, Sky Lounge, TV Studios, Guesthouse, Offices, Terrace gardens, Plaza Gardens, and underground parking for 370 cars.

Many elements of the new design are a symbolic expression of the spiritual vision of the church. The buildings’ dramatic curved form surrounds a large public Plaza Garden which exemplifies Christ’s calling and embracing of all who come. This Plaza Garden also provides a place for community with an oasis-like setting in the densely developed Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul. A Tower at the corner of the Plaza Garden symbolizes the love of Christ in his suffering and death, through an intertwining of a cross and crown of thorns inspired structure. Light filtered through the Tower is designed to penetrate down into underground spaces, representing resurrection and new life in Christ.

There are many unique technical solutions supporting the ambitious nature of the design. To meet local zoning regulations, over half of the church’s required building areas have to be placed underground, including the Main Worship Room. A mega-truss system and four massive concrete columns are utilized to support the Worship Room’s roof and Plaza Garden above. To provide a more sustainable and high performing facility, photovoltaic panels, a geothermal system, horizontal sun shading devices, and special rainwater collection systems are also incorporated into the campus design.

Construction on the project is scheduled to be completed by 2024.