Greencastle, IN

About this dome

  • Dome profiles
    • Dome 1: 74', mid
    • Dome 2: 74', mid

Double 74′ diam dome. Sanctuary dome has seating for 350 on main floor and 150 on balcony level. There is a full lower level with walkout on backside.
Total 20,000 sq. ft.

Assembly of God Church, Greencastle, Indiana

In 1986, Engineered Alternatives, the Indianapolis dealer for Natural Spaces Domes, designed and engineered a 20.000 sq. ft. double-dome structure utilizing two Natural Spaces’ Model 4300 Mid Profile 74′ diameter domes. The church’s needs were for a 500+ seat sanctuary, a large narthex for gathering before and after services, a fellowship hall with kitchen, Sunday school classrooms, church offices, and accompanying miscellaneous storage and utllity space. The following is a description of how this program was met.

Design Features
The entry narthex is 30′ x 40′ with a large open cloak room and a stairway to the lower floor. Large window areas on each side of the double set of double doors provide plenty of natural light for large plants while creating a very pleasant welcoming area. This area is also used for a “staging” area for weddings, receptions and funerals.

The main floor of the sanctuary seats 338 people in fixed padded church pews. The remaining 178 people are seated in a balcony reached by the stairways on both sides of the main floor of the sanctuary. The 25′ x 50′ raised pulpit area encompasses the choir seating area, the musical ensemble area, a raised baptismal immersion pool hidden behind a decorative wall with a sliding panel, and the pulpit area which utilizes a clear Plexiglas lectern. An extension behind the baptismal area has men’s and women’s dressing rooms with a stairway leading to the lower level.

Heating and air conditioning ducts are contained in a boxed-in soffit which encircles the sanctuary dome. The top of the dome has a raised cupola with five operable vent windows for natural ventilation.

To diminish the sound reverberation in the dome, the floors are carpeted, the pews padded, and the ceiling spray textured. The carpeting was done in a two-tone color scheme; grey under the seating area and on the raised pulpit, burgundy in the aisles arid on all the stairs. The pew seats are covered in mauve fabric. The ceiling of the dome is sprayed with a white sound deadening material which also ads in reflecting light in the dome. This white ceiling and the carpet and fabric colors give the church a fresh contemporary 90’s look.

On the other side of the narthex from the sanctuary is the entry to the fellowship hall dome. Just inside this entry are the main floor bathrooms. The remaining 4,000 sq. ft. of space on the main floor of this dome is devoted to an open, spacious, multi-purpose room with a large kitchen. At the top of the dome is another raised cupola with five windows for natural ventilation.

The entire lower level on the back side is at grade due to the slope of the Church site.

The level below the sanctuary has separate offices for the pastor, the assodate pastor, the Sunday school superintendent, the church secretary, office equipment, board room, and other areas for classrooms, supplies and storage.

The lower level between the two domes has men’s and women’s bathrooms. mechanical and janitorial rooms, and the stairway up to the narthex.

The level below the fellowship hall has 4,300 sq. ft. of classroom facilities.

One of the important design considerations was that the entire facility be handicap accessible, including the lower level. As can be seen in the plan, the main floor and lower floor can be entered directly from their own drive and parking areas.

Energy Efficiency
The dome has 2×8 struts and utilizes Natural Spaces’ ventilated dome shell system. While the two domes are considerably larger than the congregation’s previous church, the energy costs for heating and cooling are considerably less than what they were paying. Total heating and cooling costs run approx. $225 per month for the entire 20,000 sq. ft. complex.

Construction Method
Utilizlng Natural Spaces’ Patented Super-Lok Hub & Strut Connection System, the congregation was able to put up the domes themselves, supervised by the local Natural Spaces’ dealer. On both 74′ diameter domes, none of the parts were longer than 8′ nor heavier than 30 Ibs. This was achieved because Natural Spaces
changes the dome frequency (geometry) to enable nonskilled owner-builders to erect the dome without having to use cranes or other support elements. Also, the higher frequency gives Natural Spaces’ larger domes a more spherical appearance.

The 74′ diameter dome has a 6 frequency icosahedron based alternate breakdown geometry. There are 550 struts, 350 triangular panels and 196 hub units.

The 20,000 sq. ft. Assembly of God Church was built for an approximate cost of $500,000, excluding the finishing of the Fellowship Hall. This cost efficiency was achieved because the church took advantage of the many resources available within their own congregation. The church utilized a construction manager to supervise their volunteer labor force which not only built the domes, but also installed the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.