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Construction Tour: First Church of Christ Scientist
June 30

First Church of Christ Scientist, 910 16th Street, Washington, DC 20006.
The Young Architects Forum is organizing this construction tour, hosted by Kerns Group, Cooper Carry and Davis Construction. After the tour the group will meet for a Happy Hour at Blackfinn Ameripub, 1620 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006, near Farragut Square.

The First Church of Christ Scientist, originally the Third Church of Christ Scientist, has been located in the same neighborhood since 1918. Later this summer, the church will occupy 12,000sf of a new 140,000sf development on 16th Street that also includes mixed uses for office and retail. The church façade is articulated as a faceted glass, crystalline structure to distinguish it from the commercial aspects of the overall structure. The transparency of the interior not only brings light into the church, but also connects the interior spaces and structures a conversation between the public and private areas.

• Participants will examine ways the exterior design of the church articulates the religious from the secular space with a faceted glass façade which projects slightly into the public space, adding visibility to the church and differentiating it from the larger office building façade.

• Participants will consider features of the building that welcome interaction with the neighborhood, including a plaza leading to the publicly accessible Christian Science Reading Room and the double-height auditorium space that is deliberately transparent from the street, conveying an open, welcome feeling in keeping with the tenets of the church’s faith and religious mission.

• Participants will examine interior elements that have dual functions, highlighting the transparencies while at the same time unifying all three floors and a variety of program spaces, like the ceiling elements that turn into wall accents, travel vertically and integrate separate stories reinforcing the vertical organization of the spaces and breaking the horizontality of the shell.

• Participants will consider how the design strategies are supported by a delicate lighting design that enhances the ceiling-wall design elements with subtle indirect lighting, directs attention to the church features including historical bells display, and illuminates the glass façade with seasonal color-changing background spot lights.
All tour members are required to wear PPE, including hard hats, safety glasses and close toed shoes. Davis will have some hard hats and glasses available for those who need to borrow equipment. Participants are required to sign a waiver form and bring the form with them to the tour site. The form will be sent with registration confirmation.

Parking is not available on site, but street parking and public garages can be found nearby. The site is a short walk from the Farragut North, Farragut West and McPherson Square Metro Stations.
2 HSW LUs. $10 for AIA members; $15 for non-members.
Contact Braden Field at for more information.