Pantego Bible Church

Dallas, Texas

The program for this regional church was unusual. A key element of the congregation’s doctrine is to reach the needs of the “un-churched.” This core belief enabled the design to embrace forms from both the sacred and the secular. Traditional iconography of nave, transept, narthex and center aisle found in most Western religious structures was abstracted for Pantego. Through the master planning process of the 52-acre campus, there emerged an ordering principle of “marking the land” by overlaying  a shifted grid with a distinct boundary- a Precinct- forming edges to both buildings and courtyards. The rolling topography of the site, not commonly found in the vast plains Texas, provided opportunities for courtyards at multiple elevations as well as walls and fountains. Access to the buildings from the west is primarily at level, opening onto a lower courtyard. The fan-shaped form of the auditorium is positioned where the natural grades of the sloping, concave shapes of a Greek ampitheatre. This auditorium seats 1,800 people in the Phase I, and was surrounded by a wrapper of classrooms which could be converted to additional worship area to seat up to 3,500 total in the future.