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St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (est. 1961) is located on a six-acre wooded lot in historic Arlington, Virginia. This 1963 structure was originally envisioned as the first step in a multi-phased construction and expansion plan. The structure consisted only of a nave, narthex, kitchen, and several offices and classrooms. The facility was expanded in 1977 to accommodate a growing religious community. Yet as the congregation expanded, church leadership realized that the original plan was impeding their vision for the Church’s growth. To this end, they sought assistance in identifying specific programming needs and conceptual design alternatives for improvement of their buildings and grounds to create a parish with “welcoming and inspiring spaces for both now and future families worship in a community of inclusion, aspiring to tell and exemplify God's love for every human being.”
CGS Architects built on the Church’s simple physical beauty tied to developing a renovation and addition that focused on the congregation’s numerous programmatic priorities: expanded Narthex space, improved Sunday School facilities, addition of a Parish Hall, administrative updates, musical facility improvements, and universal accessibility throughout. The design features a reconfigured front entrance oriented toward site arrival with an iconic Church steeple, sheltering loggia, and clearly identifiable front door. Inside, a light filled Narthex stretches between the existing Nave and new fellowship hall to create ample space for social events with multiple venues for adult education and formal gatherings. A contemplative Chapel is located at the rear of the existing Nave and configured to allow expanded worship capacity when required. The highly collaborative effort was supported by an active and inspired congregation to ensure that the new plan reflects the spirit, the culture, and the aspirations, of this welcoming parish community.