Proj Overview

Project Overview

For their centrally located urban house of worship, the members of the First Baptist Church of Dallas wanted the building to reflect the modern and aesthetically pleasing sensibility of the community. The church is the largest landowner in downtown Dallas, and its campus occupies a prime area on the north side of downtown between Thanksgiving Plaza and the Arts District. As such, all portions of the facade face downtown streets and had to deliver attractive features that blend with the local architecture.

That wasn't easy, says Jon Mindrup, associate principal of Beck Group LLC, the architect for the project. The existing campus was a collection of aging, mismatched buildings, and the design team was tasked with creating a cohesive master plan of new structures, all of the same design concept and in concert with the church's vision for a welcoming public campus. Programmatically, the church needed a glass curtain wall at the portions of the building that faced north and served public spaces, but they also needed an attractive, energy-efficient, durable solid wall for the south half of the building that would complement the curtainwall.

The biggest challenge in pulling it all together was finding a highly thermally resistive material for the harshest sun exposure areas that would also be attractive and durable, Mindrup says. "Insulated precast concrete panels were the best choice for those facades."

Precast Solution

The structure design starts at a fountain and extends radially through the curtain wall. The precast concrete facade was designed to reinforce the horizontality of the building while allowing the design to flow seamlessly from panel to panel. A basket-weave pattern was created on the precast concrete panels using a custom formliner to add depth and detail to the facade, pulling all elements of the campus together. Street-level panels are recessed slightly to break up the large building mass and to maximize public circulation space.

"Precast concrete was a unique solution for this project in that it was able to be panelized in such a way that the upper floors could extend out closer to the street than the first floor," Mindrup says. This allowed his team to provide wide, accommodating public sidewalks at street level while maximizing building square footage above, all with a material that could stand up to the harsh city environment.

The insulated panel system also improved the building's energy efficiency. "By utilizing an inner core of rigid insulation between concrete panels, we created a durable energy shield. That was a big contributor to our LEED silver certification."

In the busy downtown corridor, precast concrete facilitated construction and sequencing because no laydown space was required. "Panels came off of the truck and were placed on the facade immediately," he says. "The result is a very efficient thermal protective skin that provides a beautiful facade to the private spaces of the structure."

 

Awards
2014 Design AwardsBest Religious Building
Project Team

Owner

First Baptist Church of Dallas 

Architect

The Beck Group 

Precaster

Gate Precast Co 

Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer

e.Construct USA LLC 

Engineer of Record

Brockette Davis Drake 

Contractor

Manhattan Construction 

Photo Credit

Jon Mindrup

Key Project Attributes

  • A basket-weave pattern was created on the precast panels using a custom formliner to add depth and detail to the façade
  • Precast provided an energy-efficient, durable solid wall for the south half of the building
  • Precast resulted in an efficient thermal protective skin that provides a beautiful façade

Project/Precast Scope

  • Project Cost: $130 million
  • Project Size: 275,000 sq.ft (25,500 sq.m)
  • LEED silver certification