St. James Catholic Church in Belvidere, Ill., is a local landmark, dating to 1886. By 2012, the church had become outdated and could no longer accommodate everyone who worshipped there.
The church required a significant expansion in seating capacity and upgraded facilities. With additions totaling more than 13,000 square feet, church officials wanted the new structure to reflect the historic look of the original building.
The architectural design team used architectural precast concrete panels with a custom formliner to replicate the existing brick appearance on the new spaces. They comprise a two-story north addition of 5,200 square feet per floor, a three-story, 2,730-square-foot stair/elevator tower, and a 175-square-foot steeple tower at the entrance.
A customized formliner replicated the original distorted brick. The precast was stained using a multi-color stain system, keeping the mortar joints as the base concrete color. Portions of the panels were also clad with natural stone.