JPA knows that commercial facilities help clients establish connections to hone their brand, boost their productivity and define their businesses. The firm’s Commercial Studio works closely with clients to help them articulate their organizational goals and ensure they are reflected in their finished work environment. The resulting commercial spaces allow clients to connect with their customers as well as their internal teams to consistently achieve great results.
The Monastic Heritage Center
at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit
The Monastery of the Holy Spirit’s monks envisioned a new visitors’ center that would create a true monastic experience for guests as well as consolidate various industries within the organization into one area. For this unique place, they decided to preserve and repurpose a collection of underutilized farm buildings on site and needed a design firm with big ideas.
JPA’s experience with a broad range of renovation projects enabled the firm to best deliver the appropriate solution. JPA’s design staff spent much of the design process listening and asking questions, learning what the client truly wanted rather than mandating any one design choice. Through engagement with the monks, JPA was given the opportunity to share the monks’ vision and deliver spaces that have meaning and significance.
The firm began brainstorming ways to most efficiently restore and renovate barns – one of which was over a century old – to meet a variety of current needs. By working with a smaller committee of monks within the larger group, JPA encouraged the client to assess its business plan for financial sustainability to program the best consolidation of industries in the new space. Delivering a space that physically housed all of the organization’s industries was useless if the new plan was not appropriately vetted to ensure sustainability for the community.
The firm looked to the monks own guiding principles when considering programming and design ideas, slowly refining the program before initializing design work. This process involved the community, which developed a shared direction for the project to support the decision-making committee at the helm of the Monastic Heritage Center project’s execution.
The state of deterioration of the barn structures posed challenges, and in some cases, it seemed that new construction made more sense than renovation in terms of budget and sustainability. The barns were ventilated, but lacked air conditioning necessary for the comfort of seasonal visitors. JPA worked with the monks to design solutions for these challenges, blend the existing architecture with the concrete aesthetics of the monastery and incorporate energy-efficient new construction where necessary.
The final product provides guests with a meaningful experience at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, where guest satisfaction, attendance and sales have increased. Thrilled with the revitalization of their barn structures and improved Heritage Center, the monks continue to call on JPA for guidance on their design projects at the Monastery.
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