The North American Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church asked us to convert a 116,600-square-foot office building in Columbia, Maryland, into a modern facility that serves 1.2 million members across the United States, Canada, Bermuda, Guam and Micronesia.
For the first time, the North American Division (NAD) is establishing its own identity—and location—apart from the church’s global headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. The renovation of its four-story building will help the NAD more effectively facilitate its message of hope and wholeness to a broad and diverse constituency, which includes more than 6,000 churches, 40 hospitals, 14 universities and hundreds of schools.
We modernized the facility’s infrastructure to accommodate physical and virtual conferencing and meeting space; a television studio; and administrative leadership that includes multiple departments and more than 100 employees dedicated to providing church constituents with unsurpassed resources. At the heart of the new design is a sky-lit Atrium Commons that replaced a dated, open-air courtyard; this airy, two-story space forms a reception area for a new auditorium—the lower level is lined with glass-walled offices and the upper level forms a balcony where a new cafeteria and dining areas are located.
Through a deep-dive understanding of the people and the institution, our goal was to design a facility that welcomes all people in, gives both staff and visitors a sense of the North American Division and its mission, and send them back out with a renewed sense of understanding and passion.
Barnes Vanze was proud to be part of this important project, which will house the NAD for many years to come.