High pressure laminates from Wilsonart® were specified by the architects designing the new Children’s Centre at the Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana to create an appealing environment for kids.
Representing a fresh take on Sunday school design, the Children’s Centre steps away from the traditional church philosophy of using plain colours to create a subdued environment, instead opting for a colourful palette from Wilsonart’s Indie collection. Pastor Tim Stevens explained that they wanted an environment where the kids would be excited about coming to church.
Stevens is executive pastor of the Granger Campus for the Granger Community Church (GCC), which offers very dynamic adult services, complete with music, drama and production values. Seeking to create a Children’s Centre that was just as appealing, an environment that would make them want to come back again and again similar to McDonalds’ Playland, GCC approached architectureisfun (AIF), an award-winning Chicago-based firm run by architects Sharon and Peter Exley and well-known for its expertise in designing educational and interactive environments for children and families.
Using feedback on creating great learning environments from dozens of volunteers, including teachers and education professionals, who helped the church with the kids on weekends, along with inputs from the architects, the rooms at the new Children’s Centre were designed to be spacious and tailored for kids of a certain age, complete with appropriate themes and play areas.
GCC consulted its facilities management housekeeping personnel to make sure the materials chosen for the centre met their standards for maintenance and upkeep. A big part of AIF’s palette was imagined with high pressure laminates from Wilsonart, proven to perform and delight in educational environments.
At AIF, laminate is seen as a design tool and not just another surface material. Sharon explained that laminates represented a way for them to apply interest in shelving, cabinetry, and otherwise pedestrian elements, using the material to accentuate the interactive ‘wow’ elements.
Several designs from Wilsonart’s Indie collection helped bring GCC’s Children’s Centre to life, including Grass, Bark, and Rollerball. Many colours from the company’s standard Brush Series were also used. GCC has planned for a seven- to ten-year lifecycle on the themes and is confident that the Wilsonart designs will look good for the duration.
Following the opening of the new Children’s Centre, Stevens has observed an increase in the number of children visiting the redesigned facility. He concluded that they were able to realise their goals because they decided to invest in great design created specifically for kids.
Image: The Children’s Centre at Granger Community Church featuring high pressure laminates from Wilsonart’s Indie collection