When the nation’s largest church decides to relocate to a new facility, it takes a major construction effort. When the move involves transforming a former sports arena into an intimate worship experience for 16,000 congregants, the challenge is even greater. Led by Pastor Joel Osteen, the church took the Compaq Center, added a five-story building that includes a 27,000 sq.ft. media suite for audio and video production, replaced and renovated all of the systems throughout the campus, and created a facility that is unrivaled in both its capacity and the environment it offers for worship.
The project involved three separate but related challenges: live sound, television broadcast, and audio / video recording and post production. RBDG initially was sought out to design the new broadcast and production facilities, but also was asked to oversee acoustics within the main worship space.
The challenge of converting a sports arena to an intimate worship experience meant significant changes to the acoustics within the space, as well as making it a much quieter venue. RBDG also was dealing with a variety of noise and vibration issues – sound isolation from the concourse and a new chiller plant, and from traffic on the freeway just outside the building. A barrier beneath the arena seating was needed as part of the fire separation scheme for the new sanctuary, so RBDG devised one to serve triple duty in also achieving acoustical separation from the nursery spaces below and for low-frequency absorption in the main worship space.
For the Media Suite on the fifth floor of the new Family Life Center, RBDG provided architectural, interior and acoustical design services. The Center houses the video and audio production control rooms, camera shading, audio recording studios, post production, editing and graphics rooms, as well as the central technical equipment hub for broadcast and media systems campus-wide.