Sanctuary Building at the Unity Center of Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek, California


The Unity Center of Walnut Creek had outgrown its religious and educational facilities. After a major fund-raising effort, they expanded their Sanctuary with a new Cupola and entry Foyer, including a new Fountain Courtyard. The main feature of the contemporary remodel is the addition of the central Cupola clerestory which transformed the Sanctuary into a religious space. The Foyer replaced the altar area on the western side of the building for better orientation to the community. It features large colored-glass and leaded-glass panels which sparkle throughout day and night services.

The reoriented interior space provides a more intimate relationship between the altar area and congregation and a larger platform was designed for musical performances. All interior walls were removed and a stackable glass wall opens onto the main Lower Courtyard for expanded services. To take advantage of its mild climate, this Courtyard is outfitted with video and speakers for outside services. Accessibility and seismic upgrades also integrated the facility with the site and surrounding neighborhood. New electrical, mechanical, lighting, audio/video, and acoustical systems were designed for flexibility to accommodate the variety of programs the Center provides to the community. The Sanctuary Building is even connected to the improved Education Building via live video so all events can be experienced all the time.