DALLAS – Preserving the historic and aesthetic elements of a landmark 124-year-old church sanctuary, while at the same time updating it for contemporary services, seems like a tall order. It gets even taller, though, when you consider that this renovation had to transform a stage area designed for a 150-member choir and orchestra into a space for a six-piece contemporary praise band without making it seem “empty.” Oh… and all of this had to be accomplished on what a church official acknowledged was “a shoestring budget.”
PARAGON 360 of Springfield, MO was more than up to this challenge, though, completing a beautiful and balanced design project at the iconic First Dallas Church with the help of 53 LED fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
This project came about when First Dallas completed a $130 million dollar sanctuary, one of the largest church construction projects in history. The opening of this facility made the church’s original sanctuary, which was built in 1890, available to begin a new life as the home of First Dallas’ Day One Contemporary Services led by Nicholas Costello.
The biggest challenge PARAGON 360 faced when converting the sanctuary into a contemporary service area was to give it an updated look and feel without permanently altering its rich historic features. “Our plan was to accommodate as many design elements of the historic space as possible and ensure that they looked like they belonged in the new area,” said Donnie Brawner, CEO of PARAGON 360. “The stage, which was designed for a large choir, would now be occupied by a small praise band. We had to make the stage space seem smaller so that the praise band presentation filled the space without being swallowed up by the empty choir loft.”
PARAGON 360 created some set elements to mask the empty choir loft areas and push the attention forward and downstage surrounding the band and praise team members. Stage backgrounds illuminated by CHAUVET Professional fixtures can be moved, or relocated depending on the presentation; or they can be removed completely to accommodate functions like weddings.
An illuminated center stage wall unit houses a motorized 6’ X 9’ ascending video screen. The screen serves as a backdrop to the music-led service and becomes the center piece of the message itself, as services from the main sanctuary are shown on the video screen. The lighting elements around the video screen add an extra dimension to the look of the stage area and help create a more emotional presentation of the message.
Positioned on custom designed truss towers, the 53 CHAUVET Professional fixtures provide intense beams and rich saturated colors to enhance the aesthetics of the worship services and direct attention toward the focal points on stage. The fact that two of the fixtures used, the COLORdash™ Batten-Quad 6 linear RGBA LED wash fixture and the COLORado™ Batten 72 Tour batten-style wash, have white as well as amber LEDs, allows a broad array of colors, from soft pastels to saturated hues to be integrated into the services.
The CHAUVET Professional Q-Wash™ 560Z-LED moving head was also included in the lighting design at First Dallas. With a wide zoom range, variable beam angle and output of 13,100 lux at 5 meters, the Q-Wash 560Z delivers the brightness and intensity called for to create an energized contemporary atmosphere during the praise band’s performances.
PARAGON 360 used at total of 11 COLORado Color Tours, 11 COLORado Batten 72 Tours,17 COLORdash Battens, 8 Q-Wash™ 260s and 6 Q-Wash 560Zs. Together with the other elements of PARAGON 360’s design work, these fixtures from CHAUVET Professional have helped the company “span time” at the 124-year-old First Dallas sanctuary, preserving its rich historic integrity, while also infusing the area with a dynamic contemporary look that reaches out and engages people of all ages.
This accomplishment has not gone unappreciated. "Renovating a room on a shoestring budget is plenty challenge enough” said Bryan Bailey, Director of Media, at First Dallas. “Renovating a 124-year-old sanctuary protected on the national historical registry, under the watchful eye of generations of long-time members, while making it palatable for a growing contemporary worship service, is just ridiculous. However, that's exactly what PARGON 360 agreed to take on with us at First Baptist Dallas.”
About CHAUVET® Professional
CHAUVET® Professional offers innovative professional lighting fixtures for the production and touring market as well as permanent installation in theaters, hospitality venues, cruise ships, clubs, television and architainment applications. For more information, please visit www.chauvetprofessional.com.
Chauvet, headquartered in the USA, is a leading global manufacturer of professional luminaires, truss and related equipment, fulfilling the needs of various industry sectors. Chauvet has four main brands: CHAUVET® DJ, CHAUVET® Professional, ILUMINARC® and TRUSST®. They share Chauvet’s unified strategy to pursue every market segment where it has a competitive advantage in terms of value, innovation and performance, with an emphasis on LED technology. For more information, please visit www.chauvetlighting.com.