Sol Harris Day Architecture

The Chapel was in need of a significant re-imagination and reorganization of their Akron church campus. The sprawling campus consists of multiple worship buildings that have been pieced together, making wayfinding for visitors challenging to say the least. Given their location right in the heart of the University of Akron’s campus, they wanted to create a church campus of the future that would attract University students, as well as young families. Ideally, it would be an attractive and vibrant place to hang out all through the week.


  • Master Planning
  • Facility Assessments
  • Visioning
  • Estimating/Scheduling
  • Visualizations and Graphics
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • FF&E

After several additions, many areas of The Chapel seemed to just blend together. The FUN and VIBRANT graphics not only created a new central hub but also brought NEW LIFE to an age group that already has so much energy!

Andrew Lallathin, Project Architect

The Process

SōL Harris/Day began with a campus master plan for future worship building projects. After conducting several visioning sessions with a committee comprised of Chapel staff and members, a clear set of goals were established to guide the architectural design and construction process. From there, designs, cost estimates and a phased schedule for implementation were developed.

Project goals included:

  • Clearly defined church entry points
  • Intuitive navigation and worship spaces
  • Clear sightlines to destinations - landmarks / landmark gathering areas
  • 7 days a week access and use
  • Improve flow, reduce bottlenecks
  • Open views outdoors and entries at the right places
  • Create cafe / gathering areas / places to "hang out"
  • Bring hallways alive with flexible displays (for news, etc) that are easily changeable
  • Enable flexibility, including different venues, different sizes of worship spaces
  • Simple to use and consistent technology
  • “Common sense” sustainability measures (based on payback analysis)
  • Add daycare

Interior Concepts

SōL Harris/Day brought a culture of creative ideas to this church project, imagining a campus that would attract and be comfortable to those young adults and families alike. Techniques that the Disney Company uses within the designs of their large buildings were suggested in the re-imagination of The Chapel. Through intuitive wayfinding, memorable “monuments”, and opening up corridor views, a very logical organization completely transformed the existing space.


  • The Fir Hill church lobby was reorganized to provide clear sight lines to newly renovated worship spaces
  • Early childhood classrooms were reorganized with a focus on simple navigation through use of color and wall graphics to improve wayfinding
  • Informal seating areas were created for gathering to reduce clogging in corridors and improve interior circulation
  • Adult classrooms were brought together and moved closer to the main sanctuary to accommodate the elderly
  • Adult Bible Fellowship [ABF] spaces were opened and connected to the main Atrium for better circulation
  • A "Landmark Space" was created with informal seating and a coffee bar for wayfinding
  • Materials were introduced in all public circulation spaces to create a more cohesive interior worship space

Our preschool area gives your child a first impression of our Heavenly Father and the wonder of His love. It’s a vibrant, exciting place where parents can bring their children to be introduced to the One who made them.

The Chapel

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