Last post, we delved into some ways to enhance the security of the exterior of a church building. Now, let’s shift our focus inward, and explore how the church design for the interior of the building can foster a sense of safety and security for everyone entering.

Transparency and Access Control

A safety-conscious church design for public spaces should be rooted in transparency, visibility, and controlled access. It’s important to maintain a direct visual connection between different public areas of the church building. By strategically positioning amenities such as restrooms and welcome counters within sightlines, hidden corners are eliminated, and the space has an overall sense of openness and inclusivity.

Another safety element to include in a church design is limited access to sensitive areas, such as children’s sections, remote areas, and private offices and the like. We will discuss more about devices to help do that in our next post. All these elements come into play when designing a safe church building.

A Case Study: Designing a Secure Church Foyer

Pictured is a real-world example that demonstrates some of these principles. This design schematic shows a sprawling foyer we created for a large church several years ago. From the moment people step through the doors of this church building, they are greeted by a vibrant atmosphere teeming with activity and purpose. But safety is also at the forefront.

The layout of the foyer is crafted to enhance both functionality and security. On one side, there is a welcoming cafe for fellowship. On the other side, a bookstore provides an invitation for learning and inspiration. Nearby, a security room and nurses’ suite stand ready to provide assistance, strategically positioned to offer unobstructed views of the entire space.

Outside the doors of the main worship space, in the center of the foyer and adjacent corridors, is an information and welcome center. Its location provides a clear view of the restrooms and the children’s check-in area, located down one of the corridors, as well as the main entrance. This design demonstrates how careful planning and attention to detail can provide an attractive, functional and–more importantly–secure and safe space for church goers by incorporating the elements of transparency, visibility, and controlled access.

Want to know more about church design and building? We invite you to participate in our upcoming i3 webinars, where The McKnight Group’s industry experts delve deeper into topics ranging from security best practices to innovative design solutions. A full list of upcoming topics and a sign-up form are located on our website.