Theatre Design Portfolio
Eastview Christian Church, Normal IL
BLDD Architects was commissioned by Eastview Christian Church for this relocation project on a 95-acre site. BLDD selected Bill Conner as the theatre consultant for the project.
This “seeker friendly church” was intentionally designed not to look like the traditional church. The design of this project began with a master plan. The first phase of the project was a 159,000 square foot building that includes a 2,500-seat auditorium, a children’s auditorium, a youth auditorium/gym, staff offices, large meeting rooms, a children’s nursery, a bookstore, and spacious public atrium.
Willow Creek Church, South Barrington, IL
Bill Conner worked with architect Goss/Pasma on this seminal contemporary worship space which is an addition to the existing campus and replaces a 4,500 seat room. The auditorium design features two balconies, connecting terrace seating that joins the stage and first balcony, and large windows overlooking a landscaped water feature. The most distant seat in the new addition is only a few feet further and higher than the most distant seat in the existing room. The 95' x 57' proscenium is on a 120' x 50' stage with a stage wagon garage of nearly equal size and an extensive forestage with lift. The stage equipment includes three on stage and two forestage light bridges, a full counterweight rigging system, and motorized rigging over the forestage. There are programmable banners for light and acoustic control of the windows. Programmable rigging for two 6,000 pound video display panels allows raising and lowering, pivoting, and travel along 150 feet of trolley rails.Bill Conner was the principal theatre consultant for this project while with a previous consultancy.
Houston’s First Baptist Church Renovation, Houston, TX
After 30 years of use, Houston’s First Baptist Church felt it was time to update their worship center. Frustrated by out of date seating, lighting, audio and video systems the church contracted with Studio Red Architects for this $12 million project completed in 2008. The plans for the renovation encompassed seating replacement, a new platform, an updated choir configuration and a new catwalk system over the house with related ceiling design and a circular walking truss. Bill Conner Associates LLC designed the dimming and control systems, curved curtain tracks upstage and motorized doors revealing the updated baptistery.