First Church Family Life Center

Huntsville, Alabama

Harris Architects was commissioned to design a New Family Life Center for the congregation of The First Church in Huntsville, Alabama. The new 2-story 40,000 sq. ft. facility provides whole life counseling, physical therapy, personal training, indoor recreational facilities, and community outreach services to the surrounding neighborhoods in Huntsville. The new facility maximizes daylight within the building interior and creates opportunities for patrons to view other activities during their visits by using interior glass walls at appropriate locations.

The building is organized around a skylit multipurpose assembly/competition sized basketball court, with a six-lane mezzanine level jogging track. Adjacent to the court on both levels are free weight/exercise machine work out rooms, physical therapy rooms, women and men shower/locker rooms, and support offices. On the ground floor, 2-story entry atriums greet all guests, a commercial kitchen facility with appropriate cold and dry storage components is provided, and patron registration, scheduling, counseling, and administrative offices are located. Additionally, the new building provides patrons with “The Whole Life Cafe” that advocates healthy eating choices and lifestyles. The cafe is adjacent to the lower level exterior patio allowing patrons indoor and outdoor dining options.