Learn About the Recently Completed, Award-Winning Corpus Christi Catholic Church

The Corpus Christi Catholic Church project involved the construction of a new 20,000 SF church and extensive development of an 18-acre site, including site clearing and grading, new access roads, parking, new utilities, stormwater management facilities, sidewalks, and landscaping. The structure of the new building consists of a grade-beam and slab-on-grade concrete structural system, with above-grade steel members. The church is designed in the traditional Gothic style with pointed-arch windows, a stucco exterior system with brick buttresses, and a decorative fleche above the church’s crossing, which reaches a height of over 106 feet. The West façade features Indiana limestone and decorative elements such as triangular pediments, pointed arches, rosettes, and a hand-finished crucifix positioned below a rose window. The church is a traditional cruciform design and includes a choir loft over the church’s main entrance, which houses the church’s organ as well as service spaces.

The exterior wood doors are vertical tongue and groove with custom decorative scrollwork.  Opening the 600 lb doors, parishioners are greeted by a warm narthex with coffered ceilings, checkered ceramic tile floors, and large custom hoop pendant lights. The baptismal font in the narthex is also made of Indiana limestone and is plumbed to a dry well beneath the church for holy water to drain.  The narthex is a space where parishioners transition from the outer world to an inner, holy world.  It is intentionally darker than the main space of the church as a moment of reflection before one enters into the light.

In contrast to the narthex, the nave of the church is light and spacious, seating approximately 1,200 people and stretching upward to a peak of 40 feet. Canamould ribs run the length of the nave, ending in decorative capital and finial caps. The deep blue ceiling, which represents the heavenly realm, is balanced with shades of warm gray on the walls and arches. This area features checker-board ceramic tile leading down the center and side aisles. Arched windows line each side of the nave, their wood window grilles lending to the ornate Gothic style.  Custom pendant lights illuminate the path to the main sanctuary space. The North and South crossing of the church include four confessional spaces with sliding millwork screens and drop-down sills at the bottom of each door for privacy.  The bold colors and thoughtful attention to detail throughout the finish trades’ work including drywall, millwork, paint, tile, and miscellaneous metals contribute to the church’s stunning interior.

The building is conditioned via chilled water and gas-fired air handling unit with supplemental radiant heating system in the floor. Smaller areas of the building are conditioned using a split system heat pump. 

Careful coordination, collaboration, and attention to detail were required by all partners to build this highly detailed and complex project. The result is a beautifully designed and thoughtfully executed church that will serve the community for many generations to come. 

The exceptional quality of workmanship is seen throughout this project and resulted in our subcontractor partners winning a Washington Building Congress (WBC) Craftsmanship Award for roofing and masonry, and a Star Award nomination for roofing, one of WBC’s highest honors. In addition, the team’s approach to project management resulted in a nomination for a Great Team Award and a Superintendent of the Year Award from the American Subcontractors Association of Metro Washington (ASAMW). 

Take a look at Forrester’s extensive portfolio of faith-based work. 

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