Renaissance Church had some very speciﬁc requirements for what elements needed to be included within their renovated children's space. First, the theme needed to coordinate and pay homage to the building they occupied; a historic opera house built in the 1890s. Second, the design needed to allow for the dynamic needs of the church's children's ministry; a varied program involving appearances by historical ﬁgures as well as science-based experiments and activities.
The solution was to develop the Young Explorers League (YEL), a group of time traveling explorers that had been founded in the Opera House back in the early 1900s.
YEL HQ has a decidedly steampunk aesthetic that adds a twist of the fantastic to the historic location. Scattered around the space is the equipment needed to travel through space and time, all of it with a “made by hand with what's on hand” look to reinforce the story that YEL members have invented the technology they use in their adventures.
The Main Hall's stage houses the Time Gate which allows the ministry to “transport” any historical ﬁgures they'd like to meet and interact with the children. Filling the shelves of the Explorer Check-In room are artifacts from the YEL member's travels; all tagged with historical information that the church volunteers can incorporate into their weekly lessons. Children are encouraged to bring souvenirs and photos from their own travels to YEL HQ and add them to the collection.
Led Overall Concept Development Team
Oversaw Creative Direction (Concept through Installation)
Led Environmental Design Creative Team
Led Fabrication and Execution Team/Vendors