St. Joseph Catholic Church Master Plan and Columbarium, Richardson, Texas
Recipient Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture - HONOR Design Award
The 19 acres owned by the parish were developed in two stages without the benefit of a long-range plan. A multi-purpose building constructed in 1978 was the original worship space and was expanded once to add meeting rooms and classrooms for religious education, but was sorely inadequate for the growing parish of 1998. The church, built in 1984, was renovated in 1999 as a first step to fully meet the needs of worship in the community. Parish committees determined that there was strong support for the addition of a school. It would eventually serve children from pre-school through eighth grade, providing equally for school and religious education students. There was a need for a much larger parish hall, meeting and social spaces for all age groups, a library, gym, and cafetorium. The Master Plan allowed for the extensive parish expansion to be built in two stages. The first stage, now complete, provides classrooms, meeting and social spaces. The second stage will include the library, new gym, and the cafetorium as well as additional site development as shown in the model.
Central to the scheme was the desire that all of the parish facilities be accessible under one roof, signifying that worship, education, and social activities comprise one dwelling place for the people of St. Joseph. The community also desired that their dwelling place provide for the final repose of deceased parishioners. New construction links the existing church and the original multipurpose building with wings that form a large inviting courtyard. A columbarium, placed within the courtyard, became a central element in the plan. It is circular in form, and within the circle is a labyrinth, a meditative walk of ancient derivation representing the journey of life.