Bethel Lutheran Church
Award of Excellence, Liturgical – IIDA WI Design Awards, 2019
Gold Award, Art/Sculpture – NOMMA Top Job Awards, 2019
Bethel Lutheran Church approached Aro Eberle with a desire to improve Bethel’s public space, emphasize community connection and create a welcoming experience for visitors and members alike. Our team was challenged to meet complex space needs that addressed seamless flexibility and folded into existing architectural features. The remodel added a vestibule, brought warmth and identity to the lobby, expanded restrooms and relocated the reception and nursery for improved visibility. In response to the need for dynamic space, the fellowship, community room, chapel and library are interconnected with a series of folding glass wall systems.
The depth of our programmatic study led to a discovery of a resonate passage in a Bethel pamphlet. The passage expresses the power of symbolism to bind people together in feeling and experience. Our team translated the imagery of weaving into a physical pattern language that guided the project aesthetics and connected space. The wood slats mimic the interplay of positive and negative space in a loom. Hand‐lacquered copper was chosen to represent the weave, adding layers of vibrant dimension to a textured, neutral palette.
We partnered with Custom Metals to bring the woven language to life in the lobby and the sculpture at the heart of the fellowship space. The 22-foot tall sculpture commemorates the 500th anniversary of Martin Lutheran publishing the 95 Theses at Wittenberg by incorporating 95 meal rods in the design. Able to be seen from multiple vantage points, it stands as a testament to the ongoing tapestry of community and faith.