Skokie, IL – a+c architects announces the completion and opening of the new Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago, IL. The 65,000 square-foot, three-story building features a white and modern facade, unexpected in a neighborhood that is dominated by brick bungalows and one-story strip malls. The project is the largest to-date in a+c’s growing institutional portfolio, which includes a diverse roster of cultural, educational, and religious facilities throughout Chicagoland. The new church also significantly increases Elim’s operational capacity.

Situated at 3939 W. Devon on the northwest side of Chicago, the new location places the church closer to its burgeoning membership. The facility is a replacement for the organization’s previous Albany Park location and offers three times the old building’s floor space and a dedicated parking lot with 140 spaces.

“We are thrilled to give our congregants and their families this much-anticipated, state-of-the-art new home – a symbol of faith and community,” said Pastor Cristian Ionescu. “The new church is a milestone in our history, enabling us to serve our parishioners and welcome a greater number of members with expanded capacity.”

The design was the result of a close collaboration between a+c and Elim leadership. Clad in a sleek, light-colored limestone, the building represents a deliberate modern departure from the pre-WWII structure the church previously occupied. Characterized by a striking stone and glass enclosure that diagonally angles upward at the prominent corner / main entry of the building, the design unites the outward/public and the inward/spiritual functions of the church’s program in a seamless and dynamic contemporary form.

“The new Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church vastly expands accommodation for an active congregation,” said Raffi Arzoumanian, Principal at a+c architects. “In addition to a large sanctuary and classrooms, the building’s roof deck, due to complete in Phase 2, will offer a protected outdoor area. In a post-COVID-19 world, this can function as an alternative open-air community space to ensure continuity of services in case of future public health emergencies that require social distancing.”

In addition to a 1,200-seat sanctuary and 140 parking spaces, the church offers congregants a 450-seat banquet hall, 14 classrooms and multi-purpose gathering spaces, a bookstore, and a year-round roof deck. A TV / radio recording studio, charity foundation, administrative offices, and guest residence for visiting scholars will provide additional support for the church’s mission and activities.

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