Central United Methodist Church
Albuquerque
Completed: 2002

The renovation jointly addressed acoustical and lighting problems within the 500-seat worship space. The semicircular chancel focused sound from the choir into the sanctuary in an unacceptable manner, while the dated amplification system failed to adequately project the spoken word. To prevent the focusing of sound, the chancel's walls were overlaid with a series of plaster fins to disperse sound.

Until the 1980s, there were clear glass windows, but after the installation of stained glass, the lighting level became inadequate for worship services. Eight new custom-designed chandeliers contain down-lights and concealed speakers that provide not only adequate lighting, but also clear understandable speech to the pews. The project also sought to improve the flexibility of the chancel for a wider variety of liturgical uses, as well as for concert use. Built-in choir risers were removed and replaced with a new level hardwood floor. A system of demountable risers was designed for the church's regular choir.