First Baptist Church Sacred Garden
Under Construction - Fall 2015 to Spring 2016
In May 2014, Vision Design Collaborative was selected to be the lead designer of a walled-in sacred garden for the historic downtown Asheville First Baptist Church.
The sacred garden sits just to the north of the sanctuary, with tall brick walls enclosing the space and design elements throughout that take cues from the architectural style and motifs of the historic church. The design intent was to blend the two together, creating an outdoor space that is not only complementary to the existing church, but will also be a lasting and timeless space, creating a legacy for future generations to appreciate.
At the centerpiece of the garden is a contemplative 44' diameter natural stone labyrinth made of bluestone & tennesee buff sandstone (seen below), whose design inspiration was drawn from the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth in France. The openness and size of the labyrinth lends itself to being a multi-use space as well, for hosting small services and intimate gatherings.
The sacred garden will also include a meditative area, with a stream inspired stone pathway that leads people to a cascading wall fountain and seating area. On the eastern end of the sacred garden lies a more intimate space for the columbarium, housing four private wall niches for the internment of loved ones ashes. At the centerpiece of the columbarium will be a still reflection pool which will help to bring the sky down into this intimate setting and serve as a place for contemplation.
In developing the vision and design detailing of the garden, VDC worked closely together with a multi-disciplinary team that included local architects McMillan, Pazdan, Smith and McGill Associates Engineers, as well as a local stone craftsman Marc Archambault with Hammerhead Stoneworks, a water feature consultant, Medallion Pools, and church design committee members.