After dedicating more than 120 years to promoting diversity and inclusion, First Unitarian Church became too small to accommodate its growing congregation in Dallas. To meet its need for more space, the main sanctuary was removed and a new two-story fellowship hall was designed by Gensler to create a welcoming experience that fosters strong bonds of community.
The new fellowship hall guides visitors throughout the property. Flooded with natural light, the double-height design is clad in vertical wooden fins set with windows of varying sizes, making the fellowship hall a unique visual icon. White brick in a stack bond pattern connects the hall to the sanctuary, linking the church’s past and present. The detail of its windows is informed by the pattern of old stained glass — these overlook the preserved landscape, which encourages spiritual engagement. The cut sandstone of the removed hall was repurposed into a gravel pathway that lines the new hall and honors the memory of what came before.