“It’s not just about renewing spaces. It’s also about a renewal of spirit”
Over time a congregation’s facilities can find themselves presenting as many challenges as opportunities resulting from periodic, and often disparate, improvements and alterations. Spaces no longer fit the needs of current activities, finding your way around becomes difficult, and as is the case with any structure they reach the end of their design life. Finding themselves in a similar position, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito embraces a time of renewal. As they put it:
“It’s about fine-tuning and enlivening our vision of who we are and what we want UUFSDto be. It is an opportunity for us to come together, to unite our voices and our spirit.This is our chance, here and now, to build our legacy from the ground up, while taking care not to tread too heavily on the earth with our own footprint, nor trample the footprints that our elders, our founders, have left before us. The time is now.”
To bring this new vision to life, the UUFSD building committee (self named the Dream Builders) worked with our team to develop a new Master Plan for their beautiful campus. UUFSD has a wonderful site in Solana Beach, California that is and will remain largely undeveloped. Their multi-acre site puts their congregation right in the heart of nature, a characteristic the congregation sought to accentuate with its Master Plan. Nature has however also taken a toll on many of the UUFSD buildings. With many buildings now either in disrepair or simply not suiting the current and upcoming needs of the congregation, the Master Plan focuses on reorganizing uses on the site and creating new spaces that will support the life of the congregation long into the future. This involves improvements to the outdoor amphitheater where the typical Sunday service is held, a new A/V building to support the amphitheater, new administration building opening to an enlivened outdoor campus core area, new youth building, and new preschool classroom buildings. Though these new spaces will serve the congregation well, the site itself presented some of the greatest challenges. With steep slopes and abundant plant-life to be preserved and enjoyed, the team worked hard to improve the way people move through the site in a way that took advantage of the site’s beauty. Improved walkways and paths throughout the site not only provide safer and more comfortable movement, they intentionally provide opportunities for people to wander, stop, think, and soak in the natural environment.
Through much dreaming, discussing, refining and effort the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito has synthesized and developed a plan to build a legacy that will help them grow, serve, and thrive for years to come.