Victor J. Latavish Architect, PA
Naples, Florida 


Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples
Naples, Florida

The interior of the Meeting Hall space is designed to take advantage of the site by providing generously sized windows to maintain views of the wooded rear yard. It is important that the Architect visit each site and understand the context, the natural conditions specific to the site, orientation for sun, wind, & water runoff, and for traffic circulation. It is even more important the Architect clearly understands the clients needs and wishes.

Before the preliminary designs were started, Rev. Jay Abernathy, the Minister, included "preserving the environment" and "don't cut down our trees" in a sermon to the congregation, just after introducing the Architect. With that in mind, the room is oriented due North, to take best advantages of natural light which also illuminates the woods from dawn to dusk. The windows are clad high-performance double glazed energy efficient units, shaded with 5' roof overhangs and vertical concrete piers. The top and bottom panels are operable awning units, so that the windows can be opened for cross-ventilation on cool days.

Acoustically, the finishes at the stage and shape of the room naturally reinforce both speech and music heard in the congregation. A soffit above the stage provides an added hard surface where needed for projecting sound to the audience. The space is designed to eliminate unneeded distractions. Recessed light fixtures are organized to provide general and accent lighting using standard PAR lamp floodlights and spotlights. The lights are controlled by standard dimmers and switches. Clean and unobtrusive a/c grilles are organized in a tegular acoustic ceiling, and straight linear diffuser grilles are use at the stage to minimize the visual impact of necessary engineering elements. As 3-phase power was not available at the rural site, precluding the use of preferred commercial 15-ton a/c units, the system for the facility was based on groups of small 5-ton high-efficiency Trane units controlled by programmable commercial thermostats.

Working with Casey, the General Contractor from Fort Myers, equipment selections were based on market conditions, and the mechanical and electrical systems were "value-engineered" prior to bidding, rather than after.

The interior and exterior finishes and colors were selected by the Architect after working closely with the Building Committee and several sub-committees to develop the design.

Links to more photographs and renderings of the Unitarian Universalist project can be found below.



Copyright 1998 Victor J. Latavish Architect, P.A., Naples, Florida, all rights reserved.
Photographs and drawings are property of Victor J. Latavish AIA, Naples, Florida

This page was last updated October 10, 1998.