$1.75 Million +
Audio, Video, Lighting, Production IT, Multi-Campus Transmission, Lobby Video
2017 Commercial Integrator Best House of Worship Project
Free Chapel’s Orange County campus is widely considered one of the most influential churches in Southern California, regularly hosting well known speakers and worship leaders, as well as establishing the west coast hub for Jentezen Franklin’s television ministry, Kingdom Connections. After years of talking and dreaming about giving this space a makeover while increasing its effectiveness, in 2015 we were formally engaged to make it happen.
The church meets in an old two story office building, and each floor has a trim height of less than 15 feet with structural columns throughout. This facility has been a limitation to creating environments representing their highly participatory vision since moving into the building eight years ago. We partnered closely with the architect to support Free Chapel’s vision through advanced modeling, sight-line studies, and collaborative design.
Early on, it was determined that a traditional worship center, or theater, with an end stage feel would not suffice. Instead, the stage was designed to feel like their pastors are leading “in the round,” enhancing their values of community and participation. This is supported by non-conventional seating arrangements, using lighting to craft the visual experience, and a large visual canvas to reinforce the content presented on stage.
The project took place during six weeks of construction in a race to meet the deadline for DIVINE, Free Chapel’s Women’s Conference. The overall scope included the removal of multiple load bearing columns, moving and removing of walls, expanding the stage, and more. We were pulling wire and installing state of the art gear, while contractors simultaneously installed over 4,000 feet of conduit infrastructure.
Guardian by Mankin, an exclusive and innovative managed services plan, ensures Free Chapel's production systems live up to their full potential. The systems are designed and optimized to allow for real-time remote support from our state-of-the-art network operations center located in Franklin, TN during all weekend services and events.
High impact, warm audio is always the first priority of any Free Chapel space. We crafted the new loudspeaker system, and seating plan, around 6 hangs of PA that follow the outline of the stage and structural columns, so dead spots created by the shadows of those columns fall into the aisles. L’Acoustics Kiva main speakers plus SB15 subwoofers provide a warm, punchy character to the room, along with 8XT delay speakers and SB28 subwoofers below the stage. A Digico SD10 console with Optocore based stage racks, Sennheiser wireless mics, and Shure wireless in-ears ensure the PA always sounds its best. Also, the entire system operates digitally at high resolution 96kHz.
The video system is based around an Imagine Communications Platinum router – with on-board multi viewers and audio routing inside the same frame, Hitachi cameras creating images to feed a Ross Carbonite switcher, and multiple Renewed Vision/Apple/Blackmagic Designs graphics stations. CreateLED 3.9mm LED walls with Novastar processing are utilized for side screens, a center screen, as well as video set pieces, and a Clearcom Matrix Intercom system ensures the crew can communicate effectively during productions.
The theatrical lighting system is 100% LED, built entirely around a number of Chauvet fixtures from the Rogue, Colorado, and Nexus lines. Lighting plots were especially challenging due to the extremely low trim height over the stage, thus fixtures capable of a wide range of beam angles were especially important so the lighting wouldn’t feel as close to artists on stage as it actually was.
Free Chapel also utilizes the bulletproof Imagine Communications Selenio platform for two streams of video transmission to and from this campus, and the main broadcast site in Gainesville, GA.
Launch Photo Gallery
The collaboration between Mankin Media Systems and Free Chapel’s architect – Brewster, Crocker & Associates – allows the unique values of Free Chapel’s weekend service experience to be exploited to the max, turning an unconventional space into one of the most engaging and intentional rooms in the United States!