River Ridge Church

When River Ridge Church made the decision to plant a new church campus in Hurricane, West Virginia, our firm was immediately inspired by the many distinct opportunities, and challenges, presented by its design. Rather than opt for a green field site and new construction endeavor, River Ridge purchased an abandoned Saturn car dealership along the interstate exit. And while in adequate structural condition and of appropriate size, the building’s spatial organization and function required significant reinvention to accommodate contemporary worship and its supportive ministry spaces. Amidst these obvious planning and technical design challenges, the greatest design parameter of all lay in the construction budget of less than sixty dollars per square foot.

Rather than allow the budgetary constraints to dictate a minimal design effort and study, our team was energized to do the most with the available resources to create a comfortable, powerful, and purpose-driven design responsive to the relational aspect of River Ridge’s worship style.

Key aspects of the design included the development of new and existing entrances oriented to the newly developed pedestrian, parking, and drop-off site circulation components, each feeding into a large central gathering space carved between previous lobbies, parts’ bays, and service areas. A new, 300-seat worship area was created through the dramatic transformation of the primary vehicle maintenance area. A dynamic teen meeting space was developed within a projected, glass pavilion at the corner of the showroom floor. Nurseries, elementary, and a large “River Camp” childrens’ theatre were stacked within the two-story section of existing offices and support spaces. Existing glass garage doors were salvaged from the rear of the facility and incorporated in the interior, offering views of the teen and adult meetings spaces.

In 2017, Silling partnered with Greenville, South Carolina-based Equip Studio for a Phase 2 Expansion and Renovation project serving the church’s Teays Valley campus.


River Ridge Church


Hurricane, WV


19,000 gsf


Adaptive Reuse