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Blackhawk Church construction located in Madison, WI area

Blackhawk Church

Middleton, WI
Services: New Construction
Architect: Plunkett Raysich Architects - Madison, WI
Awards: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Wisconsin 2008 Projects of Distinction Award

When additional service times and satellite worship spaces could no longer accommodate growth, the church developed rural suburban land for long-term expansion

130,000 square foot, multi-venue church
Large parking structure with both covered and exposed stalls
Side entry with two-story window wall provides natural lighting
Welcoming front entry
Front view with two-story window wall
Mega-church built to accommodate expansion
Back view and second floor entry with curved design

The small group that founded Blackhawk Church in 1965 gathered in a living room for the first couple of years before moving to a small building on Blackhawk Avenue. In 1986, the congregation relocated to Whitney Way, and 10 years later, hired NCI-Roberts Construction to build an addition that tripled its size. The addition was designed to accommodate a congregation of 600, but by 2007, Sunday attendance had grown to nearly 3,000.

While adding service times and satellite worship spaces helped in the interim, church leaders proposed – and the congregation supported – planning a move to a new location with room for continued growth.

Church acts as developer

A committee was tasked with site selection and first considered remodeling a big box retail location.

To allow for maximum growth and flexibility in design, the committee ultimately recommended the purchase of 40 acres of undeveloped land just north of Mineral Point Road in Middleton, Wisconsin. The location was convenient, and adjacent commercial and residential areas were projected to experience significant growth.  The church developed 10 acres and sold what remained.

Designed with two priorities in mind

One of the church’s main concerns was parking. Their current location had less than 100 off-street parking stalls, inconveniencing both worship attendees and nearby homeowners.

A large parking structure with both covered and exposed stalls was incorporated into the design, and the church negotiated shared parking agreements with neighboring businesses.

The church also wanted its new location to incorporate multiple sanctuary spaces, to create more intimate settings and allow for a variety of worship styles.

Two auditoriums, a gym and a family room accommodate 60-300 people and host five styles of worship between 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each Sunday.

Church office and administrative space
Second-level skylights for natural lighting
Information desk
Second floor atrium
Large sanctuary
Gymnasium for recreational activities
Gymnasium also serves as additional worship space
Nursery
Fireside room used for fellowship
Large window wall lets in natural lighting
Atrium used for fellowship
Colorful children's ministry hallway
Coat and boot storage for children's ministry
Children's ministry check-in and check-out stations

A sense of community in a mega-church

What appears to be a “mega-church” from the outside – and based on attendance, is described as one – has an interior designed to create a true sense of community. Features include:

Continued growth

Since construction was completed in the fall of 2007, Blackhawk has experienced continued growth and begun offering satellite services at two additional locations in downtown Madison and Fitchburg, Wisconsin.

But its primary location was built to last. The building and site were constructed to accommodate expansion, including an exterior wall built to allow for easy removal when a second phase of construction begins.

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