In 2020, Dowdle Construction Group was granted the opportunity to work on a unique adaptive reuse project: turning a 32,061-square-foot abandoned movie theater building into a church for a congregation called The Hills Nashville. The church needed a permanent location to call home after functioning out of a variety of facilities on a temporary basis and experiencing quick growth.
Designed by Dryden Architecture and Design, the exterior concept incorporates some of the Bellevue theater’s original façade, which was painted over with a dark undertone and brightly-colored contour lines meant to represent the rolling Tennessee hills nearby.
After two months of demolition, we added onto what was left of the existing building, creatively blending the new additions with the existing theater façade, to create a functional church building. Within it is a main auditorium that seats 600, a youth auditorium and recreational space, a kid’s auditorium, a dedicated special needs room and offices for clergy.
The interior design includes the building’s original concrete flooring, with added wood accents and bright colors. The space also features a large stained-glass window saved from a previously demolished church building, which is prominently displayed in the front lobby of the building.
Interestingly, when church services and activities are not in session, the building will be used as a coworking space, something that the Pastor had envisioned for years prior to the project coming to fruition. The building’s open concept layout and functional design provide ample space and facilities for workers.
We enjoyed working with such dynamic, creative people as The Hills’ Pastors John and Kristin Ragsdale, who had a real eye for what their new home should look like. They were very happy with the result!