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Tampa Architect Renovates Spiritual Retreat

For more than over 40 years, the Franciscan Center along the Hillsborough River has hosted meetings, conferences and retreats centered around spiritual enrichment. And while the beloved campus offers timeless simplicity in peaceful surroundings, there were some repairs and updates that simply couldn't wait any longer.

ROJO Architecture directed the renovation of the Center's main conference space, flooring, ceiling and preparation spaces as well as replaced the existing incandescent lights with LED lighting. ROJO made it possible for the space to be divided with acoustic curtains to allow  more flexibility for different uses, and gave a main chapel a formal entry, indirect lighting and a new audio system.

ROJO provided its design services pro bono as part of its commitment to the community. The company has completed over 75 religious projects in the last 12 years, due in large part to what brought principal members of the Tampa firm together.

"We started off working on churches," says ROJO Principal Architect Jonathan Moore. "Back in 1998 Rob Glisson and John Saldana were doing churches and they eventually found me, and I was working on churches. It's a great way to find clients. You figure when you work on a church, that's 1,000 members, 1,000 potential clients. But what we really like about it is you're working for a client that's happy. The three of us have always liked that. It's not something we're going to get rich from. But there are other reasons we like doing it."

Other companies that helped on the project: JA Burleigh Construction, Lela Williams Design, Interface Flooring, Western Florida Lighting, West Coast Electric and Donovan Audio Designs.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Jonathan Moore, ROJO Architecture

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