St. John Vianney: Fishers, IN

Proposed New 1500-seat Gothic church for St. John Vianney Parish in Fishers, Indiana- a rapidly growing suburb of Indianapolis. Project includes a new church and elementary school to be built over the next twenty years. Rectory construction completed 2010. Further work awaits funding.

Ethan Anthony and Cram and Ferguson Architects completed a preliminary design scheme for the Campus, Church and Parish buildings in 2007. Facility includes a 35,000 SF Church, budgeted at $ 17,500,000; 17,000 Square Foot Parish Life Center, budgeted at $ 5,100,000; a rectory which was constructed in 2012, and a future convent, clustered around the church on a suburban site in Fishers, Indiana. Also in the site is a future planned parish school and Diocesan High School.

Ethan Anthony planned the church as the center of the development with all other development growing along horizontal and vertical cruciform axes generated by the church.

From the church we established a major east west axis that brings entering traffic directly to the entrance of the church giving full effect to the powerful West Front which was inspired by research visits Anthony made to the medieval French Gothic Cathedrals of Rhiems, Laons and Notre Dame de Paris. A second major North-South axis is established from the entry leading north to the elementary school along a walking corridor which terminated at the playing field area with a devotional area. The site plan maintains an automobile free inner precinct keeping auto circulation for the Parish buildings to an outer perimeter road.

The church itself is oriented along the East-West axis with the altar facing East in accordance with timeless Christian tradition and liturgy. The church is planned to rise 55 feet to the eave line with twin bell towers rising to 125 feet. The massive cruciform roof symbolizes the body of Christ and also one body of the church with a head arms and torso through which one finds the way from baptism to the conclusion of the Eucharistic celebration at the altar.

The Gothic style is expressive of many liturgical ideas, from the expression of the trinity in the three portals of the western entrance; an expression of the Gateway to the City of Heaven, the entrance to the Holy Jerusalem, with pointed arches at the windows and doors throughout the building. Thick masonry walls fitted with functional pinnacles and buttresses express the power of the wall construction: all contributing to a feeling of massiveness, majesty, and permanence.