Date: 2004  |  Owner: Berry College  |  Sq. Footage: 12,000 sf
Services Provided: Interior Design Services

Years ago when Martha Berry elected to help students by constructing a French inspired dairy farm where they could work, she had no idea of the eventual evolution of the school and the buildings.

The Truett Cathey family, most notably known for Chick-fil-A restaurants, also actively participates in the communities they serve through the WinShape program. This philanthropic ministry has led to Berry College and the organization of a family retreat center addressing religious and emotional aspects of couples and individuals. Located on the Berry College campus in Rome Georgia, WinShape has provided the resources for the “rebirth” of some abandoned and damaged farm buildings, specifically the Normandie Dairy.

With the demise of the dairy, the buildings sat unused for years. The size and proportions of the buildings have led to their reclamation as guest suites for visitors to the retreat center. The building interiors express the rustic charm of Europe while meeting the needs of upscale clientele.

A central space for the retreat center is the Auditorium, used for both entertainment and instruction. The seating is styled for groups and ease of access and movement addressing the specific requests of the client. The stage is the main presentation point of the room and allows for drama, instrumental music, voice and oral programs. The side walls of the stage are equipped with rotating panels that mask limited wing space for drama and are enhanced with wood paneling for music.

Acoustical design was provided by the world renowned firm Accentech, consultants on Spivey Hall in Atlanta. As a result, the room brings to life the Steinway grand piano house instrument. The balcony not only gives a great view of the stage, it also breaks up the scale of the room to create a more intimate atmosphere for worship and performances.