Jimmy Corrao from CrossCity Christian Church in Fresno, CA brings us this cool shop front inspired design.
From Jimmy: After taking a trip to NYC over the summer, I was inspired by the architecture, and thought it would be fun to design a NYC department store front for the Christmas stage this year. The Club Monaco store front was my direct inspiration; very classic and elegant.
So, I began to draw everything up in Sketchup to see a full 3D model to get scale and get all the dimensions and sizing correct. This stage design is absolutely huge (20’ tall x 40’ wide x 8’ deep – including the sidewalk). So I also wanted to make sure loads were accounted for and it would all be structurally sound. I took the design from Sketchup and broke down all the pieces and created a materials list and a cut list for the plywood. All the structural wood used for the 2nd story was 3/4” plywood (except for a few 2 x 4’s for load). The bottom story was created using 2×4 construction and everything was faced with 1/4” plywood and 1.5” foam board insulation.
The foam was painted with a technique I have not seen before. I really wanted the look of carved/chiseled granite on the sides of the building. And one of the keys to granite is the sparkle it provides. So, we painted all the foam with an airless sprayer, and while the paint was still wet, I sprinkled it with four different sizes/types of black glitter. The glitter adhered really well to the wet paint and gave off the perfect sparkle under lights as well as the black flecks seen in granite. It was a really simple process that boosted the overall look tremendously.
To finalize the look, we set dec’d the whole building with tons of Christmas lights, trees, and fake snow. Our Christmas sermon series is called “Christmas is (For)giving” so I wanted to do a play on the words as well in the store display windows. One of the windows is overtly Christmas and “giving” and the other window display was all about the nativity which was designed by our graphics department and cut out of Coroplast and layered to give it depth.
The biggest issue we faced while building this set was where to build it. Because it was so large, we ended up borrowing some warehouse space from another church in town (thank you VIA so much!!!). Also, because we were building it off site, everything had to be constructed in a way that it could be broken down, moved to our church, then reconstructed.
Overall, I think it turned out really cool, and people are very excited to stand in front of it and take family pictures. I do want to thank the production team for all the hours they put into this one. It could not have been accomplished without an absolutely awesome team! Thanks guys!