University Chapel By Dynerman Architects Hides Its True Form Behind A Square Wall

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A square wall with a bell in a single corner fronts this chapel for a spiritual retreat in Virginia by Dynerman Architects, concealing the building’s true gabled form behind .

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman Architects

St Ignatius Chapel forms component of The Calcagnini Contemplative Center for Georgetown University, an off-campus retreat for students and faculty members of the predominantly Catholic and Jesuit school. It is named soon after Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus in the 16th century.


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Washington DC studio Dynerman Architects created the “small and intimate” chapel with just one room, large enough to accommodate a visiting congregation of 24 worshippers.

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman Architects

Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Clarke County, Virginia, the website also encompasses a set of cabins and a dining hall to accommodate overnight stays for the university’s residential spiritual programmes.

“The chapel is conceived as an elemental pavilion the palette is spare however rich,” stated studio founder Alan Dynerman.

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman Architects

A rectangular parapet rises above the pitched-roof structure to give the creating a straightforward block-like appearance from one approach. However the gable end peeps out from a single side of this finish wall, revealing a tall strip of glazing.

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman Architects

On the other side of the structure, the pitched roof is left visible, resonating with the rooftops of the assistance buildings that surround it.

These structures, also created by Dynerman, are all topped with matching roofs, produced from the galvanised aluminium typical of the region’s agricultural architecture.

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman Architects

The white stuccoed masonry is perforated by a smattering of modest rectangular pieces of glass, while the bell is hung within a modest square reduce into 1 corner. A double wooden beam that supports the ridge of the roof structure also punctures the wall.

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman Architects

Inside, person wooden chairs sit in rows on a mottled russet-coloured floor comprised of stained poured-in-situ concrete.

Religious symbols embellish wooden furnishings, but these items can be removed to enable the chapel to be employed as a space of worship for non-Christian faiths.

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman Architects

“Building an architecture that imparts a sturdy and clear spirituality with out certain reference to any one particular religion was at the heart of the design and style intentions,” mentioned the architect.

“The design succeeds, avoiding both domesticity and overt religious allusion through its austere palette and simplicity of design.”

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman Architects

A narrow grey plinth runs along the wall to the rear of a wooden lectern, providing a makeshift altar or storage location.

Windows and a set of glazed doors that make up one facade have fir wood frames, although light cedar planks develop a slatted pattern across the warm-toned ceiling beams.

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman Architects

Pendant lights with white cylindrical shades hang at a variety of heights from the sloping ceiling.

St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman ArchitectsWebsite program St. Ignatius Chapel by Dynerman ArchitectsSection
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