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  7. AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein
AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein, © Loredana Sava
© Loredana Sava

© Loredana Sava © Loredana Sava © Wikimedia Commons- Dracogen © Wikimedia Commons- Dracogen +13

From the architect. The Chapel of the Holy Cross built in the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona is the epitome of what many architects try to achieve when designing religious architecture. It's reliance on the symbolic rock as it's foundation and the sprawling views of the surrounding environment create a humbling and spiritual experience within the walls of the church.

© Loredana Sava
© Loredana Sava

The chapel was inspired and commissioned by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who worked with project architect Richard Hein and architect August K. Strotz to complete this noteworthy and award winning chapel. More on the Chapel of the Holy Cross after the break.

© Loredana Sava
© Loredana Sava

As described by the sculptor, "Though Catholic in faith, as a work of art the chapel has a universal appeal. Its doors will ever be open to one and all, regardless of creed, that God may come to life in the souls of all men and be a living reality."

© Loredana Sava
© Loredana Sava

The land used by the architects as the foundation of their chapel design is registered as Coconino National Forest land, and required a special-use permit that was attained with the help of Senator Barry Goldwater. The chapel belongs to the Parish of Saint John Vianney and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pheonix.

© Loredana Sava
© Loredana Sava

Built directly over a butte, the valley stretches towards the horizon about 200 feet below. Besides it's beautiful figurative ties to the Catholic faith through it's structure on the solid rock, the giant cross that supports the structure of the glass is one of the notable characteristics of this chapel.

© Wikimedia Commons- Dracogen
© Wikimedia Commons- Dracogen

Painter and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude had initially intended to build the chapel in Europe, but after not having found an appropriate site she returned to the United States, soon discovering this hillside in Sedona. It is surprisingly modern and contemporary, despite being built over half a century ago. The simple style of clean edges and regular forms only accentuate the surroundings and large cross at the front.

© Wikimedia Commons- Dracogen
© Wikimedia Commons- Dracogen

Located on the southern side of Twin Buttes, the chapel is accessible just off of the main road to Sedona (Highway 179) on Chapel Road. No regular services are held within the church, as it is meant to be a place of reflection and meditation. Visitors are greeted by a sign marking the entrance that reads "Peace to all who enter." The interior is very simple, with nothing more than a few pews and an alter, so that attention will not be taken away from the spiritual inflection and physical block glass windows and large cross that emphasize the space.

© Loredana Sava
© Loredana Sava

Completed in 1956, the chapel was under construction for 18 months and cost a total of $300,000 USD. In 1957, the chapel was awarded the American Institute of Architects an Award of Honor. Citizens of Arizona also dubbed the Chapel of the Holy Cross one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of Arizona in 2007.

© Wikimedia Commons- Dracogen
© Wikimedia Commons- Dracogen
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Megan Sveiven. "AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein" 27 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/131125/ad-classics-chapel-of-the-holy-cross-richard-hein/>
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43 Comments

Joe · June 09, 2013

Architects Anshen+Allen partnered with Strotz on this structure. A little respect, please!

maurin · January 18, 2012

????? ??????? ? ?? ?? ???? http://t.co/8sTt2V40

abe · July 25, 2011
Bruno Bellomo · July 11, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein http://t.co/n2hlulr vía @archdaily

Sammy Xu · June 27, 2011

Great piece of architecture; love the over extended cross; gives it sharpness in an otherwise barren landscape. Also nice way to integrate the cross with the building and its surroundings. This can be comparable to Tadao Ando's Church of the Light with the integration of nature with the church, as deano z (person who posted a comment two positions above mine)claimed the church did. Just a great piece of architecture!

Ziya Aslan · June 16, 2011

great design.... congratulations

deano z · June 14, 2011

I think the building is perfectly blended with the rocks

bluevertical · May 05, 2011

Chapel of the Holy Cross by Richard Hein http://bit.ly/iCwtHM #architecture #interiordesign #church *another classic. beautiful!

Yazan Baggili · May 01, 2011

Chapel of the Holy Cross http://t.co/6f0FzRk an epitome of what many #architects try to achieve when designing religious #architecture

pezhman · May 01, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein http://dlvr.it/QF04Z

Rakks · May 01, 2011

RT @archdaily AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein http://archdai.ly/j4R9jJ #architecture

Jonathan Rush · May 01, 2011

An amazing chapel in Arizona. Imagine the view. http://t.co/6NuRjCX

GRAPHISOFT SA · April 30, 2011
Luiz Fellipe · April 30, 2011

Uma das igrejas mais bonitas do mundo - http://www.archdaily.com/13112...

Mike Pigozzi · April 29, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein | ArchDaily http://t.co/bt8C9GP via @archdaily

FRM · April 29, 2011

No mention of Anshen & Allen?

Kasie Lister · April 29, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein http://pulsene.ws/1rlsK

Gosia Kung, AIA · April 29, 2011

1956 - Chapel of the Holy Cross http://fb.me/T2OmzuVI

RJA Architects · April 29, 2011

Awwwwwwesome! http://fb.me/LYwBq7VG

Carlos Diaz C. · April 29, 2011

simplemente genial http://j.mp/kmXLYq

steven efendi · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein | ArchDaily http://t.co/38GToO9 via @archdaily

Sherry Lin · April 28, 2011

Talk about building into the landscape. Awesome. Chapel of the Holy Cross http://t.co/PIEaRID via @archdaily #spiritual #architecture

karine tito · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein http://www.archdaily.com/13112...

suzuki_yo · April 28, 2011
Luke · April 28, 2011

Understated in the article is the approach. You spiral around from the bottom right, near where several of the pictures are taken, up into the back. It makes you aware of the forms of the site and building. I had just begun architectural school when I went there and I thought, and still think, this is one of the best approaches I've seen.

deHimer · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein | ArchDaily http://t.co/zKloBPV ? ??????? @archdaily

Brian · April 28, 2011

It is not an "alter," the word is ALTAR. Alter is to change something.

ben barren · April 28, 2011

If UR in the jesus way this aiint a bad piece of architecture #Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein http://feedly.com/k/jLTuHT

megan paige sveiven · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein | ArchDaily http://t.co/evoxDZP via @archdaily

sharwe · April 28, 2011

???????????????????Chapel of the Holy Cross ??????????????,?????http://t.cn/hdgrx7 http://goo.gl/fb/3uu8W

Adam Rubin · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein | ArchDaily http://bit.ly/jJU05X

skrilax · April 28, 2011

still, i think it's a bit too expressive

Adrielle Slaugh · April 28, 2011

Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein | ArchDaily http://t.co/TVvXs3C via @archdaily In my opinion one of the most Beautiful Churches

Stan · April 28, 2011

Remind anyone of planet of the apes???

arqpres · April 28, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein http://archdai.ly/j4R9jJ #architecture

Gabismoo · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein | ArchDaily http://t.co/UinTWcV vía @archdaily

ArchitecturePassion · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein: © Loredana SavaThe Chapel of the Holy Cross built in... http://tinyurl.com/3vqs9kl

GR2TF · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein: © Loredana SavaThe Chapel of the Holy Cross built in the r... http://bit.ly/iVXOOw

Architecture+Molding · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein: The Chapel of the Holy Cross built in the red rocks of Sed... http://bit.ly/m1KZn1

Archifront · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein: © Loredana Sava The Chapel of the Holy… http://goo.gl/fb/ksddk

Bocetos Digitales · April 28, 2011

AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein: © Loredana SavaThe Chapel of the Holy Cross built in the r... http://bit.ly/m1KZn1

hanae kawakami · April 28, 2011

??????????????????????????????? RT ??????AD Classics: Chapel of the Holy Cross / Richard Hein | ArchDaily http://t.co/OXtjcFi via @archdaily

Andrew · April 28, 2011

I visited this chapel a couple of years ago and it's one of the most intimidating pieces of architecture I've seen in person. The balance and confidence it holds with the landscape is remarkable. Thanks for the stellar photos and back-story.

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