- Owner:St. Teresa’s Academy
- Metal Fabrication Consultant:A. Zahner Company, MO
- City:Kansas City
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. This Catholic independent college preparatory school for young women wanted to add a new chapel and academic space on the main campus quadrangle. After surveying students and faculty, a vision for the chapel emerged as a soft, feminine, contemplative space flooded with light and connected to nature. There was a strong desire to connect to the narrative of St. Teresa, the patron saint of lace makers.
Important throughout the design process was balance. Achieving harmony between sacred and secular is the very essence of the school’s mission, and was the charge facing the design team. The challenge was reinforced by the duality of the program, which combines the school’s spiritual heart with technology-rich classrooms and banquet facilities.
Gould Evans developed the design solution to honor the school’s history and embody the vision of a modern institution for women’s education. The chapel’s soft dappled light and feminine lines of its lace veil, pulled across the simple interior palette, is balanced by the defined brick mass of the classrooms, which visually ties the building form to the existing academic campus. The two volumes are unified by a shared lobby that enables the sacred and secular to co-mingle.
The 150-seat chapel and classroom building creates a new spiritual and academic center for the school that is progressive yet rooted in its history. The design creates a balance between the sacred and secular academic programs, exemplifying the core values of the school. Based on a survey of students and faculty, the vision for the chapel emerged as a soft, feminine, contemplative space of worship flooded with light and connected to nature, while connecting to the narrative of St. Teresa, the patron saint of lace makers. The state-of-the-art classrooms spaces also serve as a banquet space when combined; they are housed in a soft-edged brick form with tall windows responds to existing campus buildings. The sacred and secular elements come together as one rich architecture that not only completes the open end of the campus quad, but also serves as the new gateway to campus.
ALUMINUM LACE FABRICATION
The design team conducted material experimentation and digital fabrication explorations to translate the concept of creating a lace scrim into built form. Material, finish and digital and mechanical tolerances were all precisely coordinated and tested with the fabricator to ensure an elegant translation of the organic design onto the chapel’s waterjet cut aluminum panels.