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.
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