Cavagnero Associates

Chapel for Saint Mary’s / Mark Cavagnero Associates

Curated by Martita Vial della Maggiora
Architects : Mark Cavagnero Associates
Area : 4400 m²
Year : 2018
Photographs : Henrik Kam
Manufacturers : VELUX Commercial, Conwed, NanaWall, Vetter Stone, New Holland Church Furniture
Lead Architects : Andy Lau, John Fung, Ellen Leuenberger
Client : Saint Mary’s College High School
City : Albany
Country : United States

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© Henrik Kam

Textual content description supplied by the architects. This intimate chapel for a religiously-oriented California highschool operates as each liminal threshold and restorative retreat; perched on the nook, on the outer boundary of the bodily campus, the rise of the sleekly articulated white concrete building is each icon and marker.

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© Henrik Kam

Designed to serve the scholars, lots of whom are low-income and attending St. Mary’s on scholarship, the chapel, whereas belonging to a Catholic college, was thought of as a non secular area, one which invitations the challenges and difficulties of younger maturity to be thought of and processed in a sacred, silent, and light-filled area. An honesty of supplies— white concrete; glazing; Alabama limestone; and light-weight American white oak— units the tone for an area dedicated to quiet for a group (excessive schoolers and their lecturers) that may be in any other case bustling, noisy, and overwhelming.

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© Henrik Kam

Mark Cavagnero Associates thought of the chapel a “dream venture” for the workplace, which frequently works on larger-scale institutional and business initiatives and whose venture architects relished the chance to work at such an intimately emotional scale. The varsity’s mission of serving the underserved, and of working to supply a way of security, calm, and luxury to their college students has been reworked right here into an area that operates as a journey from civic life into inside restoration. The chapel is entered by means of the again, the strategy following the mild articulation of a seamlessly-poured white wall of concrete blocks. From this path, visible entry to the chapel is hinted at by means of a wall of glazing and outlined by a big wood display. A small courtyard hugs the doorway to the chapel; a small and contemplative raised mattress rests close to a bench that faces the shallow pool beside the doorway, the tender reflection of sunshine marking the edge. This open choreography gives a second of pause earlier than getting into the explicitly liturgical area – a illustration of the consumer’s hope that the restorative experiences felt inside the chapel might start to tell college students’ on a regular basis lives and academic focus.

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© Henrik Kam

For this comparatively small-scaled venture, the design group grappled with their want to make the area really feel nonetheless expansive, related, and bigger than its bodily footprint. The strongly peaked roof kind is each iconic and responsive, its form a technique for celebrating completely different modes of sunshine. The play of sunshine turned a central factor to the venture, which is as within the golden tones of morning as it’s the diffuse afternoon glow. The chapel is oriented to ask within the energizing pulse of morning mild, with the calming, softer mild of late afternoon washing by means of the area as the scholars, marking the top of the day’s research with a second of introspection, return residence.