| Architecture Studies Library
Entry number: B08024
Statement of Design Approach:
The firm's collaborative vision with Major Raihl was to demolish the old chapel and in its place create a community structure that would serve as a beacon of hope, peace and inspiration to the people whom the Salvation Army serves. The chapel would sit in the center of the campus in the same way that faith is at the center of the Salvation Army's mission. It needed to provide a true place of sanctuary, an escape from turmoil and stress.
The design incorporates a series of angled walls that tenuously slide past each other to create narrow slots which lead into a secluded courtyard. The courtyard provides a transitional space, offering an environment to decompress and prepare to enter the sanctuary. Upon entering the sanctuary, occupants are drawn to the glowing light of the glass cross over the Altar. The interior architecture, furniture placement, and gently rising floor, all lead toward the cross as the sanctuary's primary focus.
To address budget concerns, the gathering space requirements were incorporated into a central courtyard in lieu of an indoor conditioned space. This allowed for a smaller space to climate control and reduced the cost of construction. The firm also rose to the challenge of contending with the harsh exterior surroundings by integrating water features, a screened canopy, and square blocks of synthetic turf situated within concrete in the exterior courtyard. Not only do these elements assist in cooling down the brutal desert heat before the air enters the chapel for natural ventilation, they also mentally prepare visitors before entering a sacred space.
Although forward in design, the chapel cannot be viewed from the street. It is intended to create privacy within a dense urban landscape and to focus on the internal needs of the campus. While the chapel was kept simple to accommodate a small budget, the sanctity that was achieved helps its attendees in limitless ways.
The chapel runs north and south on the campus, reducing the amount of sunlight to which the building is exposed. Limited windows on the east and west sides of the building reduce heat gain while also limiting the amount of activity seen on the busy campus, minimizing distraction. The low-E, insulated glass windows are strategically placed to capitalize on daylight and conserve energy. The natural light allows the sanctuary to be used without artificial lighting.
Twelve-inch Arxx insulated concrete walls (R-50) and highly insulated roof (R-38) fight against the desert heat, allowing a more constant indoor temperature. Also, a natural air-cooling and ventilation system recycles air and cuts cooling costs considerably. The building is oriented to allow southern breezes to enter the building through the courtyard and past the cooling water features before it enters and flows through the sanctuary. As the warmer air rises it is expelled through a vent high above the Altar. This natural cooling effect reduces the need for mechanical cooling during moderate weather conditions.
Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos
These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.