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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2009 awards -> Salvation Army Hope Chapel


Entry number: B09012
Project Name: Salvation Army Hope Chapel
Building Type: Chapel    
Completion Date: June 2008
Building Location: 43 W. Owens Ave., North Las Vegas, NV
Type of Construction: Type V
Materials Used: Insulated Concrete Walls, Concrete Floors, Wood Framed Roof, Metal Roofing
Building Area: 3,206 sf Conditioned; 1,730 sf Courtyard

Design Team:
JVC Architects
Architect of Record: JVC Architects - Roy Burson
Client/Owner/Developer: Salvation Army
Interior Designer:
JVC Architects
Landscape Architect: Southwick Landscape Architects
Structural Engineer: Sierra Consulting Structural Engineers
Electrical Engineer: Interpid Engineering
Civil Engineer: Nevada By Design
General Contractor: Berslin Buildings
Photographer: Henri Sagalow Photography

Statement of Design Approach:
The Salvation Army has been operating in the Las Vegas Valley for more than 60 years, providing assistance to the population who need it most. The old campus chapel had aluminum siding without much ventilation, which Major William Raihl, director of the Las Vegas Salvation Army, referred to as “The Chicken Coop.”

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.

While the budget was limited, the architects enlisted creativity and determination to design a new chapel that would make the Salvation Army and its congregants proud and would serve as a focal point for years to come.

Where “The Chicken Coop” once loomed, now stands a chapel with a simple, contemporary design. The new Hope Chapel features a sanctuary, small prayer room, library, support facilities, spire and courtyard.

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.

Sustainable Description:

The Hope Chapel is unique in regard to the community it serves. Many of Las Vegas’ neediest residents come to the Salvation Army campus seeking shelter and guidance. The tightly packed campus includes five buildings for lodging, one storage building and a main building for dining and educational activities. Constructed many decades ago, the original dilapidated chapel and sleeping quarters was razed for the new one-story facility, which features a compact and simple design with layered and varied heights creating a relation to the human scale. Hope Chapel revitalizes and enhances an ailing campus operating on a limited budget. The quiet interior courtyard and sacred space welcome those who maintain residence at Salvation Army and those who pass through in need of services. The new building and courtyard also allows the Salvation Army to host events within the vibrant public courtyard, particularly for supporters who donate funds to keep the organization running. Hope Chapel is centrally located and anchors the campus; it serves as a gathering point for residents seeking solace and provides a sense of foundation to its congregants.

Sustainability played a large role during the design process. While the Salvation Army wished to encourage simplicity and conservation in their design, there was also a need to extend their limited volunteer budget. The architects used various sustainable elements to help them achieve these goals. 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 as well as high efficiency air handlers reduces energy use and operating cost.. The minimized landscape is focused within the enclosed courtyard utilizing synthetic turf and shaded canopies of perforated metal – as well as water-tolerant plants. There is one strategically placed shade tree, penetrating the canopy and symbolizing life in a very harsh environment in which the patrons survive. The building is oriented to allow southern breezes to enter the building through the screened and shaded courtyard and past the cooling water feature 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.


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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.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:05 PST