The design I am proposing for the chapel takes advantage of the southern wall facade, the only facade that is exposed to daylight, to create an interesting, quiet, and contemplative interior environment. A chapel’s atmosphere is one of solitude and introspection, a sort of dazzling darkness that celebrates the subtelty that light can create. This chapel’s materiality is extremely important in controlling the luminance of the room. The walls and floor would be concrete, for a smooth and dim space for light to filter off of. Dark wooden pews create a certain warmth that makes people feel safe, as if the room were their own home. A dematerializing approach to light filtration serves to offset the feelings of claustrophobia of being in a small concrete box. Light in the chapel enters in indirect ways, save for at noon in June when the sun streams through a skylight in a slender white slit falling to the floor at the foot of the pews. The southern facade is broken horizontally with glass shelves, each filled with different colors of shattered glass. The glass absorbs the sunlight from outside and diffuses it throughout the interior, in dappling color. A similar program is happening on the roof, where reflected light streams through more shattered glass upon a larger skylight. The chapel’s interior is dim and quiet, similar to the feeling of Zumthor’s baths, and the light has a similar dazzling quality to the Hagia Sophia. The location of the sunlight’s origin cannot be exactly placed, serving to create a sort of other-worldly setting in which people can think deeply and spiritually.
Stereographic Overlay on Chapel Plan, shows that the exposed South Side recieves daylight at all times of year and most times of day. Because of this, shading structures are necessary to create an appropriate internal environment.
This drawing shows the quality of light that enters the Chapel, from the linear noon slit in the ceiling to the diffuse lighting from the southern wall program.
This drawing explains how light enters the chapel in section, as well as the various degrees and altitudes of sunlight throughout the day for different times of year.