Saint Scholastica Academy Chapel
Archdiocese of New Orleans
Awards2009 - AIA Baton Rouge Rose Award
The Chapel is located at the intersection of two prominent axes on the S.S.A. campus and is a key element to be completed from the recent campus wide master plan. The chapel entry is aligned with the formal campus entry and developing promenade. Transversely, the orientation of the altar and seating is aligned with the campus green. An expansive glazed wall provides a transparent visual access to this green space and plaza. A free standing wall at the main entry provides a historical reference to the architectural language of the original campus buildings which were detailed in the Mission style. Within this wall is a large solid mahogany wood door which is six feet wide and eleven feet tall. The door operates on a centered pivot hinge. This large door provides a significant point of threshold into a small prayer garden surrounding the entry. This prayer garden serves as preparation for the sacred space to come.
Finishes within the chapel are simple yet refined. The monolithically plastered interior walls are sculpted with a ribbon of scripture passages. The minimally detailed walls are balanced with a warmth of strip wood floors and ceilings. The west wall behind the alter is a catcher of indirect sunlight. Ten plaster monoliths are separated in series across the face of the wall and allow a blue hue to emanate from between. The blue hue is created from a reflection of a blue painted surface behind each of the monoliths. A narrow slit of clear glass is positioned directly behind each of the monoliths. Neither the blue painted surface or the slit of glass can be see directly from within the space. The effect is a subtle ghostly reflection offering a spiritual quality to the space.