Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

St. Pius Chapel and Prayer Garden

Designed as a quiet refuge and intimate sanctuary for sacred reflection and contemplation, the new chapel on the church campus is a subtle sculptural addition to the landscape.

Parishioners were clear that the chapel design should complement the modernist character of the adjacent church and its striking roof, which rises sculpturally to more than 75 feet above the church floor. The new chapel’s steep, angular roofline reflects this form and context, thus allowing the inclusion of significant glazing elements from above, adjacent to and behind the new sanctuary. The careful orientation and modulation of this glazing creates distinct changes in the pattern of natural light throughout the day, enhancing the visitor’s experience.

The interior design features are intentionally minimal. The space’s power and purpose is enhanced by its very simplicity; the sculpting of the building massing extends to the interiors, and is visually understood as a carved-away, white volume. Even the Christian cross, adjacent to the tabernacle, is expressed through the careful carving and folding of white planes accentuated by grazing light.  All visual focus is placed on the tabernacle and monstrance containing the Eucharist, allowing occupants worship in quiet and contemplative solitude.

Location: New Orleans, LA Map This Location
Size: 1,258 square feet
Year of Completion: 2013
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