Kate and Laurance Eustis Chapel at Ochsner Clinic

As part of Ochsner’s “community of care” philosophy, this small interdenominational chapel serves the contemplative and spiritual needs of patients, families, and staff.

Seen from the main hospital corridor, the chapel manifests a mysterious, luminous presence. Light emanates from within the space through a stained glass wall narrowing to a vestibule recessed off the hospital corridor. Inside the chapel, three distinct spaces were created – a main worship space with seating for twelve along with two smaller rooms for counseling or private meditation. Immediately upon entering one is transported out of the hospital environment and into a realm of the senses.

Seemingly untethered and floating within the main area, a wooden ‘shroud’ hovers over visitors like a luminescent curtain.

Daylight spills in from a concealed window near a small fountain. Water washes along the interior surface of the rough plaster wall before dropping into a basin beneath a set of cast glass tablets. This shelf, lit from below, glows within the chapel as repository for personal artifacts or mementos visitors may bring to the space during prayer.

Working collaboratively with a focus group of Ochsner staff and local artisans, the design team created a space to allow for flexible, non-permanent placement of specific religious iconography, while simultaneously introducing universal themes of healing and reconciliation to engage visitors with the spiritual. Water alludes to its healing, life-giving properties. Light, scale, proportion, and material treatments work in tandem to create a memorable experience that engages visitors with memories of the sacred.

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LOCATION

NEW ORLEANS, LA

SIZE

1,000 SF

YEAR OF COMPLETION

2002

CATEGORY

CIVIC AND CULTURAL

SERVICES

ARCHITECTURE

INTERIOR DESIGN

AWARDS

2004 WOOD DESIGN AWARDS CITATION

2003 NATIONAL AIA HONOR AWARD FOR INTERIORS

2002 FAITH & FORM RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE DESIGN

2003 MODERN HEALTHCARE DESIGN CITATION

2002 GULF STATES AIA HONOR AWARD

2002 AIA LOUISIANA HONOR AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

2002 AIA NEW ORLEANS HONOR AWARD

PHOTOGRAPHER CREDIT

TIMOTHY HURSLEY

NEIL ALEXANDER

ASSOCIATED PRESS & PUBLICATIONS

HOUSES OF GOD, AUGUST 2006

NEW IN NEW ORLEANS ARCHITECTURE, MARCH 2012

SIGNIFICANT INTERIORS, MAY 2008

WOOD DESIGN & BUILDING, MARCH 2003

ARCHITECTURAL RECORD, SEPTEMBER 2002