Lyle and Grace Prescott Memorial Prayer Chapel

CompanyCarrier Johnson + CULTURE
ClientGordon Carrier
DesignerGordon R. Carrier, FAIA, NCARB Design Principal Carrier Johnson + CULTURE
PrizeHonorable Mention
Project LinkView
Entry Description

This intimate chapel for Point Loma Nazarene University on the Southern California coast evolves from two inspirations: its serene natural setting and spiritual significance. The entry plays with scale, compressing and then opening up to enhance the user's connection and sense of arrival. The volume opens into its main sanctuary, expressed in concrete, wood and glass. Overhead, a light canopy of native wood and wicker hangs in the space, evoking the lifting of the spirit and Christ's crown of thorns, while also gently filtering sunlight. Organic materials continue the theme of embrace, while concrete conveys earthly presence and strength. Though small, the space offers a path of sacred experience. Three personal prayer niches radiate from the sanctuary's center, separated by partitions of slatted wood offering privacy while allowing natural daylight to penetrate. The number three is evoked throughout the design, a symbol of the Holy Trinity.