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Architecture | Religious & Spiritual Buildings

Lyle and Grace Prescott Memorial Prayer Chapel, Point Loma Nazarene University

Carrier Johnson + CULTURE



Project description

This private Christian university in San Diego replaced its existing prayer chapel with an intimate facility for worship, personal reflection, and prayer. The new chapel design is sourced from two inspirations: its serene coastal setting and the structure's role as spiritual and academic anchor for this 3,500-student campus. Upon approach, importance is placed on the building’s entry sequence, as well as the chapel’s form. The building’s tall concrete walls abstractly offer the image of arms reaching skyward, inviting heaven’s embrace. The entry portico is scaled to compress one’s experience on approach, while expanding the experience after entry. Access to the space has one’s focus ascending toward the solitary 12’-high cross positioned mid-space. The interior volume is a tall and linear worship space, simply expressed in concrete, wood and glass detail.Overhead, a light filigree of native wood hangs in the space, a gesture symbolically evoking the embrace of Christ’s love, and a sense of the crucifixion’s crown of thorns. Wood is at the touch of all things human in the space, while the concrete enclosure reflects the church’s permanence, and strength.


Project details
Location:San Diego, CA - USA
Studio NameCarrier Johnson + CULTURE
Lead designerGordon R. Carrier, FAIA, Carrier Johnson + CULTURE
Design teamGeneral Contractor: Bycor Structural: KPFF Electrical: ELEN Consulting Civil: Michael Baker International Landscape: Modern Zen Garden, Kohei Owatari + Associates Lighting Designer: Syska Hennessey Group, Inc.
Photography creditsLawrence Anderson Photography
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