Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Chapel Renovation, Jesuit High School, Tampa, Florida

After

Before

Some of our readers may recall the name of Joel Pidel, a friend and classmate ('05) of mine at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, as our past collaboration on a shrine design in honor of Blessed John Henry Newman was published on the New Liturgical Movement some time ago. Joel has not been idle, however, and recently completed an interior renovation and new furnishings for the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida. The result is a classical design that is both highly literate and very accessible, showing that an inventive, even playful use of classical language can be achieved on a budget--and within a pre-existing space with considerable liturgical and aesthetic constraints. I will let Joel's own words speak for themselves:

Aesthetically, the task was to create a beautiful interior which was artistically coherent—properly proportioned, scaled, detailed, and ornamented—despite the eccentricities of the existing geometries and structural conditions, which was no small task with the given parameters and budget. But principally, over and above all these considerations, it was essential to transform the chapel into, as Fr. Hermes would later say, a place of “epiphany”, a space that served to manifest God’s ever-greater Glory and facilitate our encounter with the same Living God; or, as Hans Urs von Balthasar would say, an example of theological aesthetics.
You can read more over at Joel's site, Seeing the Form. Photographs of the dedication rite can be seen here. Selected photos follow below.