Concord University Alumni Center and Interfaith Chapel

Location: Athens, WV
Completion: 2010
Project Area: 16,000 ft2
Services: Architecture

This 16,118 gross square foot facility located in Athens, West Virginia, provided a transition between the University campus and the surrounding woodlands. As an alumni center and chapel, this building must be both a part of the campus and a retreat from it. The architecture resolves this dichotomy by including elements present in the campus, such as the same stone and brick used elsewhere, while providing spaces that are detached from the campus and open to the woods.

Features of this facility include alumni offices, chapel offices, and a 1,907 square foot interfaith chapel with a secondary entrance to allow 24-hour access. The lower level includes space for a future banquet hall, providing users with a service entry and a terrace.

The interfaith Chapel is nestled within a gallery corridor. The one exterior wall is constructed of glass and overlooks the woodlands. The interior walls enclosing the chapel function as art glass display on the gallery side, while incorporating a translucency that allows chapel occupants to perceive the silhouette of the art glass. This wall also infuses the space with natural light from the gallery, intensifying the experience of chapel as spiritual retreat.