Virginia Theological Seminary Unveils Design for the New Chapel for the AgesFebruary 17, 2012
Today the Virginia Theological Seminary unveiled the design for its new Chapel for the Ages.
Along with an improved welcome center and a new motor court, the new chapel will address visitors with a broad, inviting portico, while it will greet those who approach from the campus with a terrace oriented to the campus grove. These two complementary yet distinctive entrances will invite seminarians and members of the congregation to come together in their chapel. A lantern and large arched windows in the gable-ends of each transept will bathe the main sanctuary with diffuse natural light from above. The chapel will be a flexible worship space, one that will serve as an understated backdrop to a range of liturgical purposes from large-scale celebrations to intimate services, all supporting the Seminary's educational mission.
The Chapel for the Ages will stand in peaceful conversation with the remains of the Immanuel Chapel (1881), destroyed in an unfortunate fire that will continue to provide a quiet and timeless place for contemplation. The new chapel, designed to complement the Seminary's collection of historic buildings, will reflect the restrained Virginia traditions of the campus's earliest buildings.
"Sacred space plays an important role in formation," preached VTS Dean Ian Markham in his sermon prior to the unveiling, "we are the generation entrusted by God to build a space of formation—to build a space that produces doers of the Word not simply hearers."
"We conceive the chapel we are now designing not as a look back to the 19th century or as a monument to our own time, but as a timeless place to honor and carry forward all that has gone before on the campus, and to focus on a vision that will serve not only the future of the Seminary, but also the future of the city of Alexandria, and most importantly, of the entire Anglican Communion," said RAMSA Partner Grant Marani. Mr. Marani was Robert A.M. Stern Architects' Project Partner for the new Chapel for the Ages.
Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The seminary prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas.
Rendering by Jeff Stikeman.