Immanuel Chapel

Virginia Theological Seminary

Alexandria, Virginia

Project Details

Project Partners
Robert A.M. Stern
Grant F. Marani

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Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The new LEED Gold Immanuel Chapel will replace the historic Immanuel Chapel, which served the Seminary from its consecration in 1881 until it was destroyed in a fire in October 2010. The new chapel will stand in peaceful conversation with the remains of the Immanuel Chapel 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.

Along with a new Welcome Center and a new motor court, the new Immanuel 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.

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