13 April 2010

A-Frame Chapel

While I'm on the theme of light, here is another favorite LDS Chapel of mine right here in Utah. The building as a whole is not as exquisitely detailed as the Leura Chapel or Liepaja Chapel, but the A-frame portion of this Chapel alone is worth a visit. The chapel's use of natural light is stunning and I had a hard time pulling myself away. Above is a view of the Chapel looking towards the rostrum with the main lights turned off to really highlight the blue-tinted natural light coming in through the recesses of the A-framed structure. It would be wonderful to attend a service as shown, with just the natural daylight coming through and the few rostrum lights on to highlight the speaker. But I have a feeling that they simply turn all the lights on for a worship service.

Originally the building was designed for the Orchard 1st and 3rd Wards in the South Davis Stake. Today it houses the Orchard 3rd Ward, Orchard 13th Ward, and the Parkway Branch (Spanish).

Address: 261 E Center St North Salt Lake, Utah
Architect: Jackson & Sharp
Date on plans: 26 July 1961
Built: 1967
Size: 28,021 SF

Exterior of building showing the front elevation, brick detailing, and window recesses for letting natural light into the chapel.

Picture taken from pulpit looking towards the rear of the chapel. Beautiful wood detailing can be seen at both the front and rear of the chapel. The exposed wood structural beams are also an important feature.

Structural beams extending from the A-frame of the Chapel through the brick exterior wall to the ground.

Side view of the A-frame chapel and elevation of the steeple.

Brick detailing as seen on the exterior front of the chapel.

Link to the overhanging walkway canopy that is perfectly aligned with the structural beam from the chapel.

Richard Woolley Jackson, the architect on this building, compiled an enormous amount of research on LDS Meetinghouses and published the wonderful book ‘Places of Worship: 150 Years of Latter-day Saint Architecture.


Tod Robbins said...

The triangular symbolism definitely lifts your eyes and mind to higher subjects. I would love attending services there. Wow.

Michael Carpenter said...

The building on Northview Street in Boise has an A-frame ceiling and when they remodeled they put in beautiful wood on the ceiling (instead of 1970s cottage cheese).

But, then they ruined it by putting a huge slab for HVAC and electrical right down the middle. I've seen this design in other LDS buildings and I always wonder why.

green mormon architect said...

Yes, the symbolism of the triangle is beautiful. It would be nice to see more symbolism like this in our chapels for sure.

I've seen the HVAC slabs you're talking about Michael. There are quite a few of them in our buildings. It actually works quite well in some situations, but would definitely be terrible looking in an A-frame building.

Johnna said...


I attended the A-frame ward meetinghouse in Encino, California for most my time through primary. It didn't have that amazing outline window behind the pulpit. Instead there were some randon colored glass replacing brick, and at the top of the frame was a long clear skylight. It was the lovely setting where I first experienced reverence.

My grandparents helped raise the money to build it.

Alice said...

That used to be our stake center! I went to a lot of baptisms there when I was a primary leader.