The PRAYER PAVILION OF LIGHT is a 250-seat chapel located on a 60-acre Protestant church campus in Phoenix, Arizona. Positioned at a high point on the campus, against the native desert, the chapel is accessed by a 600' long processional “zigzag” that gradually ascends 28 feet. Three garden courtyards surround the chapel including a linear reflection pool, a torch of fire and 50-foot-high steel cross all within a shaded grove of native trees.
Envisioned as a ‘lantern on a hill’, the translucent glass chapel rises nearly 30’ with a double glass skin enclosure suspended eight feet above the ground on a pinwheel of four black-concrete walls. The double skin of fritted translucent glass with 5' deep airspace, delivers high technology and profound art in one elegant gesture. Below the lantern, stacking, sliding glass doors retract on three sides opening the interior and blurring the line between indoor and outdoor space. With opened sides, the chapel transforms into a ‘pavilion’ accommodating thousands during the temperate months of the year.
Entering through a pair of custom, cast-bronze doors, the sparse interior is subject to the day-lit glow of the translucent enclosure and encompassing views of the surrounding desert landscape. At night, the glass pavilion transforms into art, by hundreds of LED fixtures mounted between the double skins, subtly colorizing the building into intense and sublime hues set against the dark desert backdrop.
The double skin, glass building delivers high-technology and profound art in one elegant gesture. An outer layer of fritted-translucent glass shades an inner-layer of triple-insulated translucent glass. The five foot-deep air-space created by the shaded void between becomes a natural convection air chimney, releasing hot surface-air while drawing cooler shaded-air along the face of the building. The convection chase and shaded glass skin eliminates direct sunlight on the interior glass and creates a soft glowing interior without the need for electric light during the daytime. Delivering HVAC from underground ductwork, only the occupied space is conditioned from the 8’ datum. In order to resist standing acoustical waves, the upper glass leans out, directing any noise into the absorptive white fabric ceiling above.