Point Loma Nazarene University Prayer Chapel Debut

In The News, Architecture |

Campus officials hosted a formal dedication ceremony of the Lyle and Grace Prescott Memorial Prayer Chapel at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) on Tuesday, May 1st. Located on the lush, clifftop campus of the University, this much-anticipated building replaces the university’s 50-year-old facility, serving as new, peaceful setting for prayer and spiritual reflection. “The completion of the Lyle and Grace Prescott Memorial Prayer Chapel at PLNU is testament to the firm’s strong design relationship with college leadership, faculty, and students,” says Gordon Carrier, FAIA, NCARB.

In his own words; Design Principal, Gordon Carrier, FAIA, NCARB, Design Narrative:

The prayer chapel design for Point Loma Nazarene University in Point Loma, California evolved from two inspirations: its serene natural setting, and the spiritual significance of a prayerful ambiance. The entry portico plays with scale, compressing the user then expanding their experience upon entry to accentuate the power of the Cross placed mid space. Upon entry, the space opens to enhance one’s sense of arrival in an 18’ tall prayer volume, expressed in concrete, and glass with wood features where human hands engage the space. Overhead, a light filigree of mixed woods ascends in the space — a gesture evoking Christ’s spirit, and his crown of thorns. This filigree also acts as a gentle filter for natural daylight. Select wood materials enhance the theme of human embrace, while the concrete vessel conveys a sense of earthly presence, strength and permanence. Though small in footprint, the space offers an experience commensurate with the power of prayer. Three personal prayer niches are arranged radially from the Cross centered in the volume, offering individual privacy while allowing natural daylight to penetrate. The power of three is evoked throughout the design, as homage to the Holy Trinity.