SHU Chapel Wins Design of Excellence Award from the Boston Society of Architects


Chapel of the Holy Spirit

News Story: January 1, 2011

Sacred Heart University’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit ended its first year of service with two prestigious awards from the Boston Society of Architects (BSA). The BSA deemed the 550-seat structure, designed by the world-famous Sasaki Associates of Boston, worthy of an honors citation for Design Excellence.

Part of the campus master plan, it was recognized as “very fresh and clean, offering amazing light, inside and out.” The team of four jurors – all Chicago architects – singled out for special praise “the way the ends of the structure fold downward to embrace the gardens [with] all elements working together to create a truly sacred space, the essence of which is often missing in churches that instead rely on paintings and other artifacts that only result in nostalgia.”

The $17 million Chapel, which was dedicated in September 2009, also earned the BSA’s People’s Choice Award, determined by a popular vote. The society had given special honors to 18 projects, among the 193 submitted for appraisal. Users of the BSA website were then invited to select their favorite, and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit was the People’s Choice.

Occupying a prominent location at the heart of the campus, the Chapel features stunning mosaics by the internationally respected Jesuit artist, Father Marko I. Rupnik. His work has been commissioned by the Vatican and at Fatima and Lourdes and calls heavily on the theological and artistic influences of Eastern Rite Catholicism and Orthodoxy.