Holy Trinity Seminary Chapel Renovation - Irving, Texas
This chapel occupies the central core space of a large octagonal building and is itself octagonal in shape. The chapel is completely surrounded by four circulation corridors that precluded enlargement.
Originally, approximately three eighths of the octagonal chapel space was completely cut off from the chapel as storage and sacristy spaces. The seating areas were a bleacher type arrangement requiring those attending to enter, proceed to the altar area, then turn back and climb to their pew. The tabernacle was recessed in the wall separating the chapel from the sacristy. Entry space was severely limited by the low but rising side walls of the stepped seating.
Revisions redefined the storage and sacristy space to separate but low spaces on either side with the open space between them creating a worthy space for the tabernacle. The whole of the octagonal ceiling is now visible and the space feels complete and understandable. A wide entry space was created and seating, directly accessible, brought closer to the altar. The large central skylight remains unchanged but the interior finishes were lightened. Marble flooring and wall covering surround the new storage, sacristy, and tabernacle areas replacing red carpet and masonry. New liturgical furnishings and pews were designed and fabricated. The renovated space is much brighter, but, simultaneously, more given to repose and quiet contemplation appropriate to a seminary.