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Prayer Chapel

Phoenix, Arizona

At the edge of an extensive church campus, this new chapel appears as an illuminated glass box atop a hill. Visitors approach this symbolic building via diagonal walks through a series of broad, faceted planes that transverse the hillside. Rusted steel walls of varying heights retain the grades along the walkway, concealing and then revealing the chapel as visitors ascend the walkway. Native desert plantings in gradients of increasing and decreasing intensity emerge at each turn. Atop the hill, the chapel walls extend into the site to define a series of distinct court spaces. A paved arrival court features benches, a grove of palo verde trees and a reflecting pool. On the opposite side of the building, a bosque of trees shades a decomposed granite court. A crisp lawn panel set against the native Sonoran Desert hillside comprises a third court.

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