Built on the banks of Lake Bastrop, this interfaith chapel forms a contemplative moment within the pine forest near Austin. The simplicity of the frame geometry plays off the rustic quality of the cedar members. Each of the 22 frames is composed of members interconnected with steel plates. The identical frames, bundled together horizontally by two cables in tension, rotate incrementally to create an arcing in plan. Since the lower members are wider and become narrower toward the top, the upper members do not touch and are free to sway in the wind. The fluid quality of the frame rotation, like the movement of water in the lake beyond, also implies mutablitiy, a character that strengthens the building’s form to its purpose as an interfaith chapel.
This interfaith chapel is built on a lakeside within the piney forests of a Cub Scout Camp. The open air structure hosts all manner of religious gathering from Muslim to Buddhist , from Christian to Judaic.
The chapel is composed of repeated wood members that vary in their rustication from the lower members increasing in their refinement upward. Since the lower members are wider and become narrower toward the top the upper members don’t not touch and are free to move and sway in the wind. This movement is unexpected and when it occurs and a sudden connection to the surrounding forest is made.
The frame rotation gives the building a fluid quality linking it to the movement of water in the lake beyond. The playful rotation also gives the building the feeling that it could change or is changing like an opening fan or hinged toy. This implied mutability links and strengthens the buildings form to its program, that of an interfaith chapel. Since many of the building users will be children the buildings clarity of structure will also be an instructional tool and hopefully inspire, in the cub scouts, an interest in architecture and building.