A wave-like wooden ceiling undulates above the heads of students at this chapel by architects Gensler in the basement of a Los Angeles university.
Despite being located within the rectangular confines of an old classroom, the chapel has curved walls and not a single corner.
Architect David Herjeczki explains how he was inspired by the thick black outlines of poché-style plans. "The design is conceived as a 'heavy' space deliberately set apart from, but fully formed within, the host classroom building," he said.
Recycled strips of timber were mixed with wood harvested from olive trees around the campus to create the uneven finish of the chapel's timber ceiling.
"The choice of such recycled wood is consistent with the poor and primitive sensibility of the chapel, but materially it provides a rich contrast to the fundamental nature of the space," said Herjeczki.
A narrow skylight creates a band of light across the ceiling at one end and illuminated glass blocks create brightly coloured windows in the curved interior walls, but offer no views to the rooms beyond.
3D diagrams - click above for larger image
Building plan - click above for larger image and key
Photography is by Ryan Gobuty, Gensler.
Floor plan and alternative layout
Client: Biola University, La Mirada, CA USA
Design: David Herjeczki, Gensler Los Angeles