Aquinas College

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel

Grand Rapids, Michigan // 7,170 sq. ft.

Client Challenge

Since the College’s inception in 1886, it has celebrated Mass, and other liturgical events on campus throughout history yet has never had a structure solely devoted as a campus chapel. In the spring of 2014, the College determined the need for a permanent chapel that addressed the role and prominence of faith on the Dominican campus. The new Chapel was included as a project in the Campus Master Plan that TowerPinkster authored with the College community. The Chapel is located in the “heart” of campus. It is a focal point across the great lawn from the Holmdene building.

TowerPinkster Solution

TowerPinkster partnered with a liturgical design firm, JNKA Architects, to create a new chapel for the campus. JNKA was the design architect for the project developing the solution through the Design Development Phase. In addition to engineering, site planning, landscape, and interior design, TowerPinkster developed the construction documents and provided all construction administration related services. The building includes a new 250-seat sanctuary with additional flexible seating for larger events and choral space. It also includes a reconciliation room, meeting and prayer rooms, music storage, a sacristy, and other auxiliary rooms. The plan for the site included roadway realignment, a new exterior plaza for outdoor gatherings and additional landscape in this forest-like campus setting. The Chapel integrated sustainable design principals to achieve LEED Silver Certification.

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