“The experience and memory of humankind are laid down in layers in the physical environment, concrete and graphically. Every new part exploits ancient forms, materials, and ways of making. Building is, at base, a sign of hope, a sign of society's belief in future, a gesture forward in time.” - Carlo Scarpa

Each of the three volumes of the chapel repurposes a key element of the historic Norwood estate (fountain, tea room, and garden bench) with respect to their spiritual connection with light, water, and earth. The estate was originally aligned North/ South. The Riverside Chapel inflects this axis/cross in order to gradually reorient people towards a view of the city. Windows are strategically placed throughout the chapel to highlight both axes. Concrete is the primary material because like the estate, its framework leaves a trace, symbolizing strength, foundation, and permanence. The dematerialization of the building assembly (concrete walls > rebar/glass/gabion walls > curtain walls) further emphasizes how the Riverside Chapel builds upon, or stratifies its past.

Vertical Studio || Judy Birdsong || Fall 2011

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