Saints Peter and Paul Chapel

Austin, TX – 2013

2013 AIA Austin Design Award: Citation of Honor, Unbuilt Category

Peter and Paul, iconic saints of the Catholic Church share the same feast day: June 29 (also the client’s birthday). This intentional convergence balances two powerful opposing forces within the church. Peter represents the grounded, institutional church, its hierarchy and institutions, while Paul’s force is ethereal, exemplified in light and spirited expression.

As the church binds Peter and Paul into one body, this small family chapel unifies their forces architecturally: expressing their stereotomic and tectonic qualities. The chapel is anchored by a powerful concrete foundation (Peter) rising above the steep terrain, its walls exposed, and sculpted to express unreserved strength. Above this, a structure (Paul) lightly engages its foundation. The enclosed space is light, subtlety expressing ascendant movement while defining a place of prayer and contemplation. Concrete entry steps rise into the southern sky and the vertical canopy inflects upward, its soaring trajectory sheltering, yet transparent to the heavens.