Daylight on Wall with Statue  - St. Teresa’s Academy  - Architecture - Gould Evans
 
St. Teresa’s Academy Windmoor Center Kansas City, Missouri

Introduction

This Catholic independent college preparatory school for young women wanted to add a new chapel and academic space on the main campus quadrangle. After surveying students and faculty, a vision for the chapel emerged as a soft, feminine, contemplative space flooded with light and connected to nature. There was a strong desire to connect to the narrative of St. Teresa, the patron saint of lace makers. (Common survey answers below).

What is important to imagine or envision in a physical space for worship at the school?
Use of skylights/lots of windows/natural light/meditative garden
Classic/not trendy/traditional/simplicity/strength/feminine/soft

How can the space convey the school’s mission and the values passed on to you by the heritage and commitment of the sisters of St. Joseph?
Use green technology/be environmentally friendly/holy place
Visual representation of females in relationship with God/lace
Symbolic connection to the Sisters/etched glass to resemble lace

Research

Research and inspiration from the roots of the school

Lace History and Context - St. Teresa of  Avila - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

St. Teresa of Avila

Lace History and Context - Le Puy, France - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Le Puy, France

Lace History and Context - Sister Ramona - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Sister Ramona

Lace History and Context - Handmade Lace - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Handmade Lace


From Lace to Design - Lace In Nature - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Lace In Nature

From Lace to Design - Lace To Create Shadow - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Lace To Create Shadow

From Lace to Design - Lace To Create Form - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Lace To Create Form

From Lace to Design - Lace To Create Space - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Lace To Create Space


French Lace Design - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

French lace designs from the academy’s collection

Sister Ramona Technique - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Sister Ramona, a nun with the sister’s of St. Joseph of Carondelet, continues the lacemaking tradition


Sister Ramona Handmade Lace - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

examples of Sister Ramona’s handmade bobbin lace

Site

Existing Campus Context #1 - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans
Existing Campus Context #2 - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Existing Campus Context #3 - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans
Existing Campus Context #4 - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

existing campus architecture

Design

Lace Wall Design Concept - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

early sketch, placing major lace elements across the chapel facade

Important throughout the design process was balance. Achieving harmony between sacred and secular is the very essence of the school’s mission, and was the charge facing the design team. The challenge was reinforced by the duality of the program, which combines the school’s spiritual heart with technology-rich classrooms and banquet facilities.

We developed the design solution to honor the school’s history and embody the vision of a modern institution for women’s education. The chapel’s soft dappled light and feminine lines of its lace veil, pulled across the simple interior palette, is balanced by the defined brick mass of the classrooms, which visually ties the building form to the existing academic campus. The two volumes are unified by a shared lobby that enables the sacred and secular to co-mingle.

Lace Design Development - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

lace samples used within the cropped lace design


Sacred and Secular Material Study and Parti Diagrams - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

campus influence on parti development

3D Rendering - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

digital mockup of water jet aluminum
lace on masonry skin

Mockup - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

exterior surface of water jet cut aluminum panel system during fabrication process before bead blasting and painting

Installation - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

design realized after setting the 45 panels in place

Extent of Lace Scrim - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

extent of lace scrim


Lace Scrim Design - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

final AutoCAD linework of panelized lace design

The design team conducted material experimentation and digital fabrication explorations to translate the concept into built form. Material, finish and digital and mechanical tolerances were all precisely coordinated and tested with the fabricator to ensure an elegant translation of the organic design onto the chapel’s waterjet cut aluminum panels.

Lace Scrim Fabrication - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans
Lace Scrim Installation - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Chapel Interior with Filtered Light - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans
Lace Scrim Detail - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans
Exterior Perspective - St. Teresa’s Academy - Architecture - Gould Evans

Sustainability

The Windmoor Center is a site-sensitive, sustainable project incorporating many green and energy efficient features.

• Minimal amount of solar exposure on the south facade.

• Glazing is double-paned and insulated and incorporates a low-e coating for maximum efficiency.

• Southwest glazing of the chapel is shaded by the lace scrim.

• Ballasted modified bituminous roof lessens radiant heat gain.

• Heating and cooling energy provided by a new geothermal well field.

• Nineteen geothermal wells, each four-hundred and fifty feet deep are located in the historic quad to maximize usable site area and serve as a teaching tool.

• Reduced energy use by 66% from the average energy use for a similar building.

Reaction

“To say this project fulfilled the programmatic requirements set out in the design process would be a huge understatement. It was the leadership and guidance of the architectural team that encouraged us to get input from our community members to define the characteristics and features they wanted to see in this project. The architectural team was able to take this important input and fuse it into a design that perfectly fit our programmatic requirements for the space. The project has contrasting uses of a worship space and high tech classrooms/meeting space. The team exquisitely balanced these requirements and created a beautiful, innovative and functional design that is rooted in our history, our community, and our vision for the future.”

—Nan Bone, President, St. Teresa’s Academy

Facts

10,650 sf

20-Acre Campus

150-Seat Chapel

4 Classrooms

Historic School Artifact Display