Posted in projects on April 12, 2016 9:52 am EDT

Inside a Small Project with Large Impact

Rockford, Ill's Larson & Darby Inc. recently renovated a small chapel in a local hospital on a tight budget. The renovation's initial goal: preserve an eternal flame that remains lit in the chapel, yet the space got much more.

Working with hospital standards and using cost effective materials such as paint, sheet goods and vinyl tile, Larson & Darby Group undertook a $325K interior renovation of the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Chapel.


 

ARCHITECTURAL NEWS

 
 

EDITOR PICKS

 
 

LATEST ISSUE

DIGITAL EDITION

 
 

NEWSLETTERS

 

Sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter Designer Today to stay up to date with all we do at Designer and with what's going on in the field of house of worship architecture.

 
 
  
          
 

print
TAGS: collaboration, fire codes, lighting, materials, renovation, small project, sustainability,

print

By Julie Williams

The new ceiling tile with a monolithic texture and additional lighting help to alleviate the ceiling’s mass.

An Eternal Flame in a chapel is just that – eternal, everlasting. Built in 1965, the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Chapel in Rockford, Ill., was of the era of heavily wood paneled walls with dark finishes and carpet. After more than half a century, these wood paneled walls that housed the Eternal Flame no longer met today’s fire codes and thus required a renovation to remove the paneling.

Problems & solutions

Once construction began, the question was raised as to how to address the other outdated finishes and materials that would be affected by the modifications; finishes that were outdated in both aesthetics and function. The dark wood, red carpet, and low ceiling height made the space feel heavy. Knowing the original project scope was only to remove the wood paneling from the walls to meet fire codes, budget and time were big concerns. Subsequently, if these changes were made to the chapel interior, what about the first impression of the entrance -- non-descript in appearance despite its prime location off the main hospital lobby?

In this before photo, the dark wood, red carpet, and low ceiling height made the space feel heavy.

Taking all of this into consideration, the staff at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center agreed to move forward with the entire project, stating, “If we need to update the chapel, then let’s update it completely and properly while being conscientious of the budget and schedule.”

Working with hospital standards and utilizing cost effective materials such as paint, sheet goods, and vinyl tile, Larson & Darby Group began the $325K interior renovation under architect John Heimbach. The use of bands of paint on the walls divided by metal reveals results in a space that is modern, yet warm and inviting for worship and contemplation. An accent paint band is now the backdrop for the Stations-of-the-Cross, emphasizing their importance in the Catholic chapel while continuing to brighten the space. The flooring selection of large format vinyl tile with a faux stone look works well with the warmth of the original wood pews and is a welcome change from the dark red carpeting. The new ceiling tile with a monolithic texture and additional lighting help to alleviate the ceiling’s mass. In addition, the wooden pews were refinished and the altar’s beautiful marble and wood were cleaned and polished.  continued >>

 

1
2