Interfaith Chapel

Submitted by Cindy Kessler

2+

Client: Rush Copley Medical Center

Location: Aurora, IL, United States

Completion date: 2017

Project Team

Client

Kirk Kruse

Rush Copley Medical Center

Client

Alex Pope

Rush Copley Medical Center

Industry Resource

Eric Martinson

Northern Glass

Interior Designer

Dan Sullivan

Anderson Mikos Architects Ltd

Artist

Cindy Kessler

Overview

Stained glass window, 10′ tall x 60′ long, separating two interior spaces: The Interfaith Chapel and the Entry Atrium. Materials used were primarily clear textured glasses, custom-made full antique sheet glass, and 2500 square bevels glued with optically clear UV adhesive. Custom frames were installed to allow for easy installation (four days!).

Goals

This project had many challenges. Primarily, the artwork had to provide privacy for the people inside the Chapel. Hospitals are often places of great stress, and since the stained glass window was dividing two interior spaces, it was critical that folks in the Atrium not be able to distinguish persons seeking refuge in the Chapel. It was also important that the users of the Chapel not feel confined, given that the space is quite narrow. Using almost no color allowed ample light into the room, and textured glasses maintain a sense of privacy. As the design wraps around the entry corner of the Chapel, the textured glasses give way to a clear section, allowing those approaching the door to get a glimpse of the interior; helpful for those seeking to be alone or not wanting to intrude on another person's solitude.

Process

The clients at Rush Copley Medical Center were dedicated to this project and a delight to work with. No-one seemed to mind the long fabrication schedule necessitated by the custom mouth-blown glasses that were used. The Northern Glass folks were also great collaborators. There was an existing glass curtain wall in place that needed additional framing added to support the stained glass panels. Due to the curving nature of the wall, this meant that great care had to be taken in the placement of the frame stock.

Additional Information

The artist sought to create a non-denominational space which would welcome anyone, of any faith. The sweeping whites and clears are meant to separate the space from the surrounding institutional spaces, giving the visitor shelter from the stresses of being in a hospital. The bevels counterpoint the energetic design, bringing a calm, stately feel.