Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago, IL, US, BArch, Architecture
AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Honor Award
"We're not able to contain our enthusiasm," one juror said of this serenely simple chapel designed and built entirely by the students in Professor Frank Flury's studio at IIT. Set in a field on a high piece of land whose sweeping view encompasses the steeples of three nearby towns, the chapel was intended as a place of haven and rest for users of a nearby trail. The chapel contains only two 10-foot square rooms. The first is 10 feet high and open to the sky; the second is a tower 30 feet high, enclosed at the top but with large louvers that admit air and light. Jurors responded to its simple elegance. "It's dense at the bottom but wide open at the top," one said. "It's such an honest building, such a clear building." Resting the structure on a low brick plinth was, they said, the master stroke. "It doesn't touch the ground, it hovers and you see that little piece of light coming out—that's miraculous," one said. Another noted that "before I came here today, I didn't want to see yet another building made out of sticks. But I saw a great one here."