Eero Saarinen’s Chapel

Daylight sneaks into Eero Saarinen’s chapel on the Concordia College campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, through two breaks in its roof, and along both sides at the base.  The tall peak of the chapel’s long, gabled roof is split to admit daylight from the top of the sky; under that skylight is an array of electric light fixtures.  The roof is also opened on the south side, adjacent to the pulpit to illuminate the service.  This photo was converted from color to black and white, increasing its contrast: the illumination in the room is really much softer.  It’s even a little dim. More illumination would bring vitality to the room.

Even sneakier is how the day uprights the steep ceiling inside. The roof overlaps the foundation wall on both long sides of the space so that light is permitted to enter from the sides of the chapel, low, brightening the underside of the roof–but not quite enough.

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