Air Force Chapel
Let’s go down to Scoop and pray for ole Joe. Here is what we prayed for:
We prayed for a basic elemental plan – the simplest purest plan, unencumbered with hierarchy – a circle or a square. We chose a square. In God’s eyes, we are all equal.
After that we prayed for light – beautiful ethereal light. A light you don’t know where it comes from. A pure light, unpainted by colored glass, changing only with the rotation of the earth about its center and about the sun. Light is purity, light is life, light is God, and the light is the sky.
After that we prayed for a minimal space – austere but warmed by the light and warm colored materials. We chose two materials, stone and wood. The detailing is minimal. A slit in the wall, a grille, an inset brass bar, a gentle curve to cradle the body.
We pray for an experience and an architecture that speaks about our pilots and soldiers– country, honor, solitude, bravery and focus.
The building’s spiritual function is what is on display – the light scoops are there to make sure that there is always light, that there is always purity, always God, always the sky. It’s a space you do not necessarily occupy with your body but with your soul.
From the exterior it is a sculpture –an abstract representation of our connection to our soldiers and their sacrifices.
The corporeal functions are sheltered in an earthen berm. Hidden from view but bathed in light. Public functions in front, private chapels flanking, the clergy at the rear – all of it surrounds the sanctuary – the circle of life.