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New Designs For The Nottingham

A haven for the spirit. A well-designed chapel can improve… residents' spiritual and psychological health

The Nottingham provides living spaces, services, and community for older adults in Syracuse. In February, Teitsch-Kent-Fay Architects, P.C. was contacted by Father Yeazel to assist in converting an existing space into a new, larger Chapel space. The existing chapel was rather small and limited the number of visitors, the new space was more than double the size of the existing one.

The design process began with a series of very simple plan studies to explore a variety of layouts and determine the most optimum layout for the new chapel and number of seats that would be needed in the new space. Father Yeazel, Ed King and Dan Fay then met at The Nottingham to review the existing conditions and discuss the desired liturgical elements, as well as other considerations such as storage and a small sink area.

Father Yeazel explained that he wanted the new Chapel to be larger than the original, but maintain the intimate nature for the community of believers. He also explained that a variety of faith traditions would be welcome to use the space. This meant that flexibility of the space had to be incorporated in to accommodate the requirements of these traditions.

To begin our work, our team reviewed the existing conditions and documented the locations of existing windows, closets, heating elements, as well as the sprinkler system in the ceiling of the space. Given this information we were able to lay out the new design to avoid conflicts with these existing elements. The layout that was selected was an angled orientation with the table, chair, and ambo in the corner of the space. The tabernacle, crucifix and statues were located in a niche to the right of the presider’s chair. This allows for an opaque screen to be drawn down over this niche to allow for use of the room by other faith traditions.

While we were still in the design process, Father was given a piece of stained glass by a former resident. He and Dan discussed incorporating this into the design in a “shadow box” that would allow it to be illuminated from behind. This new layout creates a “sanctuary area” with the shadow box,the tabernacle niche, and a change in finishes in this area emphasizes the significance of this space

With the basic layout determined, Father and Dan met with The Nottingham administration to review the proposed space. The Nottingham has their own team of construction personnel who are going to build out the space. The administration was pleased with the design, and took the details Teitsch-Kent-Fay Architects, P.C. put together to review and begin planning around. We look forward to seeing this project progress when construction begins.

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