Tuesday, September 05, 2006

anthony chapel



I was anxious to return to Garvan Woodland Gardens on this trip to Hot Springs. The last time I was in town they had begun construction of the Anthony Chapel designed by architects Maurice Jennings and David McKee who were associates of the renowned Arkansas architect Fay Jones.

The chapel has just been completed and there's a dedication ceremony scheduled on the day of my birthday!

There is no words to explain the feelings evoked as you approach the chapel on the beautifully crafted stone walkway. It rises out of the forest floor and soars among the treetops. The wooden beams are a nod to the vaulted ceilings of European cathedrals, but the walls and ceiling are all glass. It all looks too impossible.

I've given some thought to the feeling of standing in this structure. We never think about it, but buildings have a mass and feeling of enclosure that is palpable. The thing is you don't realize that this is true until you're standing in a space that seems to have none of those elements.

You're in a building - your mind and eyes tell you so, but it "feels" like you are simply standing in the forest in a grove of beautiful trees that have been planted in a strict geometric pattern.

If you find yourself anywhere in the vicinity of Hot Springs, Arkansas, you simply must check this out. And yes - that's a Steinway grand piano on the altar.

8 comments:

srp said...

This is absolutely breathtaking!!!
My only question would be, what did they make the roof out of? A special type of glass? What would one do with a hail storm? I guess that would be three questions>

Jerry said...

That is beautiful. My cousin got married at a similar chapel in Oklahoma. It was like getting married outdoors without the heat and the bugs.

pablo said...

Fay Jones designed the chapel at Powell Gardens outside Kansas City. My son will be married there next summer.

Teri M. said...

My in-laws retired to Harrison and the next time we're out, I'm totally making my husband drive me to see this church. Wow.

Beverly said...

Breathtaking.

Ava said...

What a beautiful building. Very awe inspiring.

KatKit13 said...

I've always wanted to visit that chapel! It looks just amazing in photos, I'd like to experience the feeling when inside.

Eren said...

Oh, Ive been there!!! And yes it is breathtaking...even for a 9 year old (how old I was when I last visited the chapel). But it sure made an impression. As soon as I saw your photo I knew exactly what it was. I have visited your blog many times, but not until now have I commented. Thank you for bringing such lovely things to the forefront of my day.