Built in
Seattle University, Seattle, Washington, United States
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St. Ignatius Chapel was built by architect Steven Holl between 1994 and 1997, in the city of Seattle, USA.

This construction is clearly the essence of the author, since his work stands out for using the bucket fragmented and modulation of space and light. The plan Holl to the chapel, won a design award in the American Institute of Architects of New York, to turn the model of the chapel has been chosen to be part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


St. Ignatius Chapel, built in 1995 in Seattle, Washington, United States, is located on the campus of the University of the city, rather than as an object ensimismado, as organizer of the place.


Its rectangular seems especially appropriate to define precisely both the space of the campus, such as the processional and meeting space that houses inside it.

In turn, each volume of light that comes up in terms of their orientation and function. Thus, from the different effects of light, is organizing the interior and exterior of the chapel.

The architect Steven Holl transforms codes in this work. Invents unconventional elements as is the play of light on the various domes building, creating feelings of perceptual contrast.

As for the form, the building refers to colored glass bottles, it works as well as from the light and color through irregular geometrical figures on deck.

With regard to content, the light has great significance as it relates to religion, the quest for peace, faith, tranquility. The author uses the different effects of light to cause sensations in those who occupy the space, reunited with his own interior.

The architect Steven Holl, from the beginning, focused on the spiritual needs of students for design and construction of the chapel. The contributions of these were instrumental in the design process. The comments helped the student get to the final design, and according to Holl, the result was “a design that would be oriented toward the future, but anchored in the past.”


The different volumes of the deck intended to capture different qualities of light: the four-oriented as cardinal directions, all of them persiven a single ceremony.

The project achieves a unity of differences into a whole. Each of the volumes of light corresponds to a part of the Jesuit Catholic religion.

The light directed to the south represents the procession. The light from the north, which is oriented toward the city, is the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, whose mission is open to the community. The main worship space receives light from the east and west. At night, when they celebrate religious acts at the Chapel of St. Ignatius, the volumes of light become headlamps that give brightness in all directions from campus.
At the entrance and at the nártex, collecting the natural light from the sun, then, upon entering the chapel, the light becomes a mysterious glow of color fields, with its complementary color reflected by a lens tinted glass.

South of the chapel is a pond, or land of meditation, which reflect the lights at night, serves as the first yard of the chapel.


Steven Holl has designed the Chapel of St. Ignatius as “seven bottles of light in a stone box”

The church is made up of two unique materials, contending it is based on the forms. On the one hand and pieces of colored glass tinted to occupy the upper part of the project, give light and brightness. Below, a basement concrete opaque counteracts the imprint of colored glass.

The inside walls were overturned with plaster, and the entrance door was carved from a heavy piece of wood.



Photos by Joe Wolf

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