Monday, December 13, 2010
William Rawl Associates, Glavin Family Chapel, Wellesley MA, 2000
One of my favorite living American architects is Bill Rawn. His Glavin Family Chapel at Bobson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts uses a simple square, bisected on the diagonal so that it can be arranged for two very different feelings: one characterized by solidity and enclosure (facing the solid walls that hide the busy campus center), and one by transparence and openness (facing the two sides that open into a forest landscape).
The stained glass is subtle and swirling, and only on the top portion of the glazing so as not to interfere with the close connection to the landscape provided by the ground-level windows, whose strongest feature is the delicacy added by a careful arrangements of the mullions.
While this is an elegant space utilizing expensive materials its ideas (triangular seat arrangement looking into a focal corner, transom-level stained glass, interesting mullion arrangements on plain windows) are very accessible.