The Box Chapel is a private chapel to be located on a farming Station in Oxford, Canterbury, NZ.
The chapel is completely spatially networked through a proportion system using 3.0 metre multiples, and derivatives of those sums. The result is a geometrically simple, but precise building embodying the purity of the Christian (Anglican) faith.
The geometry has the building split between the two realms for which it serves, that of Heaven & Earth. The chapel has the purist form of ’Greek cross’, which has been ‘extracted’ from the East face, juxtaposed by an extruded cruciform to the West face.
The chapel has been placed so that the altar faces east, with an axis from the west face linking by alignment the existing early ‘modernist’ timber house. The chapel’s furniture, that of the pews, lectern, altar, and font (below chapel) has also been designed using the proportion system, resulting in finely tuned forms that echo the chapels massing. The pews, and lectern are built from finely grained American ash, whilst the altar is of concrete. The font has a basin carved from living granite, resting on a cruciform base of concrete. The fonts tap is of stainless steel.
The Box Chapel represents the purity of religion in a built form, with all elements as simple as the whole. As we exist as mortals on earth, we look to heaven for guidance, so creating a vessel for ourselves of faith, contained in the ‘Box Chapel – between Heaven and Earth.
2013 AAA Unbuilt Architecture Awards – Open Conceptual – Runner Up
Design & 3D Imagery: © Jonathan Gibb 1999-2013