Labor of Love
The Cathedral of Hope Interfaith Peace Chapel is a unique structure—comprised entirely of curved walls and arches—was the last work of art designed by renowned architect Phillip Johnson. Honoring not only diversity and humanity, but also the environment, the Chapel was built to LEED Silver standards. The facility encompasses 8,000sf, seats 175 people and reaches 46ft tall at its peak.
With no right angles or parallel lines, the integrity of the design was of upmost importance and required working sessions during preconstruction to discuss strategy, materials and constructability methods. The project, involving endless customization, consisted of cement plaster exterior walls supported by 600 sheets of sheathing and 1,550 pieces of steel and the interior is comprised of bent studs, drywall and American Clay plaster.
For the exterior skin, 3D modeling was utilized to obtain the proper curvature based on Phillip Johnson’s hand-built model. Utilizing the base 3D model, the metal stud designer in Minnesota then modeled each stud to fit in the custom shaped walls and ceilings. Great attention to detail, flawless organization, and many meetings were required to achieve the precise curvature as dictated by the model.
Fabrication and erection of the steel was the biggest challenge. Due to the complexity of the columns and beams, the team modeled every piece of the steel structure including all welded and bolted connections. When it came time to erect the structure, typical installation methods would not suffice since none of the columns were plum, and none of the beams were truly horizontal. Lasers were used on the slab in order to make sure the curved columns hit a particular point in space.
|Eagle Award—Institutional (Less than $5M)|
Excellence in Construction
Association Builders & Contractors (ABC)
Outstanding Construction Award
Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Texas Building Branch
Distinguished Building Award
TEXO, the Construction Organization
Best of Awards
ENR Texas & Louisiana