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Project 3

Light/Form and Order Maker

This project deals with a set of plans for a proposed non-denominational chapel that would be located on the grounds of Farmingdale State College. Since the sun angle is very important with regards to the chapel's design, several crucial steps are necessary to ensure that the chapel can receive as much light as possible.

Project Introduction and Conceptual Research

Farmingdale State College knew beforehand that the non-denominational chapel has to be a profoundly spiritual place that people of all faiths can worship and reflect on life’s events. In order for this to happen, an approach known as the creative use of light had to be researched and studied in a conceptual manner. According to the preliminary program, the chapel would have to be integrated with any of the other buildings that are present on the campus. The only caveat is that it could not be symmetrical.

For the research portion of this project, the Cornaro Chapel at Santa Maria della Vittoria was used. The links to access the conceptual research document are located here.

Preliminary Program:


  • Main Sanctuary; 50 people

  • Memorial Side Chapel

  • Meditation Side Chapel

  • Lobby

  • Storage

  • Possible outdoor chapel using one of the exterior walls

  • Toilets


  • Secretary Office

  • Clergy’s Office

  • Small Library and Conference Room

Contextual Analysis

The project's contextual analysis consisted of the following steps:

1. Note the vehicular/pedestrian circulation, shapes of the forms, formal or informal spatial use, number of stories on the building, and the buildings where certain services are located (academic/administration is an example).

2. Note the sun angle on the campus on the dates of the equinoxes and solstices. Since there is less light during the period leading up to and after the winter solstice, certain building alignments must be taken into consideration.

3. Make sure that the building follows all existing patterns that are used on the campus.

Additional Contextual Analysis
Preliminary Designs

The project's preliminary designs were made according to the following statement:

Past precedents of lights are used to influence the form of the building by scattering light all around the chapel. This is accomplished by installing shutters along the rear window wall. Based on the contextual analysis presentation, a site located just northeast of the Ellipse and just south of Thompson Hall was chosen; this would enable the chapel to gain the most sunlight during the morning hours. The contextual conflict between the orientation of the built environment and the natural environment was mediated in a fashion where a space could be formed with the new building in a part of the college campus which was previously untouched but fit in with the campus settings.


Both the meditation and memorial side chapels are listed on the preliminary drawings under "side chapels". All lightbox drawings are also featured here.

Final Design

The project's final design renderings follow the last elements of the preliminary design that was adopted. All of the plans that were done under the preliminary designs were converged into the final design. Major modifications were made to the preliminary designs of the models of all of the chapels.

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