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Trinity School - Johnson Chapel

The renovated Johnson Chapel is becoming the spiritual heart of this 300 year-old independent school. The 1,000 s.f. Chapel supports a variety of activities, including regular services, memorials, religion classes, and speakers from various religious traditions.

Natural light is introduced by a light slot along the north wall, reflecting diffuse warm sunlight deep into the space. This light slot is mirrored on the floor with a bed of river rock and a gently bubbling stone fountain that lend texture, shadow, sound, and detail to the crisp white backdrop. The ceiling plane floats, disengaged from perimeter walls, and is lit indirectly, creating a cloud-like effect. The design reinforces this effect by keeping the surface unencumbered by light fixtures, access panels, diffusers, smoke detectors and other systems. The cloud is punctured by a large light cone which gathers light and spills it around the altar table.

A displacement ventilation system introduces low-velocity conditioned air through the bed of river rock. Warm air is extracted via the reveal at the edge of the ceiling cloud, resulting in a healthy, efficient, and extremely quiet system with no visual access to diffusers or grilles.

Doors, seating, lighting, hymnal slots, and a sound system are carefully integrated into a wide ribbon of maple woodwork that wraps two sides of the space. The spare material palette includes a walnut plank floor, white river rock and several blackened steel elements created by local artisan Kristina Kozak.

Since its opening, the Johnson Chapel has found unplanned uses and is often visited by individuals seeking a moment of solace in their day. It is a sacred place of serenity, light and balance, where people of all traditions are welcome.