UCC seminary's new chapel wins accolades
Mar-Apr 2005
March 1, 2005

Curving maple and acrylic panels - so thin as to be translucent - bring honey-colored light into the Bigelow Chapel sanctuary. Paul Warchol photo.

A feeling of awe

The first permanent chapel at UCC-related United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in New Brighton, Minn., has been highlighted by Architecture Minnesota magazine as its March-April 2005 cover story.

The 5,300-square-foot, 200-seat Charles and Allison Bigelow Chapel, recognized architecturally and aesthetically for being a space "flooded with light," according to the magazine, is also being flooded with praise.

The chapel received a 2004 Honors Award from the Minnesota Association of the American Institute of Architects.

"We wanted a feeling of awe," said architect Joan Soranno, project manager. Evidently, her plan worked.

"When guests walk through the chapel and suddenly get into the sanctuary, everyone becomes silent," said Wilson Yates, UTS president, to the magazine. "They're truly touched or moved by the space itself. Inevitably they say, 'This is truly a holy space.'"


Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115