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Non-Denominational Chapel on the campus of Farmingdale State College

Project 3

You have been selected to design a proposed non-denominational chapel located on the campus of Farmingdale State College. The College wants this to be a profoundly spiritual place that people of all faiths can worship and reflect on life’s events. The College believes this can be achieved by the creative use of light. The College has outlined a preliminary program that is listed below. A site has yet to selected on campus; the College is looking for guidance from the Architect. The building should be integrated into the fabric of the campus. The College explicitly requests the design not be symmetrical.

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

Site Plan

Design methodology:

  1. Research conceptual approaches on controlling light
  2. Build three sketch models to test concepts
  3. Develop sections of how light functions
  4. Contextual analysis of site, diagrams to include: sun angles, circulation (vehicular and pedestrian), forms, spaces, use, etc.
  5. Select site
  6. Idea generation (values and space making with program need)
  7. Develop diagram of space - path
  8. Integrate diagrams of sections with plans
  9. Develop diagrams into 3-D architecture  

Presentation Requirements:

Web Presentation Requirements shall include the following:

Idea Formation
1. Light background research (past precedents)
2. 3-D light sketch model / machine

3. Narrative, ranking and sorting (i.e., What time of the day should each chapel orient to?)

Contextual Analysis
1. Site analysis and existing patterns (circulation, spatial map, massing, use, hierarchy, etc.)
2. Light / environmental orientation

Preliminary Ideas, Designs & Diagrams

Philosophy statement explaining

  1. How did past precedents of light influence the form of the building?
  2. Based on your analysis, why did you select your site?
  3. How did the design mediate the contextual conflict between orientation of the built environment (i.e., frontality and the campus) and the natural environment (i.e., the sun)?
  4. How did the building use fundamental ordering concepts: circulation, hierarchy/datum, etc.?

Final Design

Drawings shall include:

  1. 1. Site plan in context
  2. 2. Building plans (show surrounding context)
  3. 3. Elevations
  4. 4. Sections (show chapels and how light is controlled)
  5. 5. 3-D Exterior Images
  6. 6. Interior Images
  7. other drawings you feel will highlight your project and process


No late projects accepted; all students must present!


GIF Construction Set

Sample section sect.gif