Infinity Chapel is a project that demonstrates Victoria Meyers architect's researches into sacred spaces, including ideas of infinity, weightlessness, movement, space, light and sound. Ms. Meyers' studies of sacred space extend to the Cluniac Order, including the writings of Abbot Suger, who is credited with building the first Gothic Cathedral. Building on this history, and following the thread of architectural design of sacred space, through Le Corbusier's Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, Ms. Meyers's development of sacred space design followed a trajectory of developing architectural innovations that spring from a close reading of historical precedents.
At Infinity Chapel, Ms. Meyers developed a sequence from street to chapel, led by light wells that beam light upward into the chapel, and down into a Sunday school below. The skylights feature operable glass, and can be opened to allow sound from above to go to spaces below; and, vice-versa, allows a chorus to sing in the lower level basement area, which serves almost as an orchestra pit, to allow sound to come up into the chapel, from an unseen source.
Infinity Chapel's clients were the Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist congregation. Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist are a Christian Science congregation, following the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy. Infinity Chapel was developed in close conversation with the Tenth Church congregation, and the design evolved out of a close reading of Ms. Eddy's writings and beliefs. Many of the concepts in the chapel came from the congregation's desire to have the chapel reflect Ms. Eddy's belief in her specifically scientific reading of the New Testament.
Infinity Chapel is located in New York's West Village, adjacent to Washington Square Park. The area is dominated by New York University, whose buildings surround the park. The Christian Science Reading Room for the new church was designed to have a friendly, Starbucks atmosphere, faces MacDougal Street, with a floor to ceiling glass facade where Christian Science books are displayed on wood shelves by long time hMa collaborator, Miya Shoji.
In October 2012, Infinity Chapel received an Award of Design Excellence from the Pennsylvania chapter of SARA (Society of American Registered Architects).
To read more about Infinity Chapel, visit hMa's website: www.hanrahanMeyers.com. To see more information about Victoria's on-going role as hMa's design principal, follow our blog, www.victoriameyers.com.