is the Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University.
When we moved to Seattle almost four years ago my brother Pat urged me to visit the Chapel of St. Ignatius. It took me awhile but I finally got there yesterday. What an experience. I arrived with a class of architectural students and followed along as the instructor, who had worked with the architect Steven Holl during design and construction, explained the thinking behind the design.
The interior space is organized around the concept of “a gathering of different lights” with light and dark spaces playing off each other. Holl imagined the chapel as “seven bottles of light in a stone box” with the color and light constantly changing depending on the time of day, the time of year, and the weather.
The impact of this amazing space is hard to describe. It is both exciting and comforting – at the same time. There is an intimacy about the space that encourages contemplation and wonder. Although each of the spaces flows into the other, each stands alone.