Marine Corps Chapel Honored with Gold Nugget Merit Award

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For its simplicity, serenity, and purity of form and materials, the Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel in Quantico, Virginia has been honored with a 2012 Gold Nugget Merit Award.

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Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel; © Ken Paul

The oldest and most prestigious design awards program in the country, the Golden Nugget Awards recognize excellence and innovation in the design and building industry.

For its simplicity, serenity, and purity of form and materials, the Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel in Quantico, Virginia has been honored with a 2012 Gold Nugget Merit Award. The oldest and most prestigious design awards program in the country, the Golden Nugget Awards recognize excellence and innovation in the design and building industry. The awards are the highlight of PCBC – the largest trade show and conference in the U.S. building industry.

Design for People ǀ Completed in 2009, the 2,276 square-foot Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel enables friends and families to honor the sacrifices of fallen heroes and loved ones, or host events and ceremonies that look to the future. Expansive glass walls, etched with text expressing time-tested Marine Corps ideals, are framed by natural fieldstone and timber columns to establish a seamless relationship with nature. The chapel’s location offers a commanding hilltop view of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, while chapel and museum are physically linked by a network of intricately landscaped trails through Semper Fidelis Memorial Park. The connection alludes to the Corps’ motto of Semper Fi, or “Always Faithful.”

Aspects of the Chapel are intended to speak a soldier’s language, with rectangular wood and stone pews that reference ammo boxes, and a sharply defined slate roof that evokes a humble tarp. The ceiling’s open-truss natural timber structure features exposed diagonal wood decking illuminated by soft indirect lighting that becomes a singular design element.

Sustainability ǀ The Chapel was designed to meet standards for LEED Silver certification. The design includes a geothermal HVAC system and a mechanical system that service a large, glass-walled space. This was achieved with a hidden under-floor air distribution delivery system for energy efficiency and comfort.

Project Fast Facts

Project Completion: September 2009 Primary Materials: Timber, glass, stone Size of Building: 2,276 square feet
Project Team

Architect: Fentress Architects
General Contractor: Forrester Construction
Electrical Engineer: Hankins & Anderson
Structural Engineer: Ammann + Whitney
Civil Engineer: Patton Harris Rust & Associates

Fentress Architects is a global design firm that passionately pursues the creation of sustainable and iconic architecture. Together with their clients, Fentress creates inspired design to improve the human environment. Founded by Curtis Fentress in 1980, the firm has designed US$26 billion of architectural projects worldwide, visited by over 300 million people each year. Fentress is a dynamic learning organization, driven to grow its ability to design, innovate and exceed client expectations. The firm has been honored with more than 400 distinctions for design excellence and innovation, and in 2010, Curtis Fentress was recognized by the American Institute of Architects with the most prestigious award for public architecture, the Thomas Jefferson Award. Fentress has studios in Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; San Jose, California; Washington, D.C.; and London, U.K. http://www.fentressarchitects.com
Please contact Scott Bergstrom at 303.282.6194 or bergstrom(at)fentressarchitects(dot)com for more information or images.

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Scott Bergstrom
Fentress Architects
303-282-6194
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