Angelo State University Chapel: Design Presentation

San Angelo, TX

Craig Kinney, AIA: Kinney Franke Wehrner Architects, San Angelo

Cache Tankersley, Const. Mgr.: Collier Construction, Abilene & Lubbock, TX

Altar Window
7.7' w by 24.0' h

Narthex Window
7.7' w by 14.0' w

Side Windows
10 @ 1.3' w by 7.3' h each

[From ‘Final Design Notes’] Thanks for making last month’s Preliminary Design Presentation a success. My main takeaway was that the achromatic palette I’d proposed for the Altar & Narthex Windows was a non-starter. The rich color in the Side Windows has now been extended into the Narthex & Altar Windows . . . 

The Chapel’s two largest windows now radiate the same rich color as the Side Windows. The Altar and Narthex Windows, along with the Side Windows will now be experienced as a fully integrated suite of stained glass windows.

THE TRIUMPH OF LIGHT OVER DARKNESS: The main concept for the stained glass has been retained. In fact, the addition of color to the main windows greatly reinforces the idea of light’s victory over darkness. The very nature of stained glass reiterates “Light” as an important  symbol that recurs throughout the Bible (and all world religions).

The brighter upper sections of the Narthex and Altar windows remind us of God’s presence as he enlightens our lives here below. The lighter airy tints of color and wispy white opal glass further symbolize the higher spiritual plane to which we aspire. Our physical reality here on Earth is represented by the same rich polychromatic palette found in the Side Windows below.

Because of the ever-changing, 3-dimensional nature of stained glass, each worshipper is invited to complete the creative process by finding their own personal meaning in the windows. The stained glass will enhance the sense of the “sacred” within the Chapel as they subtly emphasize God’s love and guidance. Depending on the time of day, or the season, and/or one’s frame of mind at the time, individual interpretations will vary along with the stained glass. Sometimes one may simply experience prayerful wonder upon looking through the windows and noticing leaves rustling in the breeze, or seeing a fluffy cloud passing by. At other times one might see God’s reassuring Light, or his Creation, or the Annunciation, or the guiding Nativity Star, or a Lamp Under A Bushel, or the Angel at the empty tomb, or maybe the Resurrection, or. . .

THE SIDE WINDOWS: After our very first meeting, we agreed that the Side Windows deserve more attention than the repetitive treatment that’s outlined in my Proposal. We talked about adding personality to each window through a progression from cooler colors in the back of the Sanctuary to warmer, regal colors toward the Altar. As I developed the Preliminary designs, I decided to  create individual designs for each window. I just couldn’t let us miss an opportunity by repeating the same design ten times with a few arbitrary color changes. . .  Now the designs for the Side Windows never fully reveal themselves within the confines of their narrow window-frames. Their circular arcs and flowing shapes hint at a more expansive, comprehensive design that’s happening just beyond the picture-plane – kind of like the way our human attempts to fully grasp our maker is never perfect or finished.

I look forward to walking you though this slide show. It starts with just a few slides to help you remember to imbue the renderings with glass’s elusive transparency – to envision light dancing through the windows, as we glimpse subtle, filtered views back out to landscape and sky. I think the photo captions will be helpful, but:




For full-res versions of the images in the slide show click here.

Materials: European Mouthblown Glass, Cathedral Glass, lead & solder.