Baylor University Medical Center

Dallas, Texas

Architect: Healthcare Environment Design, Dallas, TX; Walter Curry, AIA

Dawn Chapel Windows
Eleven pairs of double-hung windows: totaling 365 square feet

The stained glass at Dawn Chapel conveys a sense of refuge and hope for patients and their families. This nondenominational chapel is an important part of the healing process at the Pediatric Center for Restorative Care. The victory of light over darkness is symbolized by a night sky (sprinkled with etched stars of hope) in retreat from the glory of a new dawn.

Because of a deep overhang above the lower windows in contrast with the unshaded upper windows, a receding night sky of etched blue flashed glass predominates in the darker lower level. Upper level windows celebrate Dawn with transparent glass that projects color throughout the space. The stained glass is installed into the same double-hung windows found throughout the center. Beveled dichroic strips placed on the horizontal mullions of the upper-level windows reflect and refract sunlight up onto the facets of the octagonal Chapel ceiling. The hospital’s architecture is inspired by the restored Victorian homes in this historic neighborhood.

A scale model let me study how circles and arcs that appear perfectly circular in a flat rendering can become distorted when bent around an 8-sided chapel. As a result, the strong circular arcs flowing from window to window and floor to ceiling are actually swung from many different radius-points which helps compensate for the distortion. Awkward-looking in the rendering, these curves appear smooth and flowing in the real-life chapel.



Materials: German mouthblown glass with etching, dichronized cast lenses, lead, solder, mirror.