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    Academic design project
Chapel to Nature
Space for Memory and Loss

Design Studio V, Fall 2009Studio Critic: Ursula McClureLocation: Cocodrie, Louisiana
The challenge of this project was to create a non-denominational space that serves as a space for Memory and Loss. It required spaces that helped the user remember the environment, the wetlands, and the past. A space for memory and loss focuses on the environment and welcomes visitors while being a reminder of the natural beauty that is, that was, and that may or may not be.
To respond to the challenge set forth for a Chapel to Nature, the notion of what makes a sacred space was kept in mind. By making the Chapel an integral part of the LUMCON experience, interaction between the water and chapel was clearly encouraged. This interaction is aimed at seclusion from the man-made and intimacy with nature on a personal and spiritual level.
This structure is designed as a landscape focusing device--a mechanism through which the experience of this coastal area, from the reconstruction of the canal to the catastrophic loss of the wetlands is made manifest. The design of the Memory and Loss spaces are informed by the idea of transition from mass to void; this reflects the connection of the coast where the structure resides. The construction is made in a way that shows our transition from a closed minded society who ignore the issue of coastal wetland loss to one that is open-minded and embraces the idea of protecting this priceless resource.