Deep within Arkansas, outside the town of Brinkley and the site of the last sighting of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, a chapel and retreat are hidden away within the swamp. An unnaturally straight levee reaches through the woods, a canal to one side and the quagmire of Bayou de View to the other. From one edge of the levee, a building rises: a wall and a roof, claiming the levee as its own.
The fellowship hall and retreat are nested behind the wall and under the roof, with living and service spaces arranged in bars alongside the circulation. The wall is clad in copper, turned a dark grey brown with age, and the rest of the structure is light and made of wood. A wooden footbridge leads over the levee and canal. There is a brief glimpse of the canal widening in the distance before the path descends into the cypress forest. The path leads through the bulbous cypress forest, stopping to rest before turning and ending at a small structure, a wall and a tower. The wall and tower are copper and wood, much like the structure at the levee. The path slides into a gap between the two.
The chapel is bathed in a warm glow as light slips through a slit in the roof and reflects off the copper wall. The altar is at the far end of the chapel, and next to it is a glazed slot looking out to a body of water. Separated from the copper wall is a more delicate wooden construction which wraps the chapel, widening into a wall of personal chapels. Tucked away next to the entrance is a wooden stair leading up into the tower. From the top is a commanding view out to the whole of Apple Lake, dotted with massive cypress.
Arkansas Traveling Studio
Professors G. Hascup, M. Blackwell