cts_chapel copy.jpg

Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL

Nagel, Hartray Architects

Since its founding in 1855, Chicago Theological Seminary has been concerned with social justice, which continues today in its new building adjacent to the U of Chicago, which had purchased CTS’s original building in 2008.  Designed for a nearby site by Nagle-Hartray Architects, the new building features work designed by Kenneth von Roenn in the entry lobby.

Opposite the entry doors is a curved free standing glass mural which is illuminated with a translucent wall behind with gothic architectural imagery as a reference to the original campus architecture. Painted on the curved glass panels is a horizontal flowing form with the facial images of individuals who have contributed to social justice since the founding of the seminary.  The title of the work is ‘Shaping the River of Life’ which introduces the element of water which is further developed in the adjacent chapel.

The walls of the daily chapel are a cast glass panels with a composition of individuals standing closely together.  Water flows down the interior and exterior surface of the cast glass into a rock lined pools on both inside and outside.  The chapel is entered through a glass gothic arch, which again references the original architecture, and  which has water flowing over its exterior surface.  Spanning the pool of water is a glass bridge over which worshippers walk to enter the chapel.  The symbolism of walking beneath and above water represents the spiritual re-birth of baptism.

cts mural detail copy.jpg
cts lobby wall  copy 2.jpg
cts chapel entry copy.jpg