On March 18, 2019, the Mass of consecration of the n.ew chapel for the new building of the Busch School of businessbelonging to the Catholic University of America.
The chapel, located in a refurbished building within the university campuswas carried out from our workshops in Spain, working in close collaboration with a local construction company.
CLADDING AND INTERIOR DESIGN
The design of the interior space and the arrangement of the elements was based on the idea of combining a modern style, with defined lines and open spaces, with a more classic one.The building, which originally housed the chemical laboratory. The construction, which originally housed the chemical laboratory Martin Maloney is from gothic style and was built in 1917 by the architect Frederick Vernon Murphy, trained at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
The materials used for the cladding were chosen for their clarity and robustness: marble for the walls and floor, wood for the carvings and metal finishes for elements such as the tabernacle and the front of the altar.
THE TABERNACLE, SPIRITUAL CENTER OF THE SCHOOL
The tabernacle is undoubtedly the central element of the chapel. It is symbolic that this place of recollection is located in the central core of the buildingIt also houses high-tech classrooms, equipment study rooms and offices. This is at the express wish of the school, which, from the very beginning, has wanted to "create a new school".to have Our Lord present and intimately integrated from an architectural point of view". as a tangible sign of the unity of life it promotes through its curriculum.
The design of the tabernacle is based on the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception of the CUA campus itself. The structure is made of white dolomite marble and on it rests a dome enameled in blue. In the front we find three pieces of enamel filling, the framed door and two starry plates with the same blue background, framing it. Above the door rests the golden image of St. Michael the Archangel, hand modeled in our workshops and then reproduced in bronze.
In the same style as the tabernacle, this set of chalice and paten is made of silver, gold and enamel. The designs of both chalices are based on an aesthetic program inspired by the work of the architect and goldsmith A.W Pugin (19th century) whose selected works in precious metal are part of the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonUnited Kingdom.
HOLY MEN AND WOMEN, ALTARPIECE AND STAINED GLASS MOTIFS
Both the altarpiece and the stained glass windows represent various saints that the church proposes as models and that the school wanted to make present in this place of recollection. They are all examples of holiness in the world, illustrating the purpose of the business school "to teach business as a vocation and to reintroduce the virtues necessary to produce a just market in society".
The stained glass windows in the left wing are three-piece images depicting Saints Gregory the Great, Henry Shaw, Margaret Clitherow, Gioirgio Frassati and Catherine of Alexandria.
In the right wing we find one-piece stained glass windows depicting Saints Josemaría Escrivá, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Thomas Aquinas, Katherine Drexel and Maximilian Kolbe.
MARBLE AND BRONZE FINISH FOR THE AMBO AND THE ALTAR
For the altar and the ambo, white marble has been chosen in line with the wall covering, a luminous tone that will provide a clear overall view, with refined lines.
The front of the altar has been embellished with a bas-relief representing the Last Supper, that is, the first mass, thus emphasizing the symbolism of the altar as the place where the Eucharistic sacrifice takes place. The relief is made of resin with a bronze finish and has been made with the wax modeling technique.
Red wax, unlike blue and green wax, is very soft, melts at a very low temperature and can be molded with the heat of the hands. Harder wax is usually used for very precise modeling and this softer wax when a sketchy finish is desired, where certain details are intuited.
The chapel was consecrated by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, Virginia, during a Mass on March 18, which you can see in the video below: