Pictures: Marine Corps Chapel wins IIDA award

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA), which opened A Middle East chapter in Dubai this year, has recognised a marine corps chapel for its “masterful execution,” “near perfect detailing,” and “wonderful integration between interior and exterior architecture.”

Picking up the BEST award, the 2,276 square-foot Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel in Quantico, Virginia, was designed by Fentress Architects, for friends and families to remember fallen heroes and loved ones and host events.

“Expansive glass walls, etched with text expressing time-tested Marine Corps ideals, are framed by natural fieldstone and timber columns to establish a seamless relationship with nature,” said Cheryl Durst, president, IIDA.

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“The chapel’s location offers a commanding hilltop view of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, while chapel and museum are physically linked by a network of intricately landscaped trails through Semper Fidelis Memorial Park. The connection alludes to the Corps’ motto of Semper Fi, or “Always Faithful.”

Aspects of the chapel are intended to speak a soldier’s language, with rectangular wood and stone pews that reference ammo boxes, and a sharply defined slate roof that evokes a tarp.

The ceiling’s open-truss natural timber structure features exposed diagonal wood decking illuminated by soft indirect lighting that becomes a singular design element.

The Chapel was designed to meet standards for LEED Silver certification. The design includes a geothermal HVAC system and a mechanical system that service a large, glass-walled space.This was achieved with a hidden under-floor air delivery system.

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