Our Lady of Montserrat Chapel
- Seattle, WA
- Hennebery Eddy Architects, Inc.
- Structural Engineer:
- Coughlin Porter Lundeen
- Sellen Construction
- Award Category:
- Wood in Educational Buildings
- Josh Partee Photography / Andrew Pogue
Located on the campus of a Catholic Jesuit College and Preparatory High School, Our Lady of Montserrat Chapel is comprised of a glulam post-and-beam structure with steel knife-plate connections. A dramatic wood window wall frames the view of a forest canopy and a heavy timber shed roof floats above the chapel, orienting visitors skyward. To pay homage to the Jesuit tradition of building, the design team preferred a simple, warm, and timeless structural solution, making exposed heavy timber a desirable choice. However, prescriptive code limitations brought on by the site—which is adjacent to and above an existing building of Type I-B construction—suggested non-combustible materials were required for structural applications. The project team appealed to the City of Seattle and was granted a code modification based on the well documented fire-resistance properties of heavy timber construction. The 1,600-sf chapel was completed in 2014 for a construction cost of $1.4 million.