About the Design
Bordered by woods on two sides, the new 8,500-square-foot L-shaped meetinghouse reflects the heritage of straightforward Quaker architecture. It is positioned to take best advantage of sunlight and occupies a modest eight percent of the total lot.
The light-filled foyer and the adjacent library provide a welcoming place for members and visitors. To the right is the meeting room, with tall windows, French doors to a covered porch on three sides, and a partially-retractable roof. In addition to the actual Skyspace, the design elements in the meeting room were reviewed by James Turrell to ensure that the Skyspace installation was in a room with balance, simplicity, and tranquility.
The two-story section of the building contains classrooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, shower facilities, and administrative space to support the Meeting’s activities.
At the end of the main floor, facing into the woods of Fairmount Park is a large, light-filled room with a gabled ceiling for social gatherings and large meetings.
The simply landscaped 1.8-acre lot, with its stand of towering pines and dramatic rock formations, is open to the public. A peaceful garden, flowerbeds, a playground, and woods adjacent to Fairmount Park will offer a protected place for children and adults to enjoy.
James Bradberry, in close consultation with Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting members throughout, was the architect. James Turrell donated the insprirational design for the Skyspace and oversaw many details in the meeting for worship space where his work is situated. Carol Franklin continues to oversee the landscaping that gently connects the property to the surrounding Fairmount Park and neighborhood. Re:Vision Architecture assisted in making the building “green.” As the client representative, John Howard, of Becker Frondorf, tirelessly guided the meeting through the construction process, which was executed by E. Allen Reeves, Inc. Valley Green Bank provided construction financing.