Semper Fidelis Memorial Park Chapel

Quantico, Virginia, USA

Simplicity and natural beauty guided the Chapel's design.

This place of ceremony, contemplation, and reflection is situated on a wooded hilltop.  It sits in a compact stand of trees, at a nexus of trails.  The trails run throughout Semper Fidelis Park on the grounds of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.  The non-denominational chapel welcomes friends and families to honor the sacrifices of the fallen and celebrate moments of joy.

For inspiration, Fentress looked to the field chapels that serve soldiers across the globe.  This research helped define the structure’s steeply pitched slate roof.  The deep overhang of this roof mediates light brought in by floor-to-ceiling windows, which also serve as the altar’s backdrop.  The glass curtainwall affords congregants an unbroken view from earth to sky.  The materials—heavy timber, natural fieldstone and glass—further erode the boundary between the building’s interior and the sylvan surroundings.