Friday, June 8, 2007

A Chapel In The Woods

Do you have any dreams for things you'd like to do someday? One of my dreams is to operate an outdoor retreat/counseling/equipping center. I've been told that if you dream it, it will come to be! If I close my eyes and imagine, I see a small eco-friendly resort on the edge of a major lake system with easy access to the backcountry via hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and biking. The retreat center itself will be mostly a basecamp for doing wilderness based activities. I'm not sure what the buildings will look like yet, but I guess that yurts would be part of the initial set up. I also imagine two secluded chapels; one will be more of a stone ruins type sacred place that will be far off the beaten path. The other will be more of a modern building, closer to the main buildings, but still designed in such a way as to include the beauty of creation in it. This second idea came to mind when I picked up an architecture magazine and saw this:




This is the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. For a cool write up on the history of this magnificent structure, go here. The reason I like this design so much is that it really lets the outside in. Also, the inner ambience is not controlled and is constantly changing depending on what the weather and seasons are up to. Most churches, chapels, etc. try to dominate the impressions they give to worshippers; the Thorncrown Chapel (aptly named as the architecture brings to mind a crown of thorns), lets creation and Creator decide this. Lastly, I like it because it was designed and assembled to put as little stress on the surrounding nature as possible. I could see myself relaxing into God's presence in such a place.

May Light increase

4 comments:

karin said...

Thanks for this link! This was incredible and I'll go back to visit it often. A trip in my mind's eye can be relaxing too. God is good.

Mark said...

Karin: I agree. Sometimes just seeing a picture of the outdoors or of beautiful art will slow my spirit and encourage me. Of course, I'd still rather be there in person . . .
-Mark

ratbert said...

wow, yes -- an amazing building.

Rayna said...

I have this big coffee table book called "Churches" that has this chapel in it. It's amazing! It has always been my favorite church that is featured in the book.