East Tennessee Children's Hospital Chapel

At East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, the need to relocate their existing chapel presented an opportunity to create a sedate, meditative environment. The hospital wanted the new chapel to be an inviting space for people of all backgrounds, denominational and non-denominational religions, embracing all beliefs within a space not overtly affiliated with religious context. 

The design solution uses indirect lighting, soft colors, and simple forms to create a space devoid of distraction to allow for quiet contemplation. 

From the corridor, translucent resin panels offer the ability to be aware of activity within the chapel while permitting privacy. Upon entry, an alcove provides a transitional zone from the main corridor and allows visitors the opportunity to write & place requests for prayers or messages of hope. A sliding glass pocket door divides the alcove from main chapel space to maintain visual and acoustic privacy. 

Within, the chapel environment is calm, sedate, and minimal.  A ceiling plane with perimeter light gives the impression of a floating ceiling, signifying there is “more” beyond one’s immediate perception. Custom-built benches with acrylic legs float above the floor plane. The focal point of the space reimagines the traditional stained glass window as translucent resin panels suspended by cables allowing filtered daylight to penetrate the space.  The colors of the panels were chosen to provide an impression of Sky, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter and reflect the cycles of life.

“The interiors of the chapel truly convey the project’s design intent of creating a serene and quiet space for meditation and reflection."

AIA East Tennessee Awards Jury

Completion Date: 2021

Type: Addition/Renovation

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Building Area: 1,000 SF

Services: Architecture, Interior Design

Use: Healthcare


  • 2021 AIA East Tennessee Merit Award

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