westworksDuring construction, heavy rains brought to light the chapelís venerability to erosion. The design team adapted the landscape with mixture of civil engineering and permaculture to establish one of San Antonioís first food-forest oriented around a dry-pond catchment system to mitigate all but the most server storms.
 
naveAt the root of the project is the need to incorporate durability with delight. The use of polished concrete floors, architectural grade glue-lam cathedral ceiling, and a host of remote and local craftspersons for woodworking grants a materiality to the project not often found in contemporary architecture. Integration of the masters of their trades, weather focused on 300 year old pew design, crucifix and alter design to compliment an Italian hand carved corpus with the Bexar County Fire Marshallís needs brought challenges not typically encountered.
St. Joseph Chapel
Cordi-Marian Sisters
Fisher+Heck, San Antonio 2009

   
narthexBalancing access with security was accomplished by providing a survivorís door with a numeric keypad, allowing authorized visitors unaccompanied access to the columbarium.