Air Force Chapel wins AIA Orlando Award of Excellence

Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 31, 2010

R. Miller Architecture was honored to be presented the AIA Orlando Award of Excellence for the Air Force Chapel at the annual Architecture Gala. The award was particularly rewarding given the “unanimous vote” by the jury of internationally renowned architects. The jury members included: Rodney Mateau, AIA; Laurinda Hope Spear, FAIA; and Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA.

“Our focus for inspiration was developed around military aircraft” says Bob Miller, FAIA. Whether a P51 Mustang, or the contemporary F22 Raptor, the pilot’s experience is exhilarating sitting in an elliptical bubble surrounded by the sky. The design of the narthex, nave and chancel was conceived out of this experience. Contemporary aircraft have very angular functional components connected to the fuselage. Our design solution emphasizes the primary gathering space as the central component of the building. The Catholic chapel, various offices, sacristies, and other required rooms gather around the central ellipse in angular clusters somewhat similar to an aircraft. When engineered the whole aircraft communicates movement and speed even when sitting perfectly still. We planned our design to have a corresponding dynamic.

Features such as being on axis with the entry drive, its distinctive texture and shape and being elevated 48″ above the main approaching drive will provide a strong invitation to explore this one-of-a-kind chapel. The proposed Chapel communicates its spiritual purpose in many ways. The elevated structure inspires one to “lift up your eyes” and ascend into “His Holy Temple”.  As a place of singing and music we have planned for excellent acoustics through the design and refined tuning capabilities. The considerable visibility of the sky, stars and clouds is a reminder of many accounts and attributes of the heavens described in the Holy Scriptures. At the same time technology will enable us to control unwanted daytime glare. Finally stained glass, artistic works and special Bible passages will be properly displayed thus distinctively creating a house of worship and prayer.

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