Imagine a building nestled in the Ozark Mountains that is 425 feet tall with over 6,000 sq. ft. of glass and has dimensions of 24 feet by 60 feet. That is exactly what you will find when you visit the Thorncrown Chapel. Thorncrown Chapel was designed by world renowned architect E. Fay Jones. His inspiration for Thorncrown Chapel was Sainte Chappelle, Paris’ light filled gothic chapel. Fay affectionately labeled Thorncrown’s style as “Ozark Gothic.” The chapel is made with all organic materials to fit its natural setting. The only steel in the structure forms a diamond shaped pattern in its wooden trusses. The building has a native flagstone floor surrounded with a rock wall which gives the feeling that the chapel is part of its Ozark hillside. Chosen 4th on the AIA’s top designs of the 20th century.
Since the chapel opened in 1980, over five million people have visited this woodland sanctuary. It has won numerous architectural awards such as the American Institute of Architecture’s Design of the Year Award for 1981 and the American Institute of Architecture’s Design of the Decade Award for the 1980’s. Recently, members of the American Institute of Architects placed Thorncrown Chapel fourth on its list of the top buildings of the twentieth century.
Make sure to put it on your list when you visit!