SACRED SPACES HAVE THE POWER
TO REMOVE US FROM OUR DAILY LIVES
AND EXIST OUTSIDE OF TIME.
Part of the experience we hope everyone encounters when they visit Ebenezer Chapel is one of being transported in mind, imagination and spirit. Sacred spaces, like the ones below that served as our inspiration, have the power to temporarily remove us from our daily lives and allow us to exist outside of time. Design and structure, the artwork, lighting and sounds (or lack thereof) are what make architectural spaces unique and sacred spaces so powerful.
Lead architect Xavier Vilalta’s office is directly across the street from this amazing structure, designed by architectural genius – Antoni Gaudi. The carved stone seeks to explain the Christian religion: the history of the Church, sacred scriptures, the tradition of dedication to the Saints, Christian doctrine and worship.
The Lower Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
The lower Basilica was designed by Brother Elias of Cortona, who was chosen by St. Francis of Assisi to administer the Order of the Franciscans, even though he was a simple lay person. Elias learned how to build sepulchers out of hare rock and created the space around Saint Francis’ tomb.
Lalibela Rock Hewn Churches
Lasta Mountain, Ethiopia
In one single area, there are 11 churches that have been cut completely out of a single block of stone from top down in the ground. They are all connected by tunnels and the technology used is amazing. These were an inspiration for Ebenezer Chapel not just because of the means in which they were created, but because of the depths, materials and way that visitors can go more deeply within themselves while walking through the tunnels from church to church.
Church of Saint-Jean de Montierneuf
This church was carved out of solid rock over 900 years ago by Benedictine Monks. The light comes through a natural opening in the stone above, and it represents heavenly light and Christ as our beacon…the Light of the World. The entrance was lost for many years and only rediscovered in the 1950’s. The raw nature of the interior mixed with light and a place of rest is very much in keeping with what we hope to accomplish at Ebenezer Chapel.
Temppeliaukio, Helsinki, Finland
As planned for Ebenezer Chapel, this church is carved out of solid granite, is underground and uses light filtering in from above. The walls are of bare rock providing excellent acoustics. Over 500,000 people come to visit the church each year and enjoy the interplay of sound and vision.
[Photo Credit: Matthew Duncan]
The Underground Church
Wherever people are oppressed
For centuries, right up to this very minute, many believers have had to worship Christ in secret. Ebenezer Chapel will pay tribute to those in difficult circumstances while providing a place where all can come to worship, pray, commune and feel connected to others and to God.
Channel Your Inspiration