St. Edmund Campion Chapel
Emil Frei & Associates has a long history of new stained-glass work and restoration at Saint Louis University. In 2017, we were invited to return and consult on the design of a chapel at the university’s Catholic Studies Centre.
The Catholic Studies Centre was established in 2016 within Boileau Hall to provide a communal study and worship space for students engaged in the Catholic Studies Academic Program. The worship space is located in a portion of Boileau Hall that used to function as an art gallery. Prior to involving Emil Frei & Associates in the project, the client had already provided some sanctuary furnishings, a new floor covering, tin ceiling tiles, and wood wainscoting.
Emil Frei & Associates was asked to assess the existing elements and provide an overall liturgical design vision that would transform the existing room into a functioning chapel for 100+ students on a daily basis. The project goal was to add both function and beauty within the limit of the budget and architecture. All design decisions were required to adhere to criteria established by the client: budgets, design aesthetic, scheduling, and high standards of quality. We were able to meet all the established criteria.
The client’s primary concerns were seating and interior decoration. The client also wanted to instill some of the premodern design aesthetic of Oxford chapels, since the chapel patron, St. Edmund Campion, was of English patrimony.
We provided original pew designs with carved details, a layout of the furnishing, coordinated and quality controlled the pew production, and managed the installation. We provided design changes for the alteration of existing furnishing and moulding details. And finally, we designed a new paint scheme and managed the painting contractor.
An additional and current phase includes design and install of custom finish carpentry, design and installation of new stained-glass windows, design and installation of custom wood pedestals for statuary.
Fr. David Meconi, Director, Catholic Studies Program
St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO