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Organic Architecture

 

JAMES HUBBELL
Sea Ranch Chapel - 1984
Highway 1, The Sea Ranch, Sonoma, California

 

The Sea Ranch chapel was conceived as a non-denominational chapel for a small alternative community in northern California. In the Sea Ranch Chapel, James Hubbel combines sculpture and architecture. The building was constructed without any real technical working drawings, but was instead shaped and created on site.

The Chapel consists of two separate and distinct elements. The base, constructed of stone and slate grows out of the ground to a height of little more than a meter high, while a fluid, shingle clad form appears to rest gently on top. The billowing shingled form lifts at points to allow light to flood the interior through stained art glass windows. The materials are carried from inside out, through the glass openings, to maintain the integrity of the two separate elements and to break definitions between the interior and exterior. By maintaining the two separate elements, the interior space, although largely obscured from the exterior environment, feels more like the product of the meeting of these two forms than a space defined by architecture.

The sculptured wood and twisted wrought iron of the interior fittings combine with a large spiralling plaster ceiling element that incorporates beach sand and sea shells to give the building a natural and tactile feel. The ephemeral patterns in the art glass cast a wash of subtle colours over the interior space and bring warmth to the slate stone floor. To occupy the Sea Ranch Chapel is a natural and spiritual experience.


Copyright 2013.        Andrew T Boyne Architect.        A: 69 Stanley St Nedlands 6009 Western Australia        P: 0423601604         E: architect@andrewtboyne.com