Posted: December 19, 2018 | Projects
The new Our Lady of Good Voyage was designed to replace the original 1949 Chapel, which was going to be demolished as part of Boston’s Seaport Square Development.
Photo courtesy of Jim Abrams/Shooting Star Photography
The front door of the chapel features handmade wood plank doors with wrought iron gothic hinges incorporating nautical themes including an anchor and fish. The main space inside is the nave (Spanish for ship), referencing the great wooden roofs built by ship’s carpenters. Hanging ship models throughout symbolize the vessels that once frequented the Seaport district.
The stained glass comes from four former parishes around Boston, and the side wall panels feature hand-carved linen-fold paneling in the style of English Romanesque and Gothic period churches from 1300 AD. The inscriptions carved into the column capitals commemorate the rivers of the Garden of Eden. Over the altar is an iron grille that filters the natural light coming down from the skylight. The light enters the space through a Dove symbolizing the guiding light of the Holy Spirit.
Some design challenges included the client’s desire to reuse furniture and materials from previously closed churches. The solution was adapting both the design and the existing materials to new uses, such as designing the windows based on the size of the existing stained glass.
Another design challenge was the fact that the existing exterior only had windows on one side facing the street. The client’s desire was to have windows on multiple walls. This was accomplished by using LED panels to simulate daylight.
Craftsmen from Colombia and Italy were brought in for the tile work and to construct the Presider’s Chair. Small studios based in Massachusetts were commissioned for the doors and the ironwork on the railings and light fixtures.
Built in the middle of a bustling, growing district in Boston, Massachusetts, the church is mainly accessible by public transportation. There are paid parking lots across the street for visitors; however, the church is also a popular spot for businessmen and -women who work in the Seaport District looking to attend mass in the middle of, or before, a busy work day.
The new design successfully blends the old with the new in providing a place of timeless religious retreat in the middle of a bustling modern city
Architect & Cost Estimator
Cram and Ferguson Architects, LLC
23 Bradford Street
Concord, MA 01742
274 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
Building Engineering Resources, Inc.
66 Main Street
North Easton, MA 02256
31 Collins Street Terrace
Lynn, MA 01902
Date Bid: Jan 2016
Construction Period: Sep 2016 to Apr 2017
Total Square Feet: 5,260
Number of Buildings: One; 262 seating capacity.
Building Sizes: First floor, 4,290; mezzanine, 970; total, 5,260 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 38′; mezzanine, 21′; total, 38′.
Basic Construction Type: Interior Renovation/II B.
Exterior Walls: N/A
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.