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Our Lady of Mercy Chapel design wins international award for religious architecture

Faith & Form magazine and The Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA) have announced that Our Lady of Mercy Chapel, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects on the campus of Salve Regina University, has been named the winner of a 2014 international award in the category of Religious Architecture: New Facilities.

Winning entries will be published in the Winter 2014 Awards Issue of Faith & Form magazine. An exhibition of award-winning projects will be displayed at the 2015 National Convention of the American Institute of Architects in Atlanta in June 2015.

The winning projects were chosen by the design awards jury, chaired by Terry Byrd Eason, which convened at The Duke Endowment on July 10-11 in Charlotte, N.C.

Consecrated in 2010, Our Lady of Mercy Chapel was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. The chapel’s stone and shingle exterior complements the historic architecture of the university’s Ochre Point neighborhood. Features include a set of 13 leaded opalescent glass windows created by renowned artist John La Farge and a bell tower housing three 1910 bells cast by the Meneely Bell Company.

The building’s spacious first floor houses both the chapel and an interfaith prayer room, designed to provide a quiet place for prayer and meditation for people of all faiths. The Mercy Center for Spiritual Life, located on the lower level, provides ample space for student activities, fellowship and offices for campus ministers. Centrally located on campus, the chapel offers regular services and allows graduates and community members to celebrate their weddings on campus in a religious setting.

Salve Regina’s campus, sited on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, includes more than 21 historic buildings with defining works by such notable 19th and 20th century architects and designers as Richard Morris Hunt, H.H. Richardson, McKim, Mead & White, Peabody & Stearns, Seth Bradford, Frank Furness and Dudley Newton. Its 80-acre campus is comprised of seven contiguous 19th century estates, originally built for distinguished patrons by the premier architects of America’s post-Civil War and Gilded Age.

New campus structures, including Our Lady of Mercy Chapel and the Rodgers Recreation Center, both of which were designed in the shingle-style by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, reflect the university’s philosophy of enhancing the architectural context of its historic neighborhood and the city of Newport.

The Annual Religious Art and Architecture Design Awards program was founded in 1978 with the goal of honoring the best in architecture, liturgical design and art for religious spaces. The program offers five primary categories for awards: Religious Architecture, Liturgical/Interior Design, Sacred Landscape, Religious Arts, and Unbuilt Work.

Last May, Salve Regina received the 2014 Arthur Ross Award for Stewardship, joining an exclusive list of past honorees that include Monticello/Thomas Jefferson Foundation in Charlottesville, Va., The New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx, N.Y., and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C.