Holy Family Parish

Ft. Madison, IA

Holy Family Parish approached Klingner & Associates to create a vision for a gathering space at the entry to St. Mary of the Assumption Church.  The Parish’s goal was to keep the character, class and beauty of the historic Fort Madison, Iowa building

Constructed in the late 1860’s, the church’s gothic revival style is very pronounced on both the exterior with its castle like tower and high spire and on the interior with its pointed gothic arched windows and vaulted ceilings. It was this gothic interior which inspired the design.

It was decided that the pews would be relocated from the back 1,500 square feet of the sanctuary to the choir loft above and that this new entry space should be open, welcoming, and connected with the sanctuary, as well as, add to the experience of the space. The solution for the space came in the form of a glass wall that follows the balcony of the choir loft above. This ½” thick tempered glass wall allows for spectacular views to the sanctuary along with providing an acoustical barrier between it and the newly created gathering space. The glass panels for the wall were also engraved and etched with a Gothic arch design which was inspired by the vaulted ceilings and stained glass detailing. Care was also taken with the wood work and trim on the lower portions of the wall. This base for the wall was constructed as to not obstruct the view above the existing pews, as well as, work in harmony with the rhythm and character of the existing space.

With strong clean lines, a simple design, and the use of light, shadow, and reflection; this design not only keeps the character and beauty of the church alive but complements the original design in a respectful and tasteful way.

Project Industries


Departments Involved

Architecture, Structural

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