Knox College Hope Center

Galesburg, IL

Knox College contracted with Klingner to transform the Second Baptist Church, an historic house of worship at the campus entrance, into a nondenominational prayer space called the HOPE Center.

The main sanctuary level includes an office, conference room, and an open “serenity space” with sliding glass doors that will connect to a Japanese meditation garden. Stairs leading to the future garden were installed to physically join the two spaces and honor strong religious connections with the natural world. The antechamber features an open ablution station for ritual purification before prayer. In the basement, students can access a large multipurpose room for events, two offices, and a storage space for religious items. An additional student lounge was created in the former choir loft, and an elevator was strategically placed to create accessibility on all three levels.

Extensive research into eight predominate religions was completed before design to ensure a space that welcomes all students regardless of their beliefs. Religious iconography was excluded from design to create a neutral, respectful space for all end-users. This work included removing a cross from an existing stained glass window and replacing it with the letter “K” for Knox College.





Project Industries

Higher Education, Religious

Departments Involved

Structural, Mechanical / Electrical

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