Photo courtesy of Children’s Mercy Hospital

Facility // Children’s Mercy Hospital

Location // Kansas City, Mo.

Architect // Shepley Bulfinch

The Lisa Barth Interfaith Chapel at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., infuses elements of nature and art throughout to create a contemplative space of reassurance, hope and tranquility.

Visitors enter the chapel by following a gently curving corridor, its floor embedded with abstracted natural elements. They pass a series of art installations representing the cycle of seasons and the natural landscape, with their rich detail revealed on approach. A cast glass piece just inside the chapel’s doors draws eyes upward upon arrival.

A screen designed by noted metal artist Michele Oka Doner defines the chapel, creating a meditative space that conveys a sense of light filtered through a canopy of leaves. An east-facing prayer space draws light through a window screened with patterns of dogwood blossoms. Illuminated glass orbs hanging in front of the screen create a sense of fireflies, and the glass wall behind it blurs the boundary of the chapel’s interior space and the garden beyond.

Adjoining the chapel is a unique end-of-life suite, designed to support young patients and their families away from the rush of the clinical spaces above.