Eilan Chapel

San Antonio, Texas

Quick Facts: 

Client: Wereldhave USA

Market: Public/Civic

Size: 4,000 gsf

Services: Architecture, Sustainability

Photographer: Jessica Marcotte

Project team: Horton Lees Bogden – Lighting Design


LEED Platinum Design

Nestled into a wooded area of Eilan Village in San Antonio, Texas, the Eilan Chapel, a non-denominational chapel, will serve as the community’s venue for prayer, meditation and formal ceremony. Tied together by a covered walkway, the stand alone chapel, auxiliary building, and bell tower arch around a paved open pedestrian space, and with the aid of the surrounding trees, create a nature-inspired piazza.

Bringing the outside elements in, the stand alone chapel, made up of series of six parabolic arches, allows natural light to flood through the many glass surfaces and illuminate the interior. Through innovative design, however, MWAP was able to minimize the Chapel’s demand on its natural surroundings and satisfy the LEED Platinum certification criteria.

Strategically placed thermal insulating panels minimize the intensity of the Texas sun; limiting light flow from the Chapel’s East and West sides, and almost completely blocking light flow from the South. The North wall, by contrast, made up almost entirely of glass, allows for additional light flow, without any direct solar heat gain. Other LEED features include passive ventilation driven by the surrounding water feature, photovoltaic panels, use of storm and gray gathered water to feed both the water feature and irrigation, and the incorporation of energy efficient and recycled materials.