The design of the St. Teresa’s Academy displays feminine characteristics in an ecologically and technologically sound structure.
St. Teresa’s Academy is a catholic independent college in Kansas City, Missouri designed by Gould Evans. The architect through the process of designing the magnificent structure focused on maintaining a balance. A harmonic blend of both secular and sacred is crucial to the essence of the school’s mission and this was the design challenge faced by the design team. The spiritual soul of the institution had to be contained within technologically advanced classrooms and hallways.
The solution attained intends to respect the history of the school and express the idea of a contemporary location for women’s education. The team researched and conducted experiments with materials and digital manufacturing considerations to create the concept of building a lace scrim into a structural form.
The finish and mechanical capacities were all coordinated to perfection and examined with the fabricator to confirm an elegant abstraction of the organic decoration onto the chapel’s waterjet cut aluminium panels.
The site-sensitive, sustainable project involves many green and energy efficient features. Minimal amount of solar exposure is seen on the south façade. The glazing used is double-paned and incorporates a low e-coating for maximum efficiency.
The ballasted modified bituminous roofing drastically reduces gain of radiant heat. Several geothermal wells, each four-hundred and fifty feet deep are located in the historic quad to utilise site area to the maximum and also serve as a teaching tool.
The 150 seat chapel gives a soft and dappled light and the feminine characteristics of a veil (which is pulled across the simple interior) meant to be a retrospective space for worship. It is well illuminated and associated with nature in reference to St. Teresa, the patron saint of lace makers.
These features correspond to the state-of-the-art study halls that serve as a banquet room when combined. Along the walls, tall windows are designed to break the monotony and encourage visual interface between the indoors and the outdoors.