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“Uplifting” and “inspiring” are the two words most commonly associated with the soaring design of the 5,000-square-foot Bigelow Chapel at United Theological Seminary.

We used curving panels of thin, translucent maple and acrylic to bring an unusually soft, yet dynamic, look and feel to this peaceful sanctuary. The rippling, honey-colored panels provide rich, wood-filtered light and a sense of warmth, covering worshipers with a canopy of calm.

Inspired to create something that had never been done before, we encapsulated veneer between non-reflective acrylic sheets to filter light from the chapel’s glass wall and skylights.

The result is an intimacy with nature and an enhanced worship experience. Quilted maple on the floor and rectangular panels from the dropped ceiling of the processional hall into the sanctuary reinforce the unique design elements.

New Hope, MN

Hammel, Green & Abrahamson, Inc.

General Contractor
M.A. Mortenson Construction


Grand Prize, Veneer Technologies, Inc. Craftsman’s Challenge

2006 Custom Woodworking Business Design Portfolio Award in architectural millwork category, as well as overall winner

2006 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Institute Honor Award.

Photos by Paul Warhol



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