Three Chapels, Brandeis University

Max Abramovitz, 1955

Eero Saarinen's master plan for Brandeis called for a multi-faith chapel, with one flexible worship space to be shared by three major faiths, Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant. Though the concept found strong support among students, faith leaders and donors found the idea of sharing one building to too big a step and the Brandies founders decided to develop three related chapels, one for each faith.

Architect Max Abramowitz was commissioned to design all three chapels around a heart-shaped reflecting pool, each with its own character and function. The Jewish Berlin Chapel, the Catholic Bethlehem Chapel and Protestant Harlan Chapel are similar both inside and out, each featuring a window wall facing Chapel's Pond and share a common outdoor area with an altar. Together, the Chapels were designed to emphasize the uniqueness, individuality, and equality of all creeds, and to create a space of unity, interreligious dialogue, and celebration of faith. Famously, when the sun rises or sets, no one chapel casts a shadow on another.

Source: Brandeis UniversityImages: Brandeis University