Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Chapel
Fort Worth, TX
Wall System: Cavity Wall: Brick Veneer/Steel Stud
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has been a fixture in Fort Worth since 1910, and has graduated more than 40,000 students. The campus currently houses more than a dozen major buildings, with the newest being the MacGormand Chapel and Performing Arts Center. The Chapel serves as a major campus gathering place. Here students take part in weekly chapels, as well as major performances and special events. With seating for up to 3,500 individuals, the new Chapel is constructed to serve its intended purpose well into the future.
The façade of the new Chapel is constructed with elements and materials in keeping with the tone of other buildings on campus. The northeast bell-tower is the most prominent feature element of the structure, and extends to a height of one hundred feet. But, the arcade arches occurring around much of the building’s perimeter are the signature masonry design element of the project. Sitework features are also significant to the project and include the Donor Garden.
Modular brick veneer and cast stone materials make up a majority of the exterior wall finishes. Complexity of the masonry elements was high, and demanded special means and methods. The arched brick assemblies, in particular, required unique backup structure and unconventional methods of erection. Holding the arched brick assemblies was a completely hidden support system engineered and provided by the Halfen Company. This system consisted of arched metal frames, metal plates, and rebar which when combined piece-by-piece formed an unseen support system.
Masonry was completed over a period of nine months. A tabulation of the components yielded a count of over 80,000 square feet of finished masonry, including 61,000 square feet of modular brick, 12,000 square feet of cast stone, and 7,500 square feet of concrete block.
Date of Project Completion: December 2011
Photography by Nathan Shands