Design For a New Carmelite Monastery in Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania

It has been a little while since we've stopped to take a look at some new architectural projects that might be on the horizon and today we wished to turn your attention to the Carmelite Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Joseph in Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania. 

The design is quite edifying and puts one to mind of many of the counter-reformation churches of Rome, however, rather than belabour you with comments, we will simply point you to following description of the project as provided by the monastery:

The design for the Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Joseph is informed by the discalced Carmelite tradition, taking particular cues from Spanish cloisters in Avila and Toledo... The selection of materials—from stone and lime-washed brick facades to slate and metal roofs—is intended to provide both nobility and durability for centuries to come. 
The chapel is designed with reference to renaissance and early baroque precedents. Its exterior is dressed in limestone both for its beauty and to indicate its importance, where the most noble materials signify hierarchy. The classically composed façade faces southward and serves as principal entrance both to the chapel and to the cloister beyond. Through the large entry portal, the narthex is used to reorient the chapel eastward as liturgically preferred, architecturally suggested on the exterior by the prominent octagonal dome crowned by a copper lantern centering above the sanctuary below. 
The chapel interior similarly draws on renaissance and baroque sources for its inspiration. The nave is given restrained detailing with square piers framing arched openings, stained glass windows, stone floors, and a coffered oak ceiling reminiscent of early Christian basilicas. The sanctuary is treated with more architecturally rich wall surfaces but is dominated by a freestanding baroque reredos, while the dome itself is designed to act as a visual baldachin hovering above the altar below.

Some watercolour illustrations from the architect, Joel Pidel, help provide a good sense of the vision:

This project was designed by Joel Pidel. The architect of record is Erik Bootsma.

For those who are interested in supporting the nuns in achieving this project, they are relying on the assistance of donations. Please visit their project page for a donation link and more information. 

Do you like Liturgical Arts Journal's original content? You can help support LAJ in its mission and vision to promote beauty in Catholic worship either by: 

You choose the amount! Your support makes all the difference.

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.