Council heralds plan that scales back redevelopment of Snowmass Chapel |

Council heralds plan that scales back redevelopment of Snowmass Chapel

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer
This architect's drawing shows the inside of a redeveloped Snowmass Chapel.

The new design for the proposed Snowmass Chapel may not be as close to God, but it’s probably closer to being approved.

The Snowmass Village Town Council and the town’s planning commission had raised concerns about “the last 10 feet” of the original chapel proposal. So architects at Cottle Graybeal Yaw took 10 feet off the top of the building and added it to the length of the structure.

An early, informal look at the redesigned building by the council last week resulted in some positive feedback.

“I think it is wonderful that you have addressed the concerns of the planning commission,” said Councilman Doug Mercatoris.

“I believe that it was well received,” said architect Bob Schiller of Cottle Graybeal Yaw. “I didn’t hear any negative comments about the new design, and I heard several positive comments.”

While the proposed chapel is still tall, at 68 feet on the highest side of the building and with a 78-foot-tall steeple, the architects have worked to lessen the visual impact.

“We’ve used a whole bunch of architectural tools to create the perception that the building is lower,” said Larry Yaw, a principle at CGY.

One of those tools was to add wood to the design to the exterior of the building, which makes it seem less “monumental” than the previous all-stone design.

In addition, the roof lines have changed, the building has been narrowed, and the stone work on the lower parts of the building are set in a horizontal arrangement.

“We created a lot of horizontality to the building,” Yaw said.

The new chapel building is proposed as the third building on the existing chapel and community center “campus.” The area is on a parcel of land just below the intersection of Brush Creek Road and Owl Creek Road behind the fire station in Snowmass Village.

A growing congregation in Snowmass Village has spurred the need for a new chapel, along with the gift of a $600,000 Fisk organ, which requires a specific amount of interior building space in order to work from an acoustical standpoint.

The original chapel building is approximately 6,000 square feet while the existing community center building next door is about 4,500 square feet. The new chapel building would be about 8,400 square feet and would be situated as to complement the existing buildings, according to Yaw.

The interior of the new sanctuary would have room for 300 people and have a large basement as well. Yaw said there has been a lot of attention paid to bringing in natural light to the inside of the new building, so that people sitting in church will still be able to get a sense of the natural world outside.

“The windows will let in filtered sunlight from the south,” Yaw said. “The light will gently glow throughout the sanctuary.”

The Town Council plans to take a closer look at the redesigned chapel on Monday, April 8. The project is in the first stage of a three-stage review by the council.

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