Thursday, May 5, 2016
The Thorncrown Chapel is a pretty incredible church there in Northwest Arkansas, USA. They call it the ‘glass chapel’ because nearly all of the walls and roof are made of glass. Put it in the middle of the woods and among the rolling hills of the Ozarks and Wow!
The church is so far off the beaten path that even the best new GPS devices don’t quite get the coordinates right — but it’s worth seeking out. The stunning pinewood structure seems to be built almost entirely of glass (425 windows stand in for walls), which brilliantly illuminates the interior with natural light and seems to pull the surrounding forest right inside the church. In fact, many call Thorncrown a “forest within a forest.” It was built by the Frank Lloyd Wright–trained architect E. Fay Jones in 1980. Jones himself liked to call his creation “Ozark Gothic” because he based the design and use of natural light on the classic Gothic Sainte-Chapelle, in Paris. Still, he seemed to have the Eureka Springs area in mind, as well: Jones used only local pine, and in pieces no larger than what could be carried through the woods by two men, all in an effort to preserve the church’s natural setting.