Looking Out, Looking In

Adeline Li

  • SP.17
  • Level: graduate
  • Discipline: Architecture
  • Instructor: Gary Paige

This non-sectarian chapel project offers a cool, dark, quiet environment amidst the warm, vibrant, and bustling Los Angeles. Looking Out, Looking In physically attempts to employ Venturi's ideas of contradiction between the outside and the inside. The rectilinear exterior of the chapel reflects the orthogonality of the site while the interior lining gradually dissolves symmetry by exploiting the asymmetrical and symmetrical properties of the ovoid. In a more abstract sense, Looking Out, Looking In symbolizes extrospection and introspection. The skylight in the main chapel space directs attention up and serves as a focus point for extrospection. The convexity of the ceiling and wall simultaneously pulls the gaze toward the light and pushes the body away from the opening, creating an effect of surprising light. Similarly, the floor-level window in the side chapel serves as a focus point that helps ground attention during introspection. The low ceiling creates a sense of intimacy and privacy while the concave walls confine entering light within the space.