Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Chapel

“We don’t know what we want.” I am sure many window designers have heard these words often enough in discussing the design for new windows with a client. What made this discussion a little different was the fact that whatever we ended up designing for the 10’ x 30’ window opening in the new Hillcrest Hospital’s chapel, they wanted it finished for their grand opening in five months. That made it imperative that whatever the designs ended up being, they must be done right, and they must be done fast.

Our studio always tries to get as much information as possible from our clients regarding their vision, desires, and concerns in regards to their project. In this case, they had an idea that maybe “Creation” would be an interesting theme, but they were not sure if they wanted it expressed in an abstract or a representational style. The architect wanted to be able to see through a portion of the window so viewers could see the water garden outside. They were all absolutely certain they wanted an image that would encourage and inspire viewers to look to the “might, the majesty and the love of God, to the end that hope and faith would arise in their hearts and replace any fear and doubt that their current circumstances might have caused”.

We then met with the hospital chapel committee at our studio. In making our presentation, we projected our designs onto a large screen to not only heighten the dramatic effect, but to also give our clients a chance to easily see the details in each design. We have found this to work much better than simply handing out 8″ x 11″ copies to each committee member, although we did that too. Thankfully, the entire committee loved the design. The architect was thrilled that he could see his water garden feature through the design.

The design phase went smoothly – and we believe it did because we listened and responded to their concerns and ideas and gave them multiple options, little time was lost, and we were able to complete the project on time.

Hillcrest Chapel

The most difficult aspect of fabricating the Hillcrest Hospital chapel project was synchronizing values and color between the various stained glass panels. Because there were fourteen individual panels as one harmonious scene, we could not assemble a window panel until all the surrounding panels were completely painted. I constantly referred to adjacent panels for value and color corrections so that the overall effect would flow from one panel to the next.

The new hospital Chapel committee had more than what they envisioned, and felt the windows reflected what they had hoped for. Not only that, but they got them in time for the grand opening. Jim Garrett, Senior Vice President of the Hillcrest Health Foundation, noted: “ The new chapel original glass wall is an inspiring and moving design depicting creation, which is the theme of our chapel.  Stanton Glass developed a beautiful design that will serve as a tribute to our sacred work here at Hillcrest; it is an inspiration to every person who enters the chapel and views the stained glass wall, which is exactly what we had hoped to create.”

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