clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright chapel comes to life in new visualizations

Due to a massive misunderstanding, the 1958-designed Trinity Chapel was never built

Realistic rendering of an orangey-tan triangular chapel with green shingled spire and diamond-shaped stained glass window and ramps leading to the entrance. It is elevated above the ground to accommodate parking space underneath.
Wright designed the chapel in 1958 for a couple who offered to donate a chapel to the University of Oklahoma.
Images courtesy of David Romero

Spanish architect David Romero has added a new visualization of a Frank Lloyd Wright design lost to time to his portfolio. This time, however, instead of recreating a once-standing building, Romero brought to life a design that was never built in the first place.

Wright designed the triangular Trinity Chapel in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1958 for a Mr. and Mrs. Fred Jones, the former a car dealer, who offered to donate a chapel to the University of Oklahoma. When the drawings were presented to the clients, they were not pleased, as there seemed to have been a massive misunderstanding between client and architect.

According to the book Treasures of Taliesin: Seventy-seven Unbuilt Designs, Wright wrote to the clients explaining that he did not know that the chapel was to be an adjunct of the school, and because he had no interest in designing “a conventional chapel,” he offered to let the matter go.

Wright dedicated the design “to Nature” and called it the “Sectless Chapel.” His sketch shows a space-rocket-like structure with a base of ramps underneath which is space for parking. Romero’s renderings fill out the design and even give us a glimpse of what Wright himself might have worked out for the interiors:

I have had to speculate in some details that were not yet designed by Wright as the design of the stained glass, the pulpit or the large pond, but always thinking of what Wright would have done if he had had the opportunity to continue his assignment.