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Perched high on a hill top just on the outskirts of Omaha, Nebraska sits The Holy Family Shrine. It jolts out of the prairie nearly 50 feet tall and makes you do a double take as you glimpse it from the freeway. Architect E. Fay Jones, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed this structure. His approach to architecture was both intellectual and passionate.
The entrance to the visitor center is a tunnel carved through the earth. The top is seeded with prairie grass.
A watercourse begins at the visitor center and meanders through a wildflower garden leading to the front stone wall of the structure, visually anchoring the chapel to the earth. The stone wall frames thick wooden entry doors to the chapel.
Once inside, space expands beyond the transparent glass walls to the horizon.
The watercourse continues through the front wall of the chapel and runs under the pews. You can hear the sound of running water beneath your feet. The architecture becomes a sensory experience engaging light, sound, touch, and even the smell of the prairie. There is also a sense of spiritual engagement. The Holy Family Shrine is Catholic in orientation. However, it is a privately run non-profit receiving no funding from the Archdiocese. It is intended “as a place of rest and solitude for people of all faiths….” and is truly architectural and design inspiration in a very unexpected place – the plains of Nebraska.
More photos from my trip can be found on the Lamps Plus Facebook page.
Do you find inspiration in unexpected places too? If so, I would enjoy hearing from you.
Sources: Holy Family Shrine Project
Amazing! What a work of art.
Thanks for the comment.
It is truly an amazing place and I do recommend stopping by if you are ever in Nebraska.