Chapel is separated between the public sanctuary and the sisters' choir by a sculptural masonry wall and ornamental grille. Photography: ©Bruce Van Inwegen

Poor Clare Sisters

Lemont, Illinois

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Area: 23,000 square feet

Site & Program: This 28-unit monastery for sisters is part of Holy Family Village, which also includes the Bishop Lyne Retirement Residence and Holy Family Village Skilled Care (see Portfolio Housing section). The congregation’s Vow of Enclosure requires separation of monastery from chapel and guest facilities open to the public.

Design: The sisters’ unique vows largely informed the design.

The chapel, which is the focus of daily life, is divided between the public sanctuary and the sisters’ choir to choir seating area. The altar mediates between spaces.

Modest resident rooms surround a landscaped courtyard. The dominant forms of the chapel and bell tower manifest a life of prayer. The masonry architecture unifies Poor Clare Monastery with the entire Holy family Village community.

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