Opus Leverages Unique Expertise to Expand the Spiritual Heart of the University of St. Thomas
As the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas celebrates its 100th year, it continues to have profound significance as the spiritual heart of the University of St. Thomas and the surrounding community in St. Paul, Minn. Now, the University is looking towards the future, and our team brought their vision to life with the Iversen Center for Faith.
Thoughtfully designed and creatively integrated into the grounds surrounding the Chapel, the Iversen Center for Faith is a 25,000-square-foot, low-profile, glass addition embedded into the landscape surrounding the chapel. When viewed from the front, the expansion places the chapel on a lighted pedestal structure with a grass roof surrounded by public green spaces, outdoor plazas and a public amphitheater for musical performances.
In addition to centralizing the Campus Ministry office currently dispersed across the campus, the addition provides gathering and preparation spaces for more than 60 weddings that take place at the chapel each year. It features multi-purpose, interfaith spaces, including:
- a large gathering space that can fit up to 300 guests for receptions and can be divided into three separate rooms for smaller events and meetings.
- bride and groom preparation suites that double as conference rooms
- Wudu stations integrated into the restrooms to allow for the proper Islamic purification ritual
- a meditation room
- a gallery space that doubles as the main thoroughfare and internal link between student housing and on-campus resources
As part of the project, Opus also renovated the interior of the historic Chapel with new lighting, pews, paint, air conditioning and an elevator that makes the building handicap accessible. The Chapel renovation was complete on a very tight schedule by the end of August 2019.
Construction was completed in February 2020, followed by site work and landscaping during the summer of 2020.