Wayfarer's Chapel

I was emailing with blogger friend Joni over at Cote de Texas recently, and somehow we got on the subject of where we got married. I had mentioned that Mr. K and I had gotten married in a glass chapel above the ocean. It is known as the Wayfarer's Chapel:

Mr. K and I are both lovers of architecture, and this chapel represented to us that commonality. We wanted a place that was beautiful and close to the coast. Many in California have seen or heard about this little chapel. But there are many of you that may be seeing it for the first time.

It is indeed made of glass and is situated on the cliffs above the Pacific in Palos Verdes, California. One of the most intriguing things for us, after it's beautiful setting and amazing architecture, was the fact that it was designed and built by the son of Frank Lloyd Wright: Lloyd Wright.

Lloyd Wright thought of the chapel as a "tree chapel":
“I wanted particularly to allow those trees and those trunks to be seen and the space beyond and into infinity to be observed, so those who sat in the sanctuary would perceive the grandeur of space out beyond and around them.”
“When the trees that surround the Chapel grow up, they will become the framework, become a part of the tree forms and branches that inevitably arise from the growing trees adjacent to it. I used the glass so that the natural growth, the sky, and sea beyond became the definition of their environment. This is done to give the congregation protection in services and at the same time to create the sense of outer as well as inner space.”

“The great cathedrals of redwood inspired me to use the redwoods here. In earlier days all over the face of the earth there were chapels in glades and the woods which were meeting places for the priests and the people. The Chapel was to be a place for people to meet, and think, and contemplate the forces of nature and God Almighty. The setting of this Chapel is to receive people, the wayfarers.”

Excerpts from A Visit with the Architect 1974

Wright Family Photo. That must be Lloyd being taught who was the real boss in this family

Lloyd Wright

The chapel interior needed no adornment. And really, none are allowed. There are ferns and orchids growing all around the edges, and a beautifully trained tree is framed above the altar.

The chapel at night glowing with welcoming light.

A view of the chapel surrounded by a grove of trees. Sort of a magical place.

The view from the steps of the chapel looking out at the Pacific. Is it not one of the most beautiful settings? We thought so.

And finally, the happy couple: me and Mr. K

To see more photos of the Wayfarer's Chapel, learn about it's history and it's religious philosophy, click here.