Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va.

The seminary’s buildings attest to the facility’s longstanding history. From the outside, the red brick Tudor Revival buildings reflect their historical surroundings while the interiors reflect growth and change. Originally hunion theological seminaryousing eight levels of library tacks, the seminary tasked Glavé & Holmes Architecture to transform Spence Library into a state-of-the-art facility for teaching and worship.

To renovate the library, the architects removed the self-supporting stacks to create a 40- by 40- by 40-foot worship room, meeting location and teaching space. Using contemporary styling, overlaying materials and moveable walls for maximum flexibility, the library now stands as a modern testament to design without having sacrificed any of the building’s original integrity.

Glave & Holmes used GKD-USA Inc.’s Omega 1520 woven metal mesh finished in bronze and stainless as the overlays-creating the illusion of walls without compromising the filtered daylight, infusing the space with light to help to create the welcoming feeling of openness.

The chapel, now sitting in the place once occupied by the eight levels of library stacks, is nestled within the other spaces, separated by huge mesh screens woven of bronze. The metal mesh provides a warm and dramatic backdrop for the chapel, and works as a balustrade for the balconies. Huge bronze mesh screens placed over the many windows provide sun shading by day, and add shimmering metallic detail to the chapel at night when illuminated by carefully placed lighting.

Architect: Glavé & Holmes Architecture, Richmond

Metal mesh: GKD-USA Inc., Cambridge, Md.,