West Jordan, Utah
ArchitectSparano + Mooney Architecture
Salt Lake City, Utah
Sheet Metal ContractorNoorda Building Envelope Contractor
General ContractorR&O Construction
Salt Lake City, Utah
Named for the patron saint of laborers, this parish church serves as a place of worship for a Catholic community in West Jordan, Utah. The design process for this intimately scaled chapel for daily worship began with a research phase recognizing the rich history of the community this church serves. Located in the immediate vicinity is the Kennecott Copper Mine. Working-class immigrants seeking employment settled the area and built a small church originally on this site. Linking the historical with the spiritual, Saint Joseph, a carpenter often depicted with tools in his hands is the Day Chapel’s namesake.
In effort to celebrate this rich cultural lineage, common materials confronted in daily life, such as concrete, wood, copper, and glass were incorporated. These materials were then detailed to express the skill of the craftsman, manipulated to become extraordinary. Custom bent, flat lock copper panels, for example, were used on the exterior of the Day Chapel, and copper also clads the skylight over the altar, thereby incorporating tangible references to the parish’s mining and construction history.
In keeping with the design goal of sustainability, the Day Chapel, which is more frequently used than the main sanctuary, is thermally isolated thereby reducing the daily heating and cooling loads. The modest, humble nature of the copper configured within new volumes and surfaces seek to both reassure and inspire.
The design incorporates these familiar materials manipulated to become extraordinary. As they are transformed by the “worker,” they are crafted into surfaces expressing the skill of the tradesperson rather than the qualities of the raw material. The modest, humble nature of these ordinary materials configured within new architectural forms and surfaces seek to both reassure and inspire. Copper is reserved for the most sacred aspects of the church and clads the skylight over the altar and the exterior of the day chapel.