Category: Institutional
Location: Tampa, FL
Size: 18,700 sq. ft.
Masonry Used: 125,000 bricks, 760 pieces of polished/chiseled granite veneer, 33 post-tensioned lintels, 475 pieces of precast coping/bands, 2,500 8" block, and 28 Halfen galvanized curved arches.
Submitted by: OldcastleCoastal COLOROC

Project Description

Sykes Chapel was built on the University of Tampa's campus for the development of character and values of students and to provide inspiration for meditation and education about all faiths. One unique feature of the chapel is the organ, constructed on site with parts shipped from Europe and Midwestern United States. The east, west, and south entrances were designed to give the impression of two praying hands reaching towards to the sky.

Building materials were selected for long term durability - zinc metal roof, brick, the polished and chiseled stone, were designed to last the lifetime of the building, anticipated to be over 100 years. The materials chosen will endure and perform well in both direct sunlight and in severe weather. Our portions of the construction were the brick veneer, granite veneer at the base, cut and imported from China, and the load bearing precast. There were twenty-eight arches installed at the exterior and interior of the project, some 1'4" thick and some 3'4" thick. The brick arches were built with the Concealed Lintel System from Halfen USA. Most of the load bearing precast were welded to bearing plates at steel columns, but some were actually hung and welded to steel supports above, providing an unusual view with precast stopping flush at the window openings, as shown in a photo of the east elevation. Included in the brickwork are several details including recessed brick at the west elevation patterned to pay homage to the Cross of Christ, a Flemish bond detail with projected headers at the south elevation, and the use of a special shape that enhances the truncated arches, symbolizing true old world craftsmanship. The Traditional Meditation Room's interior was constructed with brick and granite, precast and a brick arch at the window, matching the exterior arch.

The brick used was Hanson's Old Williamsburg, distributed locally by OldCastleCoastal. The special brick shapes outlining each of the arches were cored specifically by Hanson Brick in order to match Halfen's shop drawings, and accept their structural galvanized rods. The granite veneer at the base came in different sizes and thickness. Some of the units were a full 4" thick, supporting the veneer above, and some were 1 " thick, set and applied with stainless steel thin stone anchors. In order to more properly distribute its strength, the precast lintels were post-tensioned to provide minimal deflection without cracking, while still maintaining its required load. This structural strength, along with the subtle exterior and interior design, add significantly to the uncompromised attention to detail.