Integration through Circulation: Jesuit Community Library


Integration through Circulation: Jesuit Community Library


Joseph Binck, Emily Girardi, Kelly Foley & Tatiana Barbuzza
Catholic University of America


Luis Boza
Catholic University of America

DESCRIPTION   The Jesuits have established themselves as the most extroverted of the Catholic religious orders. The Jesuits’ mission is to integrate themselves within communities and, as a result, they are an active outward motion into the world. They meet communities where they are: in their homes, in their jobs, and in their schools.

Our project draws inspiration from the Jesuits’ outward motion into the community and aims to reciprocate that notion by drawing the community into and throughout the various spaces in the building. The building is uniquely sited at a crossroads of the community along a busy east/west and north/south axis in Columbia Height. Conceptually our building draws the circulation of the city and the energy of the people up into our building by creating a vertical "sidewalk" culminating at a community chapel. By programming the circulation, the building becomes a continuous space that creates physical, visual and audible connections and linkages between moments in the building and
outward towards the site.

The Jesuits teach that we see God in all things.
This idea of spatial continuity resulting in programmatic blending reinforces the Jesuit ideal of a holistic approach to learning – the idea that academic knowledge and spiritual knowledge are one in the same. Moreover, we are using the idea of circulation – of a continuously blended space - as a vehicle to drive the Jesuit belief that the profane (our ground lobby level) and the sacred (our highest chapel level) coexist and are inseparable. Each visitor can experience their path up through the building – their journey from the profane to the sacred – in their own unique and individual way.