SCOTTISH RITE VALLEY OF CHICAGO
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry, the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world with more than two million members in North America. Accommodating 4,000 members, this facility supports the activities and provides a new Corporate Headquarters for the organization. Designed to tell the story of Freemasonry’s symbolic origins through the future of society, the interior and exterior feature traditional Masonic structures executed in a timeless and contemporary composition that incorporates traditional masonry materials like stone and brick as well as modern construction systems like precast concrete.
A PROJECT THAT RESPECTS THE PAST WHILE LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
DESIGN GOALS, STRATEGY & RESULTS
There were several design challenges, including providing a timeless design celebrating the organization’s history, creating welcoming and uplifting spaces conveying the strength and mystery of traditions as well as operational clarity through the interior progression. Masonic symbols are interpreted and referenced at multiple scales to tell the story of Free Masonry and the Scottish Rite through the forms of the building and interior space; the circulation organized around the Grand Hall; the architectural detailing and materials selections. The “Jewel Box” quality of the building is created by clear, low-E glass, minimizing the buildings visual impact, promoting openness, and modernizing historic elements of the design. The design elements weave together the story of Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite and interprets the history from its origins to its continued journey into the next millennium. The heavily wooded 16-acre site is nicely landscaped for stunning views, and include a parking lot to accommodate approximately 190 vehicles.