The University of Tampa’s Sykes Chapel has garnered the esteemed 2013 CoD+A Award, recognizing its exceptional integration of commissioned art into its architectural and interior spaces. This accolade highlights the crucial role of collaboration between design and art professionals in crafting spaces that go beyond functionality to inspire and uplift. In this blog post, we delve into the unique features and collaborative efforts that make Sykes Chapel a masterpiece of both cultural art and architecture.

The Architectural Essence of Sykes Chapel: More Than Just a Building

When it comes to the architecture of Sykes Chapel, the design goes beyond mere aesthetics. It aims to evoke a range of emotional and sensory experiences in those who enter its space. One of the standout features is the strategic use of natural light. Skylights, stained art glass, and light-scattering prisms work in harmony to uplift the visual senses, creating an atmosphere that transcends the ordinary.

a hallway with glass walls and a wood ceiling

The Artistic Vision Behind the Glass: An Introduction to Guy Kemper

The visual allure of Sykes Chapel is further enhanced by the work of Guy Kemper, a renowned U.S.-based glass artist. Kemper’s contributions are particularly evident in the contemporary meditation room and the hallway entry doors. His artistry in glass serves as a medium for personal and moral growth, a belief he passionately shares. In Kemper’s words, “If students set a moral compass and grow, the sky is the limit.”

a pipe organ with persony pipes


A Holistic Approach to Student Development: Insights from President Ronald L. Vaughn

University of Tampa President, Ronald L. Vaughn, sees Sykes Chapel as more than just a physical structure; it’s a catalyst for holistic student development. Vaughn emphasizes the importance of understanding world religions as a key to comprehending global cultures and histories. “Religion permeates U.S. history, almost every culture, and the lives of billions of people, politics, and countless decisions made throughout the world,” he states. The chapel and its programs are designed to help students reflect on their life’s purpose and the kind of person they want to become.

a group of people standing in a hallway

TVS: Crafting a Space for Faith and Values

Led by Principal Robert R. Balke, TVS undertook extensive research and meticulous planning to bring the vision of Sykes Chapel to life. The firm’s global perspective was instrumental in designing the architecture to express universal values of faith and spirituality. As Balke puts it, “The Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values is a unique project for the University, and we were honored to be part of the team that brought this from inspiration to reality.”

a organ in a church made of wood

Conclusion and Further Exploration

The Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values stands as a testament to the power of collaborative design and artistic expression. It’s a space where architecture, art, and spirituality converge to create an enriching experience for all. We invite you to learn more about this remarkable project, our work in cultural arts, and the people behind it.