The new Dover Air Force Base Chapel in Dover, DE was designed so that the materials and equipment satisfy functional and operational requirements, and exceed minimum acceptable quality including aesthetics, durability, maintainability and reliability specified in the RFP. The project features products from American Buildings Company.
The exterior elevations were designed to avoid specific architectural elements associated with individual faiths while still retaining the image of a place of religious worship. The building entry points are clearly indicated by landscaped approaches and clear building placement. The number of corridors was reduced to allow all the required square footages to be achieved, while not exceeding the overall maximum building gross area.
The three areas include administration/education, 300-seat sanctuary, and Air Force Military Affairs Operations (AFMAO). These three areas are connected by shared resource areas that are key to each group. Administration/education and sanctuary are connected by a hallway that provides easy access to these facilities from both the administration/education area without interaction with the AFMAO. The sanctuary is in turn connected by a hallway to the AFMAO which provides access to the multi-purpose room and kitchen. This allows the kitchen to be used by both the multi-purpose room and the AFMAO, while the multi-purpose room acts as overflow or special use space for both the sanctuary and the AFMAO. This arrangement provides complete flexibility of the design. In fact, if required, the multi-purpose room can be subdivided and used by both the sanctuary and AFMAO at the same time. The goal was to provide a separation of the formal and solemn atmosphere of the sanctuary, multi-purpose and great rooms, from the ordinary daily use environment of the administration and educational functions.
The major architectural components of the building include masonry, EIFS, a metal standing seam roof system, doors and windows. Each item was selected based on the system or component warranties, life expectancies, sustainability, durability, maintenance requirements, and enhancement of the overall life cycle cost efficiency of the facility.
All of the exterior components of the building are of high quality and require limited maintenance over the lifetime of the building. Masonry was used at the wall bases, as these are areas of high abuse. The stucco finish system is elevated where it is less likely to be touched or damaged. This project is LEED® Silver Certified.
The American Buildings Company Builder involved with this project was Gardiner & Gardiner Contracting, LLC of Crofton, MD. The architect was Bignell, Watkins, Hasser Architects of Annapolis, MD.