|Why is the Chapel at the end of the Mall?|
The Chapel completes the University Mall. The Mall itself symbolizes the nature of a Catholic university. It is a series of buildings representing various academic disciplines and various forms of scholarly activity. All buildings face one another and are open to one another, indicating the interdependence and unity of all scholarly endeavor. Their unity is further stressed by the fact that all buildings are joined by a colonnade. Moreover, no non-academic auxiliary operations are located on the Mall. At one end of the longitudinal axis of the Mall we find the library, a place where students and faculty come to meet the great minds and scholars of the past and present through the products of their work, books and other media, thus encountering the greatest achievements of human reason. At the other end of that axis we now have a sacred building dedicated to the worship of God and to the celebration of the Christian faith. This is why the entrance of the Chapel faces the Mall, not the street.
The Chapel contrasts with all other UST buildings: white stucco and black granite as opposed to rose-colored brick. The difference stresses the uniqueness and supernatural character of what the Chapel represents. Through its height, and the increased impact of the upward sweep of unbroken white walls, the Chapel dominates the whole campus. The cross culminating its golden dome proclaims the Christian character of the University; indeed, it makes the campus visible from most high points in the city and prominent to overflying planes. But its relationship to the Mall is more complex. When seen from outside the Mall, from West Alabama , the Chapel appears to be embraced by the Mall, standing within it, surrounded by the colonnade and the brick sacristy and office building. Seen from within the Mall, the Chapel, while appearing separate, by means of the black granite wall, which is less a "wall" than a colonnade, somewhat like the ancient Roman aqueducts, reaches out to the Mall’s colonnade, thus uniting the work of the human reason with worship of God, the Creator of that reason.
Why is the Chapel named after St. Basil?
Chapel Theology and Architectural Elements
Individual Elements of the Chapel
Chapel of St. Basil Book