Encounter
The Artform of Expressing Faith

Mass inside Chapel of St. Basil on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasAn artistic marvel, the Chapel of St. Basil was designed by the late architect Philip Johnson and completed in 1997. In keeping with the University’s Basilian tradition, the chapel is named for St. Basil the Great, a fourth century bishop in what today is the country of Turkey. The chapel sits at the north end of the University’s academic mall, which was also designed by Johnson some 40 years earlier.

The Chapel hosts mass every day. It seats about 225 people and is lit from the inside by natural light from the dome, a skylight over the altar and the statue of Our Lady on the east wall and from the asymmetrical glass cross on the west wall.

 

Chapel of St. Basil as visible from the Academic Mall at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasThe external design consists of three basic geometric shapes: a 50 foot white stucco cube for the body of the church, a sphere for the dome and a black granite plane that intersects the dome and the cube.

The Chapel of St. Basil and Doherty Library face each other from opposite ends of the Academic Mall to signify the perpetual relationship between faith and reason.