Addition; Chapel of the Holy Cross; Holderness School / by Ethan Anthony

Holderness 1

Our Design for a Program of additions to the 1887 Chapel of the Holy Cross at Holderness School, Holderness, New Hampshire envisions a major expansion of the existing chapel, originally designed by Charles Coolidge Haight, architect of the Episcopal Cathedral of Portland, Maine.

There currently is a need for twice the current seating capacity of the chapel and several schemes have been proposed in recent years for additions that would either add small bits and pieces to the sides of the existing building resulting in poor quality space or add an enormous modern glass pile thrusting out over the gully behind the existing building, dwarfing and minimizing the historic brick building.

Our plan adds the needed seating in a sympathetic addition that remains modest in scale and hard to distinguish from the existing building. This is consistent with our no trace left behind approach to sympathetic historic additions. Though the scope of the addition is ambitious the result is intended to leave the viewer wondering how the space was added and where the original building begins and ends.

This approach is antithetical to the modernist who uses feigned respect for the original as an excuse to add building elements that are totally out of character and in fact intended to establish the architect as the focal point and subject. Certain building owners lacking confidence in their own brand see a value in the branding of the building by the architect but this is a false value.