Adoration Chapel and Indoor Pool, San Antonio TX
ICF Builder Magazine Award Winner. Best Specialty Project – 2016
This project was awarded 2016 “Best Specialty Project” by ICF Builder Awards. This project is recognized by ICF Builder Awards for its complexity and creativity forcing innovative solutions that have resulted in advancements in the concrete form construction industry. The design integrated features that are not typical of ICF construction with the use of inclined/slanted walls being constructed out of ICF (AMVIC) and a barrel vault ceiling structure constructed out of ICF Decking (AMDECK). This project was very dexterous in testing the limits of the use of ICF construction, was an eye-opener for all parties involved, and encouraged thinking outside of the box for achieving new design elements that were previously avoided in the past.
The ICF design project consists of a detached garage with a two-story personal chapel and a separated ICF indoor pool house. Both structures utilized top-quality craftsmanship and finishes. The slanted chapel tower that resulted in a tapered silhouette typical of Spanish mission architecture was finished with intricate masonry work that combines several different types of stones, including salvaged brick to replicate a rustic Mediterranean style wall imitating centuries-old adobe. Careful attention went into selecting a qualified mason with the correct skill sets to create the desired appearance of the architect.
The green house window was custom designed and welded by an expert welder to create a unique plant nursery. The chapel entrance is defined by a salvaged antique, ornamental door from India that strongly complements the design of the interior finishes of the chapel. The interior face of the ICF walls in the garage was finished with an intricate series of plywood panels with reveals. This clever yet “simple” approach creates a sturdy surface for anchoring tools to the wall while still providing a decorative finish to the interior face of the ICF blocks. The impact of the design is a “homey” new structure that complements the owner’s existing house without overpowering it.
Inspired from trips to Europe, the main intent for the indoor pool was to replicate a tranquil cavernous cave with daylight predominantly entering from one side of the room while still integrating the four elements into the space. Insulated concrete block was selected as the construction system of choice amid the extreme humidity that will result from an indoor pool. Due the moisture/mold resistant properties of ICF, the use of concrete forms for the pool enclosure with the AMDECK (ICF Decking) for the roof served as the perfect insulated enclosure for an indoor pool. To achieve the original design objective, a barrel vaulted ceiling lined with cedar planks was intended to complement the cavernous experience. Similar to the chapel, the interior walls of the pool area are finished with the same intricate masonry work. To integrate the final element, a fire pit was added next to the pool that is illuminated with color changing LEDS for a variety of mood settings. The pool room is intended to be a therapy space for tranquility and calmness and the harmony within the overall design will allow for any building occupant to feel relief within the temporary getaway space.
This project will serve as a notable example of pioneering new approaches with the use of ICF construction and will encourage others to keep experimenting for new and better ways to build more efficiently.