Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary

 / Chapel


Doug Snyder, Anil Gokarn / Snyder Architects

Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary

It is a modest, contemplative spot. Its minimalist design is intended to be serene and to create a mindful space for the students to connect with their thoughts.

Doug Snyder, Principal

Catholic schools are struggling with differentiation and identity in this modern age.   The design of the school needs to support the values of the Board and promote building the Catholic community and bringing people together in respect.  

Jean Vanier  is based on a Cathedral concept where there is a celebration as you enter then a procession through the school to the chapel at the end as the focus. The 2-story space is interlaced with the bridge and has full height feature wood doors. This clearly symbolizes the school’s Catholic underpinnings – the centrality of the Chapel reflects the school’s larger values. 

But when you enter, it is a quiet, contemplative spaces. Its minimalist design is intended to be serene and to create a mindful space for the students to connect with their thoughts. 

We made Jean Vanier’s chapel special through the judicial use of wood and stone. The cross is a modern interpretation of traditional stained glass. The Chapel can be opened up for large assemblies. The windows to the exterior are translucent, not clear – so there is plenty of soft, glowing daylight but no distracting sight lines