Edgar A. Smith Family YMCA, Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial Chapel

Church & Religious , Civic & Community


Webster, Texas


450 sf

Project Features
  • Chapel located inside the YMCA
  • Honors heroes of Space Shuttle Columbia
  • Fluid design encourages circulation
Located inside the Edgar A. Smith Family YMCA, the Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial Chapel honors the seven heroes of the Space Shuttle Columbia who were also active Edgar A. Smith Family YMCA Members, which include:  Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, and Ilan Ramon.

The chapel is designed as a fluid form that is both a place of worship and remembrance for the YMCA members, family and friends. The chapel includes a cantilevered bench that acts as both a seat and a table, along with a small altar that is backlit to provide ambient light in this dim space. The exterior wall of the chapel is constructed with sculpted panels to provide both visual and physical movement. The resulting fluidity encourages circulation in an area that is always in use. The Chapel opened its doors in a dedication celebration on May 5th, 2007 with many of the astronauts’ family and friends present.
Janis Brackett, AIA, LEED AP 713 426 7426
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Janis brings 24 years of experience and a dedication to the collaborative process to Kirksey's Community Projects Team. Besides her proven ability to keep projects in budget and on schedule, she is enthusiastic about developing relationships with her clients and seeing their ideas and goals become realized. Janis was the 2014 President of AIA Houston, the 2010 Chair of Gulf Coast Green, and also served on the Editorial Committee for GreenWorks Houston.