Stained glass windows for the prayer room at Fort Shafter military base
The stained glass windows for the prayer room at Fort Shafter in Honolulu, Hawaii are the brainchild of one of the chaplains on the base. He had seen something similar on a mainland base and decided to pursue the idea. The small prayer room would be the perfect location for a wall of stained glass.
A wall of stained glass
The prayer room is eight feet wide and the chaplain wanted the stained glass to fill the width of the space. He wanted the design to be non-faith specific and draw from the beauty of nature as expressed in the Psalms. Hawaii has a rich heritage of celebrating nature and our interdependence with it. I used the Hawaiian idea of ahupua`a, a means of dividing the island by watersheds reaching from the mountains to the sea, as the primary design concept. The design includes Hawaiian plants and animals as well as traditionally styled surface treatments. The course of a stream from mountain waterfall to its arrival at the sea is the thread that weaves the elements of the design together. Though the prayer room is not large, the Chaplain saw its potential. It is now a unique space that invites the viewer to linger, ponder, pray and reflect.
The crew from Gavinwood in Kailua, Hawaii installed the three stained glass panels into a custom made beechwood cabinet that fit perfectly into the space. Ultrathin LED panels are installed behind each stained glass window. A motion detector illuminates the windows when one enters the room.