Transfiguration Spirituality Center - Community of the Transfiguration, Glendale, Ohio
Adaptive re-use renovation of a former nursing home for a new retreat center, 22 private sleeping rooms with baths, chapel, conference rooms, dining facilities
Facilities Planning, Liturgical Design, Interior Design, Art Consultation, Stained glass, Commissioned Works of Art
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Cincinnati-based Schickel Design Company has completed a new retreat center for The Community of the Transfiguration, an order of Episcopal nuns founded in Glendale, Ohio, in 1898. The new Transfiguration Spirituality Center, which takes over the former St. Mary's Memorial Home on the order's Glendale campus, is scheduled for dedication October 10th. In addition to Schickel, the design and construction team includes Bob Schilling of Cincinnati-based Champlin Architecture and Tim Cleary of TMI Electric as general contractor.
Extensive market research supported the need for a retreat and conference center for groups and individuals of all faiths. Schickel Design was commissioned early this year to handle facilities planning, interior design, art consultation, furnishings and liturgical art. Construction began in April 2010 and concluded in August 2010 in time to welcome its first group of overnight retreatants.
The newly renovated facility is situated in a beautiful and tranquil 22-acre setting, close to the hubbub of city life. It was designed as a place of warmth and peace where all are welcomed, building on a long tradition of Christian hospitality. It offers comfortable overnight accommodations with private baths and space for conferences and individual reflection.
According to Martha Schickel Dorff, president of Schickel Design Company, "We are working with the Sisters to create a warm and welcoming environment that communicates the ideals and larger vision of the community. We see the story and idea of the Transfiguration, where a deeper, more powerful, more beautiful reality is revealed as being a central idea around which our design work revolves and which connects to the mission of a retreat center.”
Schickel Design's plan strengthens connection to both the landscape and the original Tudor-style buildings from 1928. It richly mixes the Community's historic furnishings with new custom elements to create an interplay of old and new. Custom furniture pieces provided by Schickel Design include adjustable lecterns and several large round tables for the dining area.
Artwork includes works based on quotations from the Bible, an “Icon of the Seasons” features changeable images for the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent, Christmas and Easter. These are displayed on both sides of a large cross, made of cherry wood. A 9’ x 15’ wood and stained glass shadowbox conference room wall brings natural light into the interior and is designed around the theme of the Transfiguration.
The project employed numerous local craftsmen and tradesmen. "Working on this building and knowing about the history of the Transfiguration, makes this project very special to me," said Chuck Mancini TMI's project manager.
“It has been a joy to see our vision for expanding the hospitality ministry of the Community take shape in the renewal of this wonderfully designed building which is already hosting a wide variety of conferences and meetings,” stated Sr. Teresa M. Martin, C.T., Superior of the Community. “Our quiet and wooded grounds makes for a positive retreat environment away from the city although it’s only 20 minutes from downtown,” Sr. Martin added
The Transfiguration Spirituality Center's Open House and St. Mary's Grand Opening Service of Celebration with the Rt. Reverend Thomas E. Breidenthal, Bishop of Southern Ohio, is scheduled for Oct. 10 at 4:00 p.m. For more information, contact TSC Executive Director Toni Thomas-Feren at 513-771-5291.
About The Community of the Transfiguration:
The Community of The Transfiguration is an Episcopal women's religious order in the United States and a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, founded by Mother Eva Mary, the former Eva Lee Matthews, in 1898. Its 22-acre campus includes the Convent, the Chapel of The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Bethany School (K – 8), and Transfiguration Spirituality Center.