Duke University Chapel

Duke University Chapel in Durham

Duke Chapel is an example of neo-Gothic architecture in the English style. Gothic architecture is characterized by large stone piers, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses, which allow the creation of vast open spaces, uninterrupted by columns for support. The result is an imposing structure and vast interior space that invite visitors to marvel at the wonders of faith and creation. In Duke Chapel, steel trusses are used in place of traditional wooden ones. This eliminates the need for large flying buttresses, reduces the load on the walls, and reduces potential fire hazards. The Chapel is constructed of a volcanic stone from a quarry in Hillsborough, North Carolina, which was purchased by the University for the construction of West Campus. Known as Hillsborough bluestone, the beautiful and distinctive stone actually ranges in color through 17 shades, from rust orange to slate gray. The stones are of varying sizes, all cut to the same proportions (twice as long as they are high).

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