Saint Joseph’s University, founded in 1851, sits on a 125-acre campus along City Line Avenue on the western edge of Philadelphia. The new Arrupe Hall is a deeply symbolic and thoughtfully crafted residence establishing a place for living, learning, working, and worshipping, for the Jesuit priests who work at the University. Developed jointly by SJU and the Eastern Province of the Society of Jesus, it is also a hub for apostolic life in Philadelphia, designed to foster connection and collaboration across the city’s ministries.
While the design draws on the massing, materials, and scale of the surrounding buildings, it introduces a compelling architectural vocabulary that reflects Jesuit ideals and the university’s “whole person” education model. Forming a cohesive whole are individual elements including shared community spaces, private living quarters, and a chapel.
“We think of the chapel design as being about the swirling movement of time and the altar communicating the firmness of eternity. So, the divine existing in time and in eternity, experienced in both.”
-Father Robert M. Hussey
Inspired by the Gregorian Calendar, the chapel form takes on a curvilinear form, based on geometric studies. The brick pattern further explores the initial geometries of form, then morphine to create a veil, filtering light and views.