The Serenity Room at UC San Diego Health’s Jacobs Medical Center has received a 2018 International Award for Religious Art & Architecture as part of Faith & Form’s prestigious annual awards program. Specifically, the Serenity Room is recognized for interior design of a liturgical space. A full list of winners is posted on Faith & Form’s website as a photo gallery.
Inside Jacobs Medical Center – a hospital uniting leading-edge women’s and children’s, cancer, and advanced surgery care – the Serenity Room is a non-denominational chapel that provides peaceful, contemplative respite for patients and families dealing with the physical and emotional stress commonplace in healthcare settings.
The room is uniquely designed to welcome abundant natural light without direct views to the outdoors. The reduction of architectural elements to a simple, continuous space, the wall and ceiling are informed by the ever-changing daylight, and create a focal point for directing contemplation or meditation. Physical models and studies evaluated and documented the elemental possibilities of the space, while extensive detail development and seating design reinforce the simplicity and serenity of the space. Benches appear to grow out of the floor surface. Light, form and surfaces intercept one another to create these effects.
The Serenity Room is part of the hospital’s spiritual care support network, which includes two full-time chaplains and a group of volunteer spiritual care leaders from numerous different faiths. Although quite small in relation to the rest of the hospital at 900 sf, the chapel’s design considers every inch and detail as it creates an overwhelming sense of calm, light, contemplation and hope for all who enter.