POOR CLARE PORTIUNCULA
The Poor Clare Sisters in Omaha, Nebraska lead a contemplative lifestyle and their new Monastery was designed to reflect the values of their Fransiscan order. The Poor Clare Sisters take a vow of poverty and lead a basic lifestyle, so there is no need for ornate decoration, and simple, long term materials are used to reflect this. Sustainable initiatives incorporated into the project include day lit spaces, natural ventilation, a green roof, geothermal heat, site water retention, reclaimed and recycled content materials, day lighting control, and energy efficient lighting.
The south wall of the sanctuary represents the founding base of the church and consists of stone and small punched openings. The north wall represents the present and future of the church and consists of large expanses of glazing, wood, and slender columns. Overhead a continuous skylight expands towards the front, providing natural light and highlighting the Portiuncula.