Schickel Design

Mid-century modern church renovation

Architect and liturgical designer, William Schickel, created dramatic renovation of an existing church for Thomas Merton's Trappist monks.

Abbey of Gethsemani - Trappist, KY

“I just want to tell you what a splendid job I think you have done in our Abbey Church…bright, simple, clear-cut, no-nonsense and perfectly in accord with our life.” - Thomas Merton

SERVICES: Design Architect

DESCRIPTION: This simple vernacular historic structure, built by the monks in the wilderness and then covered with a Neo Gothic shell, was re-established and transformed under the leadership of William Schickel, into a “spare beautiful space that emphasized the [Trappist/Cistercian] vocation to the contemplative life.”  Thomas Merton, one of the monks on the building committee wrote,  “Cistercian architecture is famous for its energy and simplicity and purity.” Schickel strove to reintroduce this energy and simplicity into the design of the abbey church. Quotes from Sacred Passion, The Art of William Schickel

PROJECT TEAM: Schickel Design, Peacock Garn & Partners

AWARDS: AIA Gold Medal