Rothko Chapel Renovation and Master Plan Implementation


Rothko Chapel


Construction Cost: $28 million

Completion Date: Phase One 7/2020

Project Size: 1.5 Acres

Rothko Chapel Renovation and Master Plan Implementation


Walter P Moore provided civil engineering for the renovation and master plan implementation at the nondenominational chapel. Originally completed in 1971, the chapel houses 14 Mark Rothko paintings and provides a space for contemplation. Improvements to the chapel’s interior and exterior, along with an expansion were undertaken to enhance the experience of chapel visitors and guests. The new Suzanne Deal Booth Welcome House was added with the completion of the first phase of the master plan implementation. The facility provides guest services. Additionally, a new central energy house was completed, relocating mechanical equipment away from the chapel to improve the serenity of the environment and provide an uninterrupted meditation experience. A future second phase will include the Administrative and Archives Building; conference, meeting, and administrative spaces; and housing for visiting artists. The reflecting pool in the Rothko Chapel Plaza was updated to improve drainage issues and outdoor lighting. Located in Montrose in proximity to the University of St. Thomas campus and the Menil, the master plan also addressed site access improvements.

The civil engineering scope of services included design of a detention system in the park across the street from the development, design of a mid-block pedestrian speed table, and encroachment applications to include the speed table, private storm sewer, and utility routings across City of Houston right-of-way. This allowed the chapel to locate mechanical equipment further away from the chapel and provide detention in the open park, leaving land available for the development of phase two. Walter P Moore provided design of site grading, drainage, water lines, sanitary sewers, and extensive 3D routing of gas, electrical, chilled water, and hot water piping.