BBS Architects Engineers

Iowa Army National Guard

Owner:  Iowa Army National Guard
Architectural and Engineering Design Services:  BBS Architects | Engineers
Construction Completed: 2022
Project Costs: $1.4 Million

Photo Credit: Chris Boeke Studio

Project Purpose:

Camp Dodge is a village all of its own. It provides for all of the necessary activities of living and training for the Iowa National Guard - from barracks and mess halls, to fields, classrooms, and offices. Perched on the hillside overlooking this village of regular and regimented buildings and grounds, the chapel stands out as a singular and special place. This is where the camp extends its support of the Guard’s mission to the reservists’ whole person and their spirits.

Over time, the chapel’s mission has evolved with the needs and uses of the community. Contemporary standards created the need to be able to use both levels of the chapel, without using the stairs for accessibility. The small sanctuary was not adequately accommodating larger ceremonies such as marriages and funerals, and the undersized restrooms and lack of kitchen meant that receptions and reunions had to find other spaces to gather.

Project Results:

The chapel’s rigid symmetry and unusual mid-1970’s structural construction challenged BBS to find the right solutions to these challenges. Congregations had to be brief before the chapel’s implementation, but now families and friends can linger and connect over shared meals. Where there were a host of rooms crowding the sanctuary and cutting it off from the village, there are now glass doors and windows. The red brick chapel once stood alone over the camp, a buff stone bell tower now stands with it, in support of it with an elevator.

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