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With its powerful geometry, the iconic Cadet Chapel established the U.S. Air Force Academy’s reputation as a masterwork of Modernist architecture. Designed by architect Walter Netsch and completed in 1963, the chapel was the culminating architectural element of SOM’s master plan and design of the entire campus. The striking building features a succession of 17 glass and aluminum spires—each composed of 100 tetrahedrons—enclosing the upper level. Continuous panels of brilliant stained glass clad the tubular tetrahedrons, enabling diffused light to enter the building. Netsch, who would have celebrated his 99th birthday on February 23—worked with SOM from 1947 to 1979.
Photo © Magda Biernat
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