With the masterplan of the St. Francis Roman Catholic Church of Henderson, PSC Architects researched the village of Assisi and used its organizational planning characteristics to inspire the overall development of the site to create a “Journey of Discovery.” The school, a derivative of Mt. Saint Francis School in the Village of Assisi, is the start of the journey of learning, the first step to understanding and becoming closer to God. The design of the school has a horizontal expression rooted in the earth. Once inside the school property, a Colonnade guides you through the rest of the campus. The Colonnade directs the symbolic journey of “life” as each column represents a year in the life of Saint Francis.
From the school grounds, the procession leads to the Bosque and Chapel. Saint Francis had a true love of nature; therefore, the relationship of the Chapel to Bosque represents this deep connection and creates a place of worship anchored in nature. From the Chapel, the central court Piazza leads to the church entrance. The courtyard is a large expansive space that allows for the view of heaven and earth. The church design is based on the classical cruciform and takes its aesthetic cues from the Church of Saint Francis in Assisi mixed with an architectural language of the Umbria region and southwestern mission style. The Church and its bell tower are the largest forms on the site, creating a symbolic focal point of the journey and sense of place. It is the place where God’s glory comes into focus.