West Jordan, a suburb of Salt Lake City, is the home of Saint Joseph the Worker parish, a Catholic community that commissioned Salt Lake City– and Los Angeles–based architecture firm Sparano + Mooney to design an intimate chapel to accompany the church that the same designers finished in 2012. The materials of the new building, which opened in the summer of 2019, express the historic trades practiced by the local immigrant community that founded the church, as in the copper cladding, a nod to the nearby Kennecott copper mine. The design is meant to sit lightly on its natural environs—the thermally isolated chapel is passively heated and cooled—while daylight filtered through a rectilinear opening in the roof reestablishes a connection to the world outside.
The 470-square-foot Chapel of the Mines uses Douglas Fir timber cladding to add further warmth to the interior, in a nod to the adjoining church. Hanging globe lights and similarly-styled pews also extend the connection between the two structures, despite the difference in their forms and facades.