Looking for a means to commemorate special friends of the Mt. Michael community over its history, the abbey/school turned to Prochaska & Associates to design a bell tower and plaza area for their campus.
The project’s design is the result of the collaborative efforts of Mt. Michael’s Abbot, building committee, and Prochaska & Associates. The new tower is meant to be a visual focal point as a visitor first approaches the school and has been placed on axis with the beautiful archway of the building’s facade. The tower responds to the school building and arcade through its materials of brick and precast concrete as well as by its arched openings and stepped massing. The tower’s plan symbolizes the balance of scholastic and monastic life found at Mt. Michael, and imagery of the monks’ Benedictine Order has been incorporated into each elevation. An image of St. Benedict created by the architect is visible from the school’s archway, reminding the viewer of the saint’s creed, “Ora et Labora,” meaning “Pray and Work.”