Perhaps you’ve seen the rotating ads on CMR promoting the Mystic Monk coffee. Well, they do more than roast beans. They are a newly-founded energetic community of contemplative Carmelites known as the Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel who are serious about what they do: “strict monastic enclosure, two hours of contemplative prayer daily, study and spiritual reading, and manual labor.” While the community is currently still small (under 20) they are being inundated with vocation inquiries and are planning to build a new monastery on a striking site in Wyoming to be known as the New Mount Carmel of America.
Their architect, James McCrery, has been working furiously to prepare initial drawings for their building complex (a once-in-a-lifetime dream commission), which has now been brought to the end of schematic design. (Schematic design means that it is only the initial, approved conception of the building. It will then go through design development to receive its final details. For that reason, many of the images shown are not highly detailed or use what are called “place holders” meant to give a general idea. In other words, if you are an architectural nit picker like I am, hold your nits for a few months.)
The Carmelites asked for a decidedly French Gothic design centered around a large chapel. Small hermitages are located to the east of the chapel since the monks live much of their day as hermits. The plan also provides for other needs: refectory, chapter house, infirmary, novitiate, offices, etc.
Here are more images sent by our friend Mr. McCrery. Enjoy! (click to enlarge).