St. Francis Church
1996- 1998  Dracut, Massachusetts

Fourteen acres of farm land in Northeastern Massachusetts provides both a beautiful and unique setting for this new church. Central to the design of Saint Francis was the preservation of the natural landscape and vista. All of the structures are located near the top of the hillside site, separating them from the traffic below. The careful siting of the church encourages two ways of experiencing the structure and environs: one can catch a glimpse of the church while driving along the perimeter roads, and one can discover it when walking, viewing the structure with the land beyond.


The bell tower is not only integral to the overall design, it’s also a focal point. More than just an extension of the roof, the tower serves several functions. It conceals the carillon equipment, provides ventilation for the church interior, and can be seen from afar, day or night, when illuminated from within. The form of the tower refers to both the Italian churches of the 15th and 16th centuries, and to the wooden churches of Colonial New England.

Fourteen acres of farm land in Northeastern Massachusetts provides both a beautiful and unique setting for this new church. Central to the design of Saint Francis was the preservation of the natural landscape and vista. All of the structures are located near the top of the hillside site, separating them from the traffic below. The careful siting of the church encourages two ways of experiencing the structure and environs: one can catch a glimpse of the church while driving along the perimeter roads, and one can discover it when walking, viewing the structure with the land beyond.


The bell tower is not only integral to the overall design, it’s also a focal point. More than just an extension of the roof, the tower serves several functions. It conceals the carillon equipment, provides ventilation for the church interior, and can be seen from afar, day or night, when illuminated from within. The form of the tower refers to both the Italian churches of the 15th and 16th centuries, and to the wooden churches of Colonial New England.