St. Anthony of Padua Parish

Project Location

Ambler, PA



Case Study: St. Anthony of Padua Parish

St. Anthony of Padua Parish occupies a site in Ambler, Pennsylvania, 16 miles north of Philadelphia. The church was designed with two separate but adjoining worship spaces. To meet project goals requiring both visibility and noise attenuation, the design team installed an exquisitely integrated NanaWall installation to separate the chapel and nave. 

"The client parish, led by Pastor Stephen McHenry, needed a flexible solution,” recalls Ron Knabb, FARA, principal of The Knabb Partnership, in Berwyn, Pa. “It had to meet the demands of a large congregation with varying requirements for services and worship.”

Transparent Interior Division

The needs were varied, but all could benefit from the NanaWall approach. “Families coming to services would often need a place to keep and attend small children, but without feeling disconnected from the rest of the congregation,” says Knabb. “Then for holiday services, when there is the largest attendance, the church would need to accommodate a larger segment of the parish."

“The noise-attenuating, transparent division created a place where families could care for children while still participating in worship.”

Both Knabb and the general contractor, Tim Clearkin of James J. Clearkin Construction, recommended the SL45 Aluminum Framed System with paired panels to the client. The system solved many problems in separating or joining the spaces, according to Knabb.

“The NanaWall system provided an ideal solution,” says the architect. “The noise-attenuating, transparent division between the smaller side chapel and the main worship space created a place where families could care for children while still participating in worship, but without disturbing or interrupting the service.” For larger masses, he adds, the glass wall opens fully – “practically disappearing,” in Knabb’s words – allowing the side chapel to serve as additional seating.

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