Nascimento (Chapel) by Miguel Pinto Guimaraes
2018 - 2019, Golden A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner
Inspiration
The building is inspired by important Brazilian architectural and artistic movements. Initially with colonial architecture, rich on private chapels. Then with the baroque movement, recurrent in the religious architecture of the country, through the design of its metal frames that works as sculptures in space. And finally it uses part of the modernist repertoire, not only because of the strong presence of the brises soleil, but also because of the curved shape of the floor plan and the facade.
Creativity
The Nascimento Chapel is located in a private property at the mountains of Rio de Janeiro. It is a contemporary private chapel, an unusual commission, even though all over the world many of the most important architects has a religious building on their portfolios. Tooking advantage of the topography, a lake was created, so that the construction could hover over it and also works as a mirror for the architecture. Its facade, doubled by reflection, defines the very same curve of its floor plan.
Design Challenges
Working on such an unusual project was a challenge. How to express contemporaneity to such a traditional program? How to balance architectural audacity with the necessary intimacy of a religious space?
Production Technology
The project is based on three elements. A 4 meter wide wood bridge balances on central pillars that disappear giving the impression of the building flying over the water pond. At the end of this bridge a glass box defines the enclosed space. Enveloping this whole set, 25 rectangular steel frames of varying sizes draw a curve in space, defining a building that expands and retracts. These gates function as brise soleils that bring shade and privacy to the prayer space.
       
     
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