The commission is a small family chapel for 40 seated people in a slightly sloping lot next to a forest of Australian mimosa trees. From the top there are views of a set of vernacular buildings (adobe houses and wine cellars) inserted in a natural landscape of vineyards, pines and nature forests.
The idea consists in providing with simplicity the proper sense of religious spaces and manifest it through its communication with the natural surroundings. The instances for reflection are achieved by the quietness produced by being in this natural enviroment, creating open spaces and retaining the color and textures of the materials used in the existing architecture.
The program is developed against the slope, where a curved stone wall guides the entrance on one side, to reach a central nave under a flat 10 x 10 mt roof. The nave, which on one side opens onto the forest through a large window, directs the view to a double height box that contains the altar, a small choir and the sacristy under it. The exit is through three pivoting doors that open completely toward a terrace that allows a full view of the place. Behind the altar there is a small patio for meditation from which one can go up to the choir or move into the forest for a walk sorrounded by nature.Location: Coelemu, Bío-Bío Region, Chile Architects: 57 STUDIO | Maurizio Angelini / Sebastián Espinoza / Benjamín Oportot Project: 2002
Structural engineer: Ignacio Vial / Oscar Buzeta
Construction: Jorge Carrasco
Materials: Concrete / Steel / Wood / Stone Project name: El Roble Chapel Photos: Maurizio Angelini (57STUDIO), Guy Wenborne