Saint Father Brochero Chapel / Federico Ochoa


© Gonzalo Viramonte

© Gonzalo Viramonte
  • Equipment: Emiko Maekawa
  • Collaborator Architect: Ariane Ochoa
  • Sacred Images: Adrian Manavella

© Gonzalo Viramonte

© Gonzalo Viramonte

From the architect. How to build a chapel in honor of a saint without falling into literal reminiscences?

This was the starting point and the biggest challenge of designing a chapel for the first Argentine saint. The most logical solution was, “designing with Brocherian spirit, folowing the values ​​and the intentions of the priest but without falling in morphologic repetitions”.


© Gonzalo Viramonte

© Gonzalo Viramonte

Plan

Plan

© Gonzalo Viramonte

© Gonzalo Viramonte

First and foremost Father Brochero who was well know because of his social promotion, worked with his feet on the ground and his eyes in the heaven, the chapel emerges from the earth with a rhomboidal shape, while raising it transforms, each section undergoes a metamorphosis process until it ends in a vertex that points to the sky. Also the “Gaucho priest” used to built with local techniques such as clay, straw and wood. This materials are replaced with contemporaneous ones: concrete, steel and aluminum. Finally Saint Brochero always relied on the capacities of his “sheep herd”, regardless of the building complexity that the chapel demanded, the entirely team of workers were local people.


© Gonzalo Viramonte

© Gonzalo Viramonte

In a religious typology the significant and the symbolic have  a  primordial  role  in the understanding of the sacred space. This  chapel  dedicated  to  the  first Argentine saint , a very special person, demanded very special desing. The exterior and interior of the building evidenced a modern language capable of communicating with modern man but with strong roots in tradition.The “plasticity” of Concrete makes it the ideal material to capture the significant morphology of the chapel. Structure, function and space are unify by the two hyperbolic paraboloids of 8 centimeters thickness. The interior space of the chapel is completed with austere and close character materials, present in any local home: bricks, wood and stone.


© Gonzalo Viramonte

© Gonzalo Viramonte

The centralized  distribution, evoques  the last  supper, institution of the Eucharist, origin of the Holy Mass, easter dinner in where the Christians  gathered  and participate  of the  agape around a domestic table.


© Gonzalo Viramonte

© Gonzalo Viramonte

Last but not least, the perception of light has a strong connection with the experience of God’s grace.God is invisible to our eyes, yet his action and grace fill up our lives. The “source” of light of the chapel is inaccessible to the eye,  however the clarity floods everywhere while the sacred space is revealed to us. 


© Gonzalo Viramonte

© Gonzalo Viramonte

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