Chapel in Apelação

Minimalism can be the translation between a classical building type and contemporary design.

For Site Specific Arquitectura, a Portuguese architecture design studio comprised of Patrícia Marques and Paulo Costa, that rendition was applied onto a communal chapel in Apelação, Portugal. Often, when we picture a religious structure, we imagine some monumental appearance. However, what the duo had in mind was a rather simple solution to accommodate the budget and the multi-use characteristic of the building. By translating three important devotions, which are three incredibly sacred stories, from sculptures to drawings (under the supervision of a religious philosopher), the space was able to open up to more natural light with a breezy environment. In a way, both of the designers not only design the space with care, but also the religious representations to deliver a sense of personality, much fitting with the communal aspect of the Chapel. Wooden interior helps lighten up the atmosphere, implementing a pureness and holiness to the space, without making it too formal.

I absolutely respect Site Specific Arquitectura for the careful deconstruction of monumental architecture and the masterful rework of individual parts. By rejecting nostalgia and cleverly manipulating design interests, the translation is not literal, but imaginatively methodical.

Photography courtesy of do mal o menos.