Details

Keywords Change this

Wood

Project timeline

2009 – 2009

Type

Religious

Location Change this

Tarnów
Poland

Also known as Change this

The votive chapel of St Alex

Architect Change this

Client Change this

Well-known Polish Writer

Chapel in Tarnow Change this

Tarnów, Poland
by Beton Change this
1 of 20

Description Change this

It is a small, wooden church built on a high bank of Vistula River, in a small village of Tarnów, by a private investor (which is quite uncommon in Poland). The church serves as a place of meditation and prayer for the local community. The project was designed by Beton in 2009.

It is constructed entirely of wood, with no windows except for one glass wall, which serves as a background for the altar. Inside, you can find your peace by looking through the wall at the river and the distant horizon. The steep, wooden roof transforms unnoticeable into the side walls – the whole covering is made of the same material – small asp chops laid in a pattern.

Everything tries to find its balance between being simple, delicate and really strong. Building the church had also a “side” purpose: to bring the local community together. It was built by not very skilled workers, so the technology had to be really simple. Concrete slab as a foundation, timber structure as the main “spine” of the building and the wooden cladding. There is almost no detail, no fancy elements. This is also a kind of experiment – how to create a certain quality of space with the use of rudimentary technical simplicity.

The investor, who is a quite well-known Polish writer, decided to save this small bit of the Vistula bank from becoming an another wild beach with a cheap bar on the side. A church is something people still respect, so presenting it to them in such an unexpected scenery, draws their minds to new, unexpected thoughts.

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