Details

Keywords Change this

Add this

Project timeline

2011 – 2011

Type

Religious

Location Change this

Acapulco
Mexico

Architect Change this

Team

Mario Gottfried (project leader)
Javier González (project leader)
Roberto Ampudia (project leader)
Rodrigo Gil
Óscar Flores
David Sánchez
Diego Eumir
Guillermo Bastian
Adrian Aguilar
Jorge Arteaga (collaborator)
Zaida Montañana (collaborator)

Gross floor area Change this

120m²

Partners Change this

Structural engineers
Juan Felipe Heredia & José Ignacio Báez

General contractor
Factor Eficiencia
www.factoreficiencia.com

Lighting
Noriega Iluminadores

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Article last edited by Lacuna on
February 28th, 2012

Sunset Chapel Change this

Acapulco, Mexico
by BNKR Arquitectura Change this
1 of 27

Description Change this

BNKR Arquitectura's first religious commission was a wedding chapel conceived to celebrate the first day of a couple’s new life. Their second religious commission had a diametrically opposite purpose: to mourn the passing of loved ones. This premise was the main driving force behind the design, the two had to be complete opposites, they were natural antagonists.

While the former praised life, the latter grieved death. Through this game of contrasts all the decisions were made: Glass vs. Concrete, Transparency vs. Solidity, Ethereal vs. Heavy, Classical Proportions vs. Apparent Chaos, Vulnerable vs. Indestructible, Ephemeral vs. Lasting…

Requirements

The client brief was pretty simple, almost naïve: First, the chapel had to take full advantage of the spectacular views. Second, the sun had to set exactly behind the altar cross (of course, this is only possible twice a year at the equinoxes). And last but not least, a section with the first phase of crypts had to be included outside and around the chapel. Metaphorically speaking, the mausoleum would be in perfect utopian synchrony with a celestial cycle of continuous renovation.

Objectives

Two elements obstructed the principal views: large trees and abundant vegetation, and a behemoth of a boulder blocking the main sight of the sunset. In order to clear these obstructions (blowing up the gigantic rock was absolutely out of the question for ethical, spiritual, environmental and, yes, economical reasons) the level of the chapel had to be raised at least five meters. Since only exotic and picturesque vegetation surrounds this virgin oasis, architects strived to make the least possible impact on the site reducing the footprint of the building to nearly half the floor area of the upper level.

Acapulco’s hills are made up of huge granite rocks piled on top of each other. In a purely mimetic endeavor, BNKR worked hard to make the chapel look like “just another” colossal boulder atop the mountain.

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