Team: Ximena Alvarez and Hector Loli Photographer: Juan Solano
The De La Piedra Chapel is located in a natural context of desert vegetation, in contact with the foothills of the Andes mountain chain and the margin of the Lur river, east of the city of Lima. The placement, away from the preexisting dwelling, isolates from everyday and induces a long walk in order to reach the project. The generating line of this hike derives from a form of nature: the seashell. This continuous spiral creates an enclosure within the vastness of the plot, and by means of reflection and surprise, values the transition from the "profane" of everyday life to a profoundly "sacred" space where verticality is the means to approach the divine.Its orthogonal geometry allows to differentiate stages throughout the pilgrimage. The patio provides the necessary pause for reflection. The verticality of the interior attempts to approach the divine, underlined by a skylight which is hidden behind a suspended plane. No typological or symbolic references which manifest a religious character are deliberately used. The materials are austere and elemental in order to dissolve in the experience.The project is solved as an austere, elemental and abstract object. When discovering the interior, a cross is configured on perspective between the vertical of the open door and the horizontal of the exterior bench. The altar has a dual function: on the inside for individual meditation and on the outside for mass ceremonies.Searching for a correct human proportion, a module (modulor) is used as a starting point. The first (1.83m) relates to men. The second (2.26m) to its aspiration and spirituality. And the third (2.26m) to the divine and unattainable. The presence of the constellation solves the natural ventilation of the tower, becoming manifest from the inside out during the day and from the outside in during the night.