Shrine of the Virgin of La AntiguaEdit profile
Set in the dramatic valleys of La Rioja region in Spain, the elegant chapel directly serves a village of 2000 people. The architecture is an intervention in the spirit of preservation; the local residents of Alberite rescued a preexisting stone archway from demolition, now central to the concrete geometry of the sacred space. An 'ermita' is a specific type of religious structure, pointedly set apart from the urban fabric in an effort to evoke the inward look of spiritual reflection afforded by isolation. This specific shrine enjoys the inheritance of the architectural relic in form of the archway, a component which lends importance to the minimal horizontal roof plane, sloped according to the site. Monumental vertical louvers extrude from an interior envelope of glazing, serving to create both a orthogonal mark on the landscape and fill the interior with warm rectangles of light. While the structure opens up to an idyllic ravine, the dust-colored palette of the landscape is invited into the form with expansive views of the hilly horizon. The form and strategic apertures are such that the building takes on a new life at various hours of the day. the generous anteroom, lengthy approach and honest materials make this sacred retreat a place where shadow belongs to light.
Description by Designboom