Cohen Chapel by Joaquim Portela Arquitetos

Introspection and opening spaces

Project Specs


感谢 Joaquim Portela Arquitetos 予 gooood 分享以下内容。
Appreciation towards Joaquim Portela Arquitetos for providing the following description:


This project forced us to analyze many similar buildings, that although isolated, all seem to be designed by nature and became a part of it.

▼教堂外观,exterior of the chapel


We always start with a sketch of the initial shape, however in this particular case we started with many different shapes. At the start of the research the form was even smaller and denser as what is presented now – but the many paper models done throughout the project’s development helped us find a balance of the desired volume. When we stepped to the digital 3D models, few adjustments were needed, seen the project was already materialized in our heads. The building, of simple and compact shape, presents itself as the result of a long and exhaustive process of project development. And it’s simplicity a result of a clarification process and not of a subtraction one.

▼形态设计草图,sketch of different shapes


The search of light is the concept explored behind the built form. The result is a building composed of two volumes, which intersect in a single plane. The main building – auditory / nave – the bigger volume, is closed to the landscape, becoming an introspection space, and increases it’s height since the opening mouth at the entrance until the skylight at it’s peak. These are the only two external openings of this space, and invites who enters the building, as well as who is sitting in it’s interior, to look up.

▼教堂中殿体积较大,与周围景观隔绝形成一个内省空间,nave – the bigger volume, is closed to the landscape, becoming an introspection space

▼体量高度从入口处逐渐升高直到最高点的天窗,the volume increases it’s height since the opening mouth at the entrance until the skylight at it’s peak


The second volume consists of the sacristy. This space is conceived for the use of the person responsible for the chapel, and contrary to the previous, this one opens up to the landscape.

▼朝向景观开放的第二个体量,the second volume opens up to the landscape


We tried to erase everything superfluous which can often become grotesque. We do not mean that baroque churches aren’t visually pleasing, not at all, but in our search we eliminated all the ornaments and aimed to achieve a pure shape for the building that could transmit all the information required for a sacred space. Like a difference between watching a movie to reading a book: without images the interpretation becomes harder and not direct, but it also allows for an infinite number of possible images, depending on who is transforming the words into images.

▼教堂夜景,night view of the chapel

▼建筑形态草图,architecture shape sketch

▼室内草图,interior sketch




More:Joaquim Portela Arquitetos

Post a Comment