You don’t usually hear people talking about chapels in terms of their architecture and design and that’s not always the case if you take into consideration the history and the important role that the chapel has in the chapel’s design. It’s the case of these buildings from Capricorn, Switzerland. They occupy the 4th section of the site and the chapel itself becomes the star of the event.
This is the Capricorn Chapel and it has been recently built on a linear piece of land. The project was developed by Liss Professional Architecture (LPS). The team, which is in charge of all the work, included the most comprehensive study of the concept and the construction of the Chapel and have come up with a design for a structure able to capture the surrounding landscape.
The team used digital performances to determine the ideal site and the ideal distribution of the program. The site features a steep slope and the chapel faces a forest. This is how the natural terrain drops down as the site drops away.
The chapel has been set into the steep slope and features many alucobond trees. However, the site pushed the chapel into the bedrock and also offers it privacy from the neighboring sites.
Because of the remote location and the exposed and rugged nature of the site, the architects had to emphasize the concept of minimally-angled construction in order to earth it and to make it seem natural.
In addition, the windows also offer a sense of privacy. The chapel itself is partially embedded into the soil. This creates a sense of intimacy and gives the exterior spaces more privacy from the rest of the site.
The exposed concrete slab and the wooden ceiling create a sense of intimacy and insulation throughout the buildings. The landscape design is also flexible, allowing the architecture to be changed in order to adapt to the environment.
Modern sliding screens allow the chapel to face each other and, at the same time, let there be more daylight and ventilation into the rooms. These elements are very useful during the long days of working at a desk in the sun.
Because the architecture of the outdoors is highly flexible, it can be adjusted and customized to respond to the needs. In this case, the chapel has been built around a large cedar clad shadow and the shadow can be changed by rotating the screens.
The various changing shades around the cedar clad shadow invades the entire chapel. Also, the views of the mountains are interrupted by the void of the screens. Geothermal energy storage systems are inserted into the cedar clad shadow to improve the thermal performance of the exterior.”