18 jul 2010

Recent iconic buildings, Ep.2

Capilla Valleaceron by S-M.A.O.

The chapel at Valleaceron is part of a larger project undertaken by the Madrid based architecture team of Sol Madridejos Fernandez and Juan Carlos Sancho Osinaga. The architects’ wish to respond to the natural settings with their trademark planar forms resulted in a design that cuts planes, or seemingly folds them, into sharp triangular surfaces that are like sculptural projections on the horizon.

It feels as if any surface could act as another, but their genius is in deciding how to use each in a subtle play of angles that tricks the eye into seeing single surfaces in many and vice versa.

According to Sancho and Madridejos, this is not purely for atmosphere. They explain that the ‘trapped direct light’ is an inherent part of the design, functioning as ‘an additional plane’ and taking on ‘the role of a second material’, a material, they add, ‘that contrasts with the concrete, being fragile, changing, mobile, unstable; dominating or vanishing’. While many spiritual structures have a special relationship with light, this determination of the natural element as intrinsic to the structure also demonstrates the architects desire to connect with the natural environment, especially as atmospheric changes are so readily perceptible on the hillside setting.

Texts from Gestalwall

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