1200 Bricks Little Chapel
Authors: Emanuel Christ, Christoph Gantenbein
Location: Basel, Switzerland
General aspects: This is a small meditation chapel. The project is a small construction for a little chapel located on a great garden. It’s a chapel to be alone and contain one self within the open space of the garden. It’s also a structure that relates to a human scale in size and to a spiritual one in use.
On this very simple basis the structure becomes a constructive exercise under a repetitive tension system that comprises 1200 pieces of hollow red brick separated between them but united by a set of “guides” in the form of steel rods that form rings that vary in size according to the height of the chapel. The pieces are attached to the metallic structure with mortar but there’s no binding between them so they practically appear to float. The tensed structure is flexible but stable at the same time. In the same way that meditation requires a certain degree of introspection and solitude of the individual each piece of brick is alone in the structure immersed between tension and gravity.
This is a reaction to the power of one within thought and that of a material piece within a structural system of forces.
Why did you choose this category?: This small chapel attempts to create a space for generating an introspective experience, reflexive, imaginative and personal. And where we are completely alone but also more connected with ourselves and our imaginations and thoughts is perhaps in our own mind, which is nourished of images and feelings captured from our experience with the things around us. While we may be able to create and imagine, everything we create is recognized in that we have known previously as if we were making a carpet of another reality with fabrics that we already know.
Through this small architecture we have tried to create a scale of space, textures, light and shadows that nurture that imaginative experience that will help to connect the new thoughts with the reference and the infinity of our thoughts with the lived materials and final spaces we experiment. Within this universe of imagination we are individuals creators, builders of an own personal universe. We tried that throughout the system selected and explored to build this small chapel, this small architectural objet was able to also build its own constructive, material, physical and gravitational universe within the reality of the experience..