Church Of Senhora Da Boa Nova
The site, one of the city’s last slums, was named the “End of the World.” To the east and south the suburban surroundings had no iconic references, to the west there was a steep valley reaching out to distant views.
In order to rescue the site from its decade long negative stigma the community challenged the architects to create a new identity.
Since the anonymous surroundings offered no interesting references the architects decided to design the church tower as an iconic reference within the existing cityscape.
The multifunctional program, the church, a community center, a primary school and an auditorium, is organized around a courtyard, open to the valley and views, that relates to the city’s existing public spaces.
|We believe designing sacred space should revolve around the ability to state the supremacy of the Void. Throughout the project’s development, the key conceptual elements were two empty spaces: the courtyard, a place where the community could meet; and the nave, a sacred space presenting that which could not be presented. We wished the nave to be an introspective, infinite, and irrepresentable space. In order to achieve this, we followed creative paths suggested by the works of Bernini, Piranesi and Rachel Whiteread.|
|/Roseta Vaz Monteiro Arquitectos|
Today, the church stands within an elliptical plan, providing a dynamic sense of scale, and covered by an interior dome, eliminating the wall/ceiling division and spatial references within. The windows are deep, bringing indirect natural lighting into the nave and distancing the suburban surroundings, and the exterior walls curve to present an anthropomorphic object holding within the limited, infinite, and irrepresentable Void.
The “End of the World” is now known as “Senhora da Boa Nova” (or Our Lady of the “Good News”).