CREU-IL Chapel

Rua de Oliveira Monteiro 562, Porto


Nuno Valentim, Frederico Eça

Finalist in the III Prémio de Arquitectura ENOR 2010

41.16020, -8.62458

The programme consisted in the extension of a small chapel belonging to a University Centre in Porto.

This Centre is about 20 years old, set on the edge of a private garden. The existing chapel was small for the number of university students who frequented it and the owners intended to enlarge it to around 50 m2 with the following assumptions: very low cost, openness of the space to the garden, and the greatest possible comfort for the users.

The site where it was to be located was wedged between an uninteresting 1980s building and the back of an adjoining building. This place was clearly a “non-place”, a leftover piece of land where even grass did not grow because of the shadow of the neighbouring buildings.

The solution came from several intersections:

– of the perimeter of the triangular courtyard where the chapel would necessarily have to grow

– of the magnificent tree that stood at the base of the said triangle

– the inner provocation caused by our reflection in the mirror

– of the two faces of the mirror: the outer life and the inner life.