Our proposal intends to expose the recent work of a Chapel named that we - together with local workers - built in a 19th-century farm near the city of Sao Paulo. Through this work, we would like to discuss our relationship to the temporality of a colonial-built environment and how architecture renovation can deal with historical building typology.
The Ingá-Mirim Chapel is located on the outskirts of the city of Itupeva, 80km from São Paulo, on a 19th-century estate. We were asked to renovate the former local colonial estate to make it an environment that responds to local celebrations of religious importance.
In the quest for sustainable development, we understand the idea of the architectural reform as an opportunity to reinterpret pre-existing construction, enabling new relationships between the project and the landscape. Therefore, as an act of reflection, we decided to disarm the materials of the old colonial estate in order to reuse them and to give them new conditions. With that we investigate the “notions of unlimited construction or destruction” in order to “explore the possibility of optimizing what already exists.” In other words, how can we build by unbuilding?
The construction was carried out in collaboration with the farm caretakers, the brothers Carlos and Charles, who previously worked in construction and now do the local preservation work. With them, we experimented with how we could, through their own knowledge, reuse the materials of the old local buildings. Under these conditions, the construction process followed the schedule of the daily activities such as mowing, releasing horses or feeding cattle.
Using the foundation of the pre-existing construction, the project is based on three stone walls used in the old road that allowed access to the farm. Between these three walls, the disarmed bricks of the estate define a path that leads through spaces that seek continuity between construction and landscape, thus suggesting an open religious enjoyment.
Disarmed materials from an old colonial estate to build an architecture that exercise possible continuities between project and landscape. Disarm to continue.