Chapel At Murcia, Spain

Architect Sanjay Puri of Sanjay Puri architects designed the inspiring Chapel at Murcia in Murcia, Spain in 2011.  The buildings breathtaking views and gratifying energy brings a peace and serenity to those who come to worship and pray in communal unity.

Framing a gently undulating landscape with a view of the ocean in the distance, this small chapel is perched at a height of 90m on a steeply sloping hill.  Visitors approach the chapel from a winding road leading up to the hill.  A small doorway is nestled amidst landscape mounds originally merging with the hill.

As you enter, the volume gradually increases with the doorway widening into a cavernous space created with a large cantilevered concrete roof that folds up from one side.  The cross sits on the edge of a rectilinear pool with an infinity edge that merges with the ocean in the distance.

The water from the pool descends into a lower trough that creates a small waterfall with a mist creating a blur at the floor level of the chapel making it seemingly float above the hill.  The minimal interruption of structural elements in creating this space accentuates the natural beauty of the site and its panoramic views.

The design in its simplicity creates the seamless integration of the internal volume with the open landscape beyond creating a space conducive to contemplation.

Oriented towards the north with natural green cover on the south, the design of this small chapel creates a space that will remain cool throughout the year sheltered from the southern sun in a city with temperatures ranging from 16 to 38 degrees.  Its design facilitates complete cross ventilation and reduces the need for any mechanical system rendering it energy efficient.