Chapel by Herzog & de Meuron

Art and Spirit


For centuries architects were at the service of religious powers-that-be, and temples had priority over all other kinds of buildings. Maybe this explains why so many of today’s veterans are so eager to be commissioned to build churches and chapels. Almost all the great contemporary architects have a worship place to their name, among them Tadao Ando, Rafael Moneo, Álvaro Siza, Eduardo Souto de Moura, and Peter Zumthor. They will soon be joined by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, who very recently presented their project for a spiritual construction beside the A13 motorway on the outskirts of Andeer, in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. Straying from the expressionist image of the Church of the Autostrada built in 1964 by Giovanni Michelucci, the chapel of the Basel partners is conceived as an experiment halfway between architecture and art. An experiment with the personal stamp of Herzog, and which without showing any religious symbols on the outside, contains an interior bathed in a colored light evoking the atmosphere of James Turrell installations.

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