Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel

Photography: ©Harrison Photography

Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel, designed by Kevin deFreitas Architects, was constructed to replace a very small and intimate historic chapel that was ravaged by wildfires in 2007. From that fire, only the original adobe bell tower survived, which became the anchor element in the redesign planning.

Photography: ©Harrison Photography
The new design was conceived to reverently knit together “past” and comfortable traditions, while acknowledging and offering something relevant to current and future generations. Thus, emulating or recreating the past literally was not a project goal. Drawing from a limitless well of Native American and Catholic symbols and metaphors, design elements in plan, section, and elevation were conceived to reference and infuse meaning into the chapel, such as the; rammed earth walls, radial walls, butterfly roof, and extensive use of locally sourced materials.

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Cinema Sil Plaz

Photography: Bruno Augsburger and Laura Egger

Over two decades ago, the last cinema closed in Ilanz, an Alpine town in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. To satisfy the locals’ cinephile needs, a group of people interested in film and culture formed the Filmclub Ilanz in 1989 and, after staging screenings in makeshift locations (including the town hall), they had a stroke of luck in 2004 in the shape of a 19th century former forge, which had just become vacant. After several years of screenings, they decided to revamp the space, with the help of fellow club members Capaul & Blumenthal Architects, to create a fully fledged cinema, which opened last September.

The ETH Zurich graduates have retained the raw character of the building, creating a cosy screening room and bar on a shoestring. Using local clay and a rammed earth construction method – a sustainable, low-tech building technique with sound-proofing benefits – the project was completed with the help of members of the Filmclub, who also conveniently included a rammed-earth specialist and a stonemason. Seating in the auditorium is padded by sheep-skin covered cushions stuffed by Filmclub members. Meanwhile, paint on the walls of the bar and stage area has been stripped back to reveal the original lime plasterwork of the building and floors are kept bare. The bar itself can be lifted by a manual forklift to make space for a dance floor when there are concerts – just one part of the Cinema Sil Plaz’s rich programme of events.

[via Wallpaper]

Adobe for Women

Adobe for Women is a non-profit association, founded in 2011, whose goal is the recovery and education of earth construction techniques; this is our contribution to a more human and sustainable use of space and the planet’s resources. The goal of this Project is to build 20 sustainable houses in the indigenous village of San Juan Mixtepec, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.

The houses are intended for 20 women in difficult circumstances who will participate in the building process. They will slowly appropriate their future home and simultaneously re find their self esteem, work abilities and hope that will transform the spaces into safe, caring places for their families.
The houses are energy efficient and built with local materials such as adobe and bamboo.