Scope: Architecture
Typology: Religious / Culture
Location: Rukomo , RW
Year: 2019
Status: Competition Proposal
Size: N/A
Office: UBDW
Role: Team Leader
Aysegul Albustanli
Huseyin Penbeoglu

Rwanda Chapel (NAVIGATE)

This chapel acts as a vessel for those seeking to ‘NAVIGATE’ their spiritual voyage.

The building is located in Rukomo village, Rwanda and has been designed for the Clarian and Rwandan community. Inspiration has been taken from the unique beauty of nature, formed by the forest of Rwanda, lakes, waterways, lush fields and mountains.

The building is formed by two surfaces that are both partially touching the ground and breaking off from it, thus opening voids at the base. The gathering of these two surfaces are materialised independently but culminate in harmony. While creating a minimal sculpture on the exterior, the unique nature of Rukomo is captured on the interior, where surfaces break away from the ground enabling the boundaries of inside and outside to become ambiguous. This presents a peaceful inner experience to users where calm can be found within nature.

Gathering and creating a meaningful union between these two different surfaces acts as a monument to keep collective memory alive. The harmonious symbolism pays respect to what has occurred in the past while providing a landmark for Rwanda as a representation of tolerance and diversity that has stemmed from solidarity and social peace rather than conflict.

The glass facade on the parvis side is retracted from an envelope where the surfaces rise away from the ground. This creates an inviting semi-open entrance that serves as a meeting point. Since this facade is created in a collapsable mode it enables both the interior and the semi-open area to be opened up into a communal space. This provides an opportunity for the space to be extended if the community increases.

Wood is used in this project due to its low carbon emissions and its sustainable, renewable and locally sourced building material. Not only does it have the lowest impact on the climate, but it also has positive effects for the neighbourhood.

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