Studio: Gonzalo Mardones Arquitectos
Project: Totihue Chapel
Location: Totihue, Requinoa, VI Región, Chile
Credit: Nico Saieh
The rural community of Totihue was using an old silo as a Chapel since 1972. After the earthquake in Chile on February 27th 2010, the silo resulted unusable and was closed.
The silo is a recurring image in the Chilean countryside, and this one had an important meaning for Totihue Community.
The project, made in collaboration with the local community, rescued the old structure including a new gabled volume. The new volume welcomes a new chapel, and the renewed silo operates as a funeral parlour and community center.
The silo, with a base diameter of 10.50 meters and 10.50 meters in height, determines the extent of the chapel, whose plant is a square of 10.50 meters each side, which houses the assembly, and its double golden abatement plant houses the court on one side and the presbytery, on the other. The height of the new chapel is 7 meters, allowing the silo to be the main element of the set.
The silo, apart from being repaired structurally, was coated with white metal plates, keeping the image of the patrimonial silo, while the new chapel has been coated with the same metal plate, but dark gray, seeking not to compete with pre-existing structure. The interior of the chapel was covered in pine, which was donated by neighbors. Natural lighting of the silo was worked by lower openings, that keeping the solemn condition of the space respecting overall verticality inside the silo.