A seemingly forgotten chapel on the side of a road was given a radical update by PULS architecten. The existing trees surrounding the chapel already suggested the nave of a church. The architects therefore emphasized this gesture by completing the cluster of column-like trunks with the missing point in the configuration. To further underline this gesture, the architects created a tiny enclosed garden—a reference to the medieval hortus conclusus—by means of the floor treatment and two benches. The white steel benches are abstract renditions of majestic church benches with a very high backrest. The chapel itself was given a new gate, a modest contemporary interpretation of the baroque language of the chapel.
- Louis De Mey
This project is part of the exhibition Composite Presence in the Belgian pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.
PULS architecten: "The chapel is situated in the rural outskirts of the historical town Mechelen. In time, the surrounding conditions of this former field chapel drastically changed. All kinds of functional but idle additions had despiritualized the place. By staging the theme and symbols of the hortus conclusus, the enclosed garden, we wanted to renew the ensoulment of this place and thus inviting pause, reflection, and contemplation."more about Composite Presence