Veneza Farm Chapel / Decio Tozzi

Architect: Decio Tozzi
Location: Valinhos/São Paulo,
Project year: 2002
Construction area: 225 sqm
Photographs: Cristiano Mascaro

Two plastic elements leave a mark on the landscape.

Two signs of profound resonance:

One, the curved roof Shelter of Men.

The other, the Cross of Christ Combine with the landscape. This delicate relationship creates a space within the lake shore landscape – a void that delineates the small temple.

The fluid succession of spaces that suggest the liturgical program of the chapel – the atrium, the baptistery, the sloping nave, the altar and the apses that merge into the lake is configured between the shelter and the cross.

The space of the chapel and the space of nature! And this place defined by the plastic elements of the design of the small church is integrated into the boundless, fenceless natural landscape.

The almost immaterial architecture of this small temple accomplishes a timeless transcendental character that conveys the meditation on the plenitude of God and on the plenitude of Nature.

The small chapel takes on the magnitude of a cathedral when defined by the mountains surrounding the valley. The trees become iconographic elements belonging to the temple that is thus defined.

The birds are the protagonists of the ever-renewed and forever-changing spectacle of nature.

Thus the space of worship encompasses the Universe. The essentiality of the architecture of this chapel instills in our minds, during moments of fruition and meditation, the true dimension of Men on Earth instigated by the extreme human essentiality of Saint Francis in the form through which he revealed to men the message of Christ.

Cite: "Veneza Farm Chapel / Decio Tozzi" 05 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • Henry


    As political object, the brazilian people
    need so many housing school and hospitals….!

  • Rodrigo

    i´m brazilian and agree with the friend above…
    and this clapel is very ugly.

  • Daniel Con

    I dont understand what the political problem is with building a simple chapel? Except for the huge red cross in the middle of the lake, this is a very simple and humble structure, not a 10,000 capacity mega-church or some ridiculously luxurious villa in Rio. I think it is simple and beautiful, i love that the chapel is sited so that the existing tree sits in the center rear of the aisle. I just wish that the architect thought more about placing the huge red cross in the water….

  • Luis V.

    come on guys!!! If it would not be for the red cross you all will be singing a different tune..Spirituality plays a major role in Brazil…

  • Balda

    As a native Brazilian….Simple and beautiful!

  • Jeison

    The matter here is architecture and not social problems. Beautiful chapel, fits nicely to the landscape. Period.

  • Pentrio

    Very well said Jelson could’ve not said it better myself!

  • Bo Lucky

    Website for those who spend money in Brazil to celebrate and consolidate spirituality of the nation…

  • Opium

    Smell’s like tadao ando’s church with a niemeyer touch to it..not bad,not brillant. Romário is better

  • Gshock

    Good Point BO-LUCKY that’s exactly why borderline socialist governments dont work!

  • BA

    We are discussing politics or architecture?
    Architecture can and should be involved to alleviate the problems of society in any nation, obviously.
    But architecture, in its essence, is art and goes beyond the social questions. For this reason I believe that is unnecessary to link this work, specifically, with the social problems of Brazil. These exist and not because of this work, therefore we shouldn’t stop contributing artistically to the architecture.
    This is a great work, in my view, and it has a subtle and profound artistic expression. And not worthy of criticism unfounded and superficial or unnecessary ( “Romário is better”!).

    *Sorry my English!

  • Jeison

    There you go, BA.

  • Jeison

    For whom it may concern, here´s the link to Decio Tozzi´s website in english or portuguese: Great work!

  • Daniel Con

    Thanks for the link Jeison! great work!

  • Matt

    I think that this project it´s a true work of art. Very light structure with a perfect relation with the surroundings. I don´t get how the political issue relates here, this is a small chapel on the countryside. Let´s discuss here what it really matters, ARCHITECTURE and it´s relation with the users and the environment, it´s form, materials, use, etc…!

  • kc

    very good project because first of all, its an excellent space for prayer! Enclosed, but not too much, and the attention is not drawn away from the cross. Good, insightful job!

  • Rick

    It would be a beautiful, sensible and truly remarkable project, in a beautiful location, if it wasn’t for that totally redundant red cross. It just ruins everything attempting to gather the whole attention, stressing the symbol instead of the place. I feel like photoshopping it out of the way… As for the political issue: this seems to be certainly an private chapel, in an absolutely private farm. If so, it is as elitist as a luxury villa in Rio.

  • sullka

    Henry: AS ARCHITECTURE this is NOTHING !

    As political object, the brazilian people
    need so many housing school and hospitals….!

    What the heck are you talking about, what do you mean is nothing, do you wanted to be all twsited, blobby and cladded in titanium to be architecture?

    I think it’s awesome, so simple and so great.

    Brazilians need housing and hospitals? yes they do, but let the government build them, I don’t think this was built by the government but by whatever church the chapel is (Im assuming this though)

    I do agree with another poster on the red cross, white would have been better.

  • json

    this seems like a copy of tadao ando’s chapel on water..
    check it out..

  • Juan Gomez-Velez

    This is reminiscent of Borges’ late fifties nightclub in Havana, with it’s use of single laminar arches, with no beams nor columns. The proposal of both enclosure and openness is made by such a single element. Site conditions are incorporated to the space and are made an integral part of it. Ando’s church is made for a temperate climate and must be separated by a glazed wall, and we see no such wall here. This is made by a single sponsor, something that entails a strong personal commitment to the spirituality it is meant to represent or as we say in Spanish “encarnar” and is simply and truly beautiful.

  • FN

    I don’t see why the cross needed to be shifted toward the left.

  • Joe Sun

    So many negative words. No problemo. It’s beautiful. I like it.