- Client: Município de Vila Franca do Campo
- Project Leader: Francesco Ugolotti
- Project Lead (Phase 1): James Grainger
- Collaborators: Pedro Mosca, Natacha Viveiros, Nuno Malheiros, Laura von Dellemann, Nuno Rodrigues - Giacoma di Viesti, Katarzyna Malinowska
- Structural Engineering: HDP Paulo Fidalgo
- Electrical Engineering: Pedro Nunes
- AVAC: Januário Cruz
- Tendering: Ana Fortuna - Carlos Tavares
- Builder: Caetano & Medeiros
- Work Supervision: Eng. Tavares Vieira Lda - Pedro Câmara
- City: Ponta Garça
- Country: Portugal
"Every point of view is a summit of an inverted pyramid, whose base is indeterminable" Fernando Pessoa, Book of Disquietude. A funerary chapel for a small agrarian village in the south St. Michael island in Azores, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
Based on a water basin linking the village to the upper part of the cemetery, the two-fold structure of concrete and metal expands to the sky and light offering the honorific use and interiority required to pay the last homage to the dear ones part of the village.
The village is composed of a long road parallel to the sea, the usual way islanders had to protect themselves from the ocean troubles, tempests, storms, and pirates, and focus on the land, cow breeding, and cereal production. Ponta Garça is particularly special because it's on an upper platform much above sea level.
The cemetery is just off this main road, to the upper side where new housing is developing. The Chapel organizes a new neighborhood, with a new building for kindergarten and elder people on the west and a new road on the east. it links the two levels, of the cemetery and the one below, through the water basin projects itself up, as a flower tilting forward to the sun or to bow to the village, land, and ocean. Projecting its interior space above the light slit on the roof, honoring the use and the memory of the people of the village.
The structure is twofold, concrete and metal. Anchored in a first inverted pyramid of concrete with two slabs, the ground floor for the sacristy and the top for the chapel. In those four faces of concrete are anchored metal beams that comprise the support walls of the chapel on the top floor, covered and insulated panels painted silver inside, and green Guatemala marble slabs on the outside supported by the steel structure with an in-between Facar tube and clamped by the exterior with steel buttons painted copper.
Evidence of tectonic structural solution is visible in the concrete base of the pyramid outside the metal parts and support coverage and inside in the upper part of Klein blue glass above the Chapel.