Light walkway,

Leandro Sbarra+Juan Pablo Porco+Emmanuel Santillan

Visitors are challenged to consider the meaning of a chapel not only as an architectural building or as a religious symbol, but as a structure capable of considering the different acts of faith and turning it into an overcoming spatial experience.


It will be a new way that the landscape is perceived. Thus, we redefine the chapel typology in a contemporary open space, of symbolic value, an inspiring structure for all communities and religions. The proposal recognizes as a starting point, the place to operate, the place with unique and unrepeatable characteristics. The intervention is simple. Designed with the aim of not disrupting the calm of the place and in a silent way the chapel tries to worship the landscape and its history. The starting point: the tectonic, the light, the rhythm and the transparency, fading with the air and the light. A small act not to harm. Only light elements that will be incorporated into nature on time and take advantage of its topography.

A space that democratizes the experience and materializes through a suspended walkway that symbolically connects the air, the earth and the sun throughout its journey. The chapel rises thanks to vertical elements that allow light to pass through, see the exterior from the inside, and allow the landscape to filter through the spaces. This play of light and shadow creates a sense of supremacy and religious spirituality and emotionality. These cylindrical elements, like fine lines, increase in density as they approach the ends. And they contain in their length a vertebral space – empty – that achieves, through its sieve, the necessary atmosphere to create the realm of the spiritual and the faith. This chapel proposes a linear route as a sacred path, which allows you to go in search of spaces for meditation, calm and reflection that places you in a particularly sensitive spiritual situation with your surroundings. This journey recognizes and accompanies, as a hierarchical space, a void contained by vertical elements that surround it and concentrate focal points. This great void contains in court a great access or exit stairway from the mountain that will sponsor and will start the ceremonial walks of the place. The stairway will take an existing footprint on the mountain and will set the tone for what will be a new sacred route that connects heaven, earth and water.

The atrium: as a place of entry, it serves as the threshold to what will be the multicultural space, as a spatial event that enters the slender circular columns to discover what is coming. The body: it clears and appears as a clearing that offers the necessary space for the celebration. In this space, framed by perspective, the main space is recognized. From here and between the cylinders the images of the passage, the sunset and the appearance of the moon are filtered, introducing its light and illuminating the characteristic focal points. They are those who make visual reference and recognize the landscape as the protagonist. A rock, as a symbolic element of nature, rests as a reference piece and marks a pause in the place. In its continuous gesture and its marked regularity, as well as in its direction of placement, the thin columns erase any other function that is not to frame and contain all the other spaces, visible from the outside and in turn provide a feeling of intrigue and discovery. Its light image, of vertical elements, which are illuminated at night, will make it possible to recognize it as a true landmark of the place. Without lasting a sustainable chapel from the surrounding landscape. This manifests the essential value of the spiritual and enhances its experience in a space of visual and sensory sequence with its environment.


Authors: Leandro Sbarra+Juan Pablo Porco+Emmanuel Santillan.
Location: Lake Titicaca, Bolivia.
Year: 2021
Competition: Titicaca Chapel Architecture competition.
Prize: Finalista.