With his Gru Chapel, the young Brazilian architect Yuri Vital created a poular church for a poor community of the city of Guarulhos, Sao Paulo. Yuri’s talent and social initiative, already prooved with his Box House project, was once more honored, this time by the most important Award for young Brazilian architects, 9° Prêmio Jovens Arquitetos 2009.
Here is what Yuri Vital explains:
In Guarulhos suburbs, close to the Guarulhos International Airport, was elaborated a simple popular chapel. The client asked for a low cost project that should also be able to become a great religious reference for the region.
It was created a unadorned, pure and simple monolith, offering a great lightness and minimizing the cost of construction. The lot has a 3 meters inclination, which allowed the idealization of a street level entrance, while accommodating the parking lot at the gap.
With the project, it was also asked areas of specific activities (such as the administration, library, cafeteria, and restrooms). The accesses to these areas are made independently, allowing the visitors to exclusively access the area they want to, without interfering in the religious space.
The largest distance in between columns is 8.4 meters, so that the chapel is entirely made with pre-cast slabs, facilitating the construction and reducing the cost, due to the reduce of the need of time.
To gain flexibility, the parking lot has no pillars and the whole weight of the monolith is distributed by the lateral blades. The mezzanine is supported by the wall on the left and by a small metal structure.
The cover is made with a metallic thermal tile, supported also by a metallic structure, which is embedded in the side of the chapel. This coverage has two side sheds for lighting.
The chapel is lit mostly by natural light, with three main points: the very front facade (composed by a skin “Cobogós”), and two lateral cuts on the roof. These zeniths are protected from rain by a skin of laminated glass.
The library and cafeteria also have natural light due to a glass skin on the sides.