the accent - a journey to the summit
organizer
team
young architects competition
kiran balakrishna, abishek varadiah chandrashekar, kiran raj

Rwanda with its fascinating landscape of tropical forests, impetuous waterways, and lush fields, is set on a journey to evolve from its brutal history and poor economic development. An architectural intervention to create a unique identity for the community is further essential to gather people and build new memories. Thus, this design is an attempt to take the people of Rwanda on a pursuit of trauma and triumph. The chapel will behave like a focal point for community gathering and development.

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chapel entrance

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arcade of steel columns

We interrogate the thin line between protection and destruction, preservation, and progress; our projects claim that inhabiting involves not only construction but also adaptation; not only enlargement but also dismantling; not only discarding but also reusing, reducing and refurbishing. The lush hills that define the Rwanda landscape have inspired the play of form during design exploration. The circular chapel lies embedded in the earth, associating closely with the surrounding topography. Therefore, this rooted circular form encourages peace and introspection that form the basis for spiritual life. The cross that stands strong becomes a visible sign that nourishes, raises, and revives faith. It also creates an identity that the community may associate with. The circularity encourages a holistic inner experience teaching people the circle of life. 

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fresco painting over chapel's roof

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aerial view of the complex

In addition to nourishing faith, it is equally important to strengthen community life. Architectural spaces that boost economic and social development, form an integral part of strengthening our capacity to connect as people. These congregational structures aim to start a new dialogue, based on emerging dynamics of social interactivity. The curved walls engulf spaces that are suitable for such social activities including classrooms for education. The cylindrical volumes that are placed around the chapel behave as meditative spaces with a soothing water body in the center and the high walls that connect to the divine. The arched corridors facilitate local markets in order to enhance the local economy. A roof system binds these structures into a contemporary grid that offers functional flexibility. All these structures blend with the contextual landscape to remind the people of Rwanda about the rich natural resources it holds and the importance of preservation and adaptation.   

exploded sectional view

index

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

Entrance portico

Informal preaching area (2)

Atrium

Nave

Circular seating

Altar table

Apse

Gospel reading

Parvis

Sacristy

Meditation area

Arcade of steel

columns

Bell Tower

Cross

CGD Glass

lateral section across the chapel

longitudinal section across the chapel