Chapel of Unity, Rwanda

Harmoniously integrated into the open plains of this Rwandan village, this chapel is a space of tranquility and unanimity. The spatial experience begins with the access route to the chapel which is a gradual passage into a more introspective environment. This access route is cut from the land which transforms into a community gathering area.

The main chapel is raised from its adjacent level, to give a sense of an elevated spiritual self. The inclined walls craft a volume which directs the worshippers towards the altar. From the altar the area opens up to create a bright and airy space which is filled with natural light and is spiritually illuminating. The clear orientation of the altar and the view of the village creates an interplay amongst nature, man and the sacred space. Angularly placed stone forms the walls of the chapel. The gaps between these
tones are covered with woven eucalyptus screens which create a beautiful play of light and promote natural ventilation in the built space.

All the building materials are sourced locally, from the eucalyptus woven screens, wood and stone. The handmade bricks and locally quarried stone represents a parallel of design which is a response to the traditional Rwandan construction and labour.

Principal Architect : Qutub Mandviwala

Associate Architect : Adhir Mahajan

Year : 2017

Company : Private Client