Marc Rolinet designs new chapel for Deaconesses of Reuilly
On an area of private parkland in the town of Versailles, this stunning new chapel has been built to replace a simple canvas marqueen,for the religious community of the Deaconesses of Reuilly. They asked Marc Rolinet to design their new chapel as a symbolic echo of the tent - a discreet, but warm and welcoming refuge.
Designed to respond to the rigorous demands of HQE (High Environmental Quality), the building makes use of a harmony of materials and a conceptual continuity between interior and exterior with 6,675 sq ft (Net Floor Area) on 4 levels. The roofing is made of panels of Scots pine and the structure in galvanised steel and wood.
The use of Sentry Glas Plus™ laminated glass allows a lightness of structure with panels reaching from floor to ceiling. The panels’ reduced thickness and weight limits the number of supports needed for the metal frame. New technologies in High performance glass permit optimal transparency and exploitation of natural light, without compromising the energy efficiency or safety of the building on a total surface of glass of 450 sq m. A heat pump and rockwool for the insulation contribute to the energy efficiency.
In a metaphor for unity of the spiritual and corporeal, the building’s two tiers are designed to
aesthetically counterbalance each other. The geometric, triangular form of a transparent glass casing envelops a sculptural, organic-form interior ‘shell’, hand build from interlaced, wooden slats curved pièce by pièce in steam tank. The use of natural materials reinforces the chapel’s integration into its woodland environment.
Conceived for minimal use of tri-dimensional steel supports, the clear glass ‘skin’ creates a volume substantial enough to balance with the solidity of the interior wooden core, while retaining the essential lightness and transparency. The bioclimatic function of glass and wood, which balances the materials’ aesthetic value, is a key issue for Marc Rolinet.