Bunker Arquitectura conceive a chapel like a giant rock to blend with surrounding nature
Bunker Arquitectura's first religious commission, La Estancia Chapel, was a wedding chapel conceived to celebrate the first day of a couple's new life. Their second religious commission, Sunset Chapel, had a diametrically opposite purpose: to mourn the passing of loved ones. This premise was the main driving force behind the design, the two had to be complete opposites, they were natural antagonists. While the former praised life, the latter grieved death. Through this game of contrasts all the decisions were made: Glass vs. Concrete, Transparency vs. Solidity, Ethereal vs. Heavy, Classical Proportions vs. Apparent Chaos, Vulnerable vs. Indestructible.
The client brief was pretty simple: First, the chapel had to take full advantage of the spectacular views. Second, the sun had to set exactly behind the altar cross (of course, this is only possible twice a year at the equinoxes). And last but not least, a section with the first phase of crypts had to be included outside and around the chapel.
Metaphorically speaking, the mausoleum would be in perfect utopian synchrony with a celestial cycle of continuous renovation. Two elements obstructed the principal views: large trees and abundant vegetation, along with a behemoth of a boulder blocking the main sight of the sunset. In order to clear these obstructions the level of the chapel had to be raised at least 5m.
Since only exotic and picturesque vegetation surrounds this virgin oasis, Bunker Arquitectura strived to make the least possible impact on the site, reducing the carbon footprint of the building to nearly half the floor area of the upper level. Acapulco's hills are made up of huge granite rocks piled on top of each other. In a purely mimetic endeavour, they worked hard to make the chapel look like 'just another' colossal boulder atop the mountain.